Kissing God's hand
Though obedient, though rebellious a human constantly carries a Divine nature, thanks to the time when he discovers it and morns his separation and enjoys his connection.
IBNA: Nahid Rashid was born in 1976 in Tehran. She spent her childhood in the northern cities of Iran, her family returned back to Tehran when she was attending the final elementary school classes. She received her diploma in Tehran from Zeynab (SA) high school. She received her BA in English language and literature from Allameh Tabatabaee University. Following that she received her MA from the same university and the same filed. She presented her thesis on theatre, physiology and Edward Albee’s plays. Before receiving her MA she was an instructor in Iran Language Institute (Kanoon Zaban Iran).
- Why you were interested in translating psychology books?
One of my friends, Mrs Goldar who encouraged me a lot proposed the matter. As counseling is not very popular in our culture we tried to help people through translating such books.
- What did you translate first?
A book penned by Allan & Barbara Pease which was indeed a successful one. Following that I decided to translate Barbara De Angelis books which were very famous.
- Why these 2?
Allan & Barbara Pease are a wonderful couple (husband and wife), their books are usually warmly received as “Why Men Lie and Women Cry”, “Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps” or books penned by De Angelis which are “Secrets about life every woman should know” and “Are you the one for me?”.
The books had many readers and enjoyed a great psychology stance. Some 10,000 versions were released across Europe, though we have many cultural differences, but the basics are the same like why women talk more than men and etc… the matter is a creation difference which exists all over the world. The books’ subjects are very attractive and interesting.
- Have you popularized their subjects to our society?
No. Psychology matters are universal they exist any where around the world like humans who have 2 hands all around the world. This is a common feature between people which resembles all over the world. We have not popularized it as it is how it is all over the world. Although some of the subjects were omitted but I believe that we can feel its necessity like the relationship between a man and woman. Talking about the matter is forbidden in our society, schools and etc… so if you don’t read them in books where else could you get the info.
- Except psychology do you work on ethics and mysticism?
After a while in 2004 I came to know what I want from life. The concept of life is not the usual daily things as growing up, marriage, children and …life has a much greater meaning though it includes all the maters above but they are not every thing. I was a perfectionist since my childhood I always tried to be best. Since 1996 I started studying about mysticism and Sufism but from 2003 I entered the subject intensively in particular mysticism and monotheism religions. As the matter suffers from many shortcomings in Iran, figures as Paulo Coelho presented western mysticism to our culture and we easily accepted it. Water gathers easily when there is a hole. Holes and gaps exist always and they could be filled with any thing. Nowadays certain theosophies live as they have their own supporters. For instance in the 5th book of Masnavi, Coelho has changed a story of Rumi and has presented it as western mysticism and we are very proud of it. We have strong and great theosophies like Eyn-Ulghazat hamedani or Bayazid Bastami and Abu-saeed Abulkhir. So what’s about Indian and Chinese mysticism which Coelho has authored about? As the Islamic mysticism is not identified and introduced well we create this gap. So I started to write a book on mysticism which is named “How could God’s hand be kissed?”
-What’s the book about?
It is on Iranian contemporary mystics like Ayatollah Mojtahedi Tabrizi, Agha Shikh Nokhodaki and etc… as well as narrations plus incidents which occurred in my own life and this is an invitation. The book’s first volume has been published and it will reach to 10 volumes.
-Talk about our mysticism features which the western one lacks.
The most distinguished and significant difference is monotheism. In close verses in the holy Quran God has said" "Only worship me and don’t choose a partner for me." The matter is very interesting for me and there a question pops: "Why the matter is repeated so much?" many Quran verses are on monotheism. But when we go through new schools like India's mysticism still idols and idolatry exists; idols as Shiva, Krishna and etc… or the Christian doctrine of the Trinity teaches the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Moreover another new Mother God was even invented which was noticed in Coelho's works as he says By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept…. All these entered our beliefs and God knows how many more we have to wait for. The principle of monotheism is very vital and this is the main factor of Islamic mysticism which the other ones lack.
-Please tell us about the Islamic mysticism deficiencies.
When it comes to beliefs, many factors as indulgence and denial are involved. In mysticism a group goes for Sufism as others go astray.
-Wasn’t Sufism so from the very beginning?
Of course no. One of my friends believes that water is always clean and pure from its spring but when it flows its collects all impurities during its way. Those who firstly presented Sufism may have had many great beliefs but as times passed they went astray. Nowadays certain classes are held as Modern spiritual knowledge and as the students don’t have any background they develop whatsoever they hear and since they believe in their professors they suffer from exaggeration. For instance Shiekh Mahmoud Shabestari's students thought that he walks on water or moves in the air but he denied it himself and says that that he hasn’t done all these. The fact is even true for Sufism and it has slipped many times.
-What is the relationship between mysticism and ethics?
Mysticism means recognition; a human being should recognize himself which naturally leads him towards God. Certainly in that time he will realize that he has a great soul which has a lot of capacity and the entire universe moves according to humans. Theology and self-recognition are related closely and this concept of mysticism means recognizing God and his creature.
God says that he blew his own soul in humans thus God and humans were connected for the very beginning and what happens that they fall apart is a different detailed discussion, so ethics is a part of it. When a person knows himself and his capacities he forgets every thing as he bestows his eyes, ears and thoughts to every unvalued thing and this is where ethics come. Therefore mysticism and ethics are similar.
-What are the differences between individual ethics and social ones?
Human beings are social figures but they contain individuality as well. We can't separate them from the society. Ethics and moralities are performed within the ethics framework as Quran's saying: "Consider the framework for whatsoever we do."
-Do the common characters which you talked abut human's characters in psychology exist in ethics and mysticism?
God created humans and blew his own soul in them even in evil ones. Thus the first similarity is announced. For instance when a building is to be built bricks are needed in fact bricks are the needed tools whether a house is built or a mosque or any thing. In the human's case indeed the main tool is human's soul. In psychology, mysticism and etc… they are common.
-If humans are common in mysticism why, like in physiology, we can't act in the similar way (from a society to another)?
As I said before because they haven’t seen the truth and they have gone astray. Nowadays fortunetelling and charlatanism is frequent. In fact where a human's soul leads him likewise charlatanism grows. In many issues the matter and charlatanism doesn’t exist since it is not the human's main need but money is and so is love and knowing mysticism is natural and vital. So fortunetelling boosts, demand grows and likewise does presentation. Thus controlling all of it is impossible.
-There is a quote saying that ways and methods to reach God and recognizing him is based on humans' numbers?
Yes. Ways towards God is equal to the number of humans on the other hand the same ways exist on reaching Satan. Sometimes some people reach God via nature. They believe that the nature enjoys order and so does the one who has created it (God). In this way sometimes God is even denied but actually their soul directs them towards the Him. But sometimes the case goes off limits and wears a multi God cover. When such a thing develops the nature of humans indeed suffers from dispersal if a person has a unique character he seeks a unique source otherwise his life will suffer a lot.
-How can you cure mental sicknesses via mysticism?
They key is here and so are the cures. In Quran a great figure like Prophet Ebrahim (AS), the father of all nations, says:" Oh God you feed me when I am hungry, you give me water when I am thirsty and cure me when I am sick and etc…and thus all cures and the one who solves everything is God.
Of course nowadays some problems have developed in our society; psychology and etc…classes which appear like cancer tumors, they have impulsive consequences and only when they pass the courses they get charged. Unfortunately many of these classes are held as religious ones and present subjects on God and religious traditions. But in fact their purpose is not religious. Thus as these type of classes exist real cure would not happen.
-You mean if mysticism is real, the correct cure will happen as well?
Yes, of course. According to our Quran sayings and Prophet Ebrahim if a human, spiritually and physically desires to cure, he has to go towards God and the best way is the way of the 14 infallibles and they are mysticism guides.
-Please tell us about the 14 infallibles who are mysticism guides.
Every single thing is categorized in human's life; faith, guidance, aberrance and etc…
Obviously those who are connected to God and hold great Divine features could control and rule better. I never believed in religion since I found the fact via these great people. In 2004 I traveled to Mashhad for the first time. As I got familiar with this family all mercy and felicity came towards me; as Quran is a mine of mercy.
Moreover I have worked on books which are related to them as Sahifeh Sajadieh, Nahjolbalagheh and some other works which are not recorded and released as Hadith and etc…
-Makarem Prayer of Imam Sajjad's Sahifeh Sajadieh is one of the best ways.
Yes. Imam Sajjad has the most poetic and tender prayers. A prayer is read for everything and it is so joyful. Rain prayer, prayer of every month's beginning, parents and etc… so beautiful and tender and you can't find them anywhere. One of Imam Sajad's main features, titled Sajad and Zein- Ulabedin, permanently asked God to forgive him due to his default in prayer. When we enter the path of right our faith increases as we go forward.
Our religion holds some devotional duties which we should obey like saying our prayers and other duties but some believe that a pure heart is sufficient. A theory named Butterfly effect is a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. The term butterfly effect was applied in Chaos Theory to suggest that the wing movements of a butterfly might have significant repercussions on wind strength and movements throughout the weather systems of the world, and theoretically, could cause tornadoes halfway around the world. Moreover another theory in physics says that if we move something on the table its effect will impact the whole world. When we look at things through this perspective every action will wear another concept, thus when saying prayers is a duty it has to be accomplished since it will certainly have an affect in the world. The one who surrounds me and rules me tells me to pray, fast and fight in his way and etc… all these have their own philosophy. If I, for instance, don’t know its reason it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a meaning but my ignorance could be the cause.
-Tell us about your books?
I have translated books as "Why men lie and women cry" and "Why women can't read map". In these books we don’t seek feminist thoughts or patriarchy but the difference of men and women. One of the greatest themes in Albert Camus's works is misapprehension which says that human's encounter problems when they don’t understand or misunderstand something. When divorce exists we run into misunderstanding. Women should understand that some of the men's deeds are not related to their love or men have to know that women's works are not due to their evil deeds. The differences between men and women are because of their hormones and brain structure and this is the matter they should consider. The other book is "Secrets about life every woman should know", the book works for both single and married women. The book is about women's tenderness, some other books related to the subject are "What women want men to know". All the books are on the sex's differences and their actions. For instance "Are you the one for me? Knowing who's right and avoiding who's wrong" is on people's character and their ties. Another book is on teenagers, "Adolescence: the survival guide for parents and teenagers" which is a new style in Iran.
-Tell us about the book you have penned on ethics.
My new book is named “How could God’s hand be kissed?”
-Is it a mysticism book or an ethical one?
I have tried to use both the themes since they are joint subjects. The book is on the followers and my own experiences. As a teacher I have tried to give an ethical splash to all my views. God has created the world according to an order thus we have to be regular ourselves. I have another book entitled "Send a message to God" which is according to my own experiences.
-Please tell us about books you wrote for children and teenagers.
In my life I owe a lot to my mother. She made many investments on my. She used to read many books to me when I was a child. She used to read classic stories as "Hamlet" which were philosophical and physiology stories. Some times she read them frequently and I used to by-heart them, she never use to show me the pictures so my imagination would grow stronger. So I have really grown up with books and literature and I always loved to work on the filed. All ancient stories hold ethical points and I penned whatsoever I had heard means I have altered oral literature into written ones. If we present every thing in writing it will remain permanently. Literature should be scripted, psychology says that "The most pale writings are more enduring than the most strong memories."
-Do you have a book named liar shepherd and honest shepherd?
I am very sensible on lying which is the main feature I consider in my friends. For me honesty is a vital quality. I was thinking how a liar shepherd's grandchild may be? I created a grandchild who developed
-And the other book: "How good you want to be?"
We all know God's characters. How many of them exist in us? If we are willing to be superior and adorn ourselves with God's characters, how do we evaluate ourselves now? Do we forgive people? I tell my children readers to be good and to breed fine characters from their childhood.
-If children and teenagers are aware of our mystic characters they could certainly decide better. Don’t you think so?
Yep, we enjoy a very strong mysticism and great figures as Sheikh Mahmud Shabestari and a French author named Leonard Lewisohn who has researched on him. The matter may be a huge burden upon us; a French author knows Iran's historical background and researches on the noted mystic and assesses his views while many in Iran don’t even know where his tomb is. It is very strange you know, we has such figures in Iran but we don’t know them and even don’t want to. Why we have to reach this point, why our great figures should be presented by foreigners? Though our academics suffer form the problem as well, we have to review our lives and think more deeply.
-A part of this knowledge returns to the reading situation. Don’t you think so?
Yes of course. Reading condition isn’t prefect in Iran. I have read many books on cinema and I love movies. I believe that movies, books and newspapers are like oxygen and they compose a part of our lives. We can't require experience according all people around the world but we have to learn. For example when we read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice we learn to talk out problems. Book reading statistics are low in Iran and thus we require less experience and knowledge. Many of our youths are not interested in music, painting, novels and etc… they usually don’t read newspapers and magazines and waste their time watching ridiculous series or listen to worthless music.
-Are you interested in music?
I like music and I used to play Setar for a while. Music enjoys rhythm and so does the world.
Life is a harmony and we should recognize music. If we are not professional musicians we have to at least enjoy it. Rap and modern music are pathetic.
-If you would have had a chance to start your life again what deficiencies you would resolve?
Though I think about possible things but I know that I turned on my life engine too late. Although it is not doable since sometimes you have the knowledge but the conditions are not provided or vise versa.
-Which one you didn’t have?
I didn’t have the knowledge. I was usually attracted to worthless things. I don’t want to say that I devastated my life but if all my works were based on knowledge the matter differed a lot. Although I don’t blame myself a lot since I like to live now and build the future.
-Which mystic would you like to be?
It’s a difficult question. I like to be one of them and being where they have stood is one of my main aims. Furthermore I like to be as Imam Ali(AS) and I am trying to be and act like him.
-If you would ask a great person for help, who would you like the figure to be?
You have to decide to be a good person and then a guide could be created as a dream. I penned "Send a message God" according to the dream.
-On which mystic you have worked more?
I have decided to write Ein Ul-Qozat, Shikh Mahmoud Shabestari, Hashem Hadad, Baizid Bastami and our classic mystics.
-What about the father of mysticism, Muhyiddin Arabi?
Muhyiddin Arabi's works are very difficult and complicated but as the father of Islamic mysticism we have to know him. In line with penning books he has used codes as Sohrevardi has used metaphors. I was always attracted to those who had certain thoughts and as they mentioned them they were left alone. When a person swims against the water's direction they have certainly something to say. Although I mean new ideas.
-I think you know Shikh Jafar Majtahed Tabrizi more than anybody else and is it a mutual communication?
The first time I went to Mashhad I composed a poem and expressed my demands in it and said that I am seeking guidance which is my main demands and the rest are all secondary requests, I like to ascend. On my way back I saw Tabrizi\'s photo on his book. A hearty communication occurred I purchased his book and created a spiritual tie.
-As he demised in 1997 how did you create a spiritual connection?
Via dreams. When a person is backed by its aim he will get connected to it. He was always in my mind and since I had read hid book, many questions popped in my head. I didn’t believe a part of his writings and I had problems with another section….
I was reading the Quran one day and finally he answered my questions in my dreams. Every matter is solved through hearts, when they are connected the rest of the way opens by itself.
-Ask Nahid Rashid a question which a reporter hasn’t?
Where do you like to be in the future?
-And the answer?
Towards the way I started and I desire to reach the holy nature which I have faith in. Previously I thought I had faith in it but there is a great difference between what exists and what we think. Real believes are discovered through testing. I like to enjoy more guidance by directing my life in a way which is required so.
-How much do you read in a day?
At least an hour.
-What do you prefer to read?
I read every thing. French Francis Bacon says: 3 kind of books exist; some should be tasted, some should be chewed and some should be swallowed, I prefer to do all moreover I prefer to do the thing which makes me think. For instance "The Master and Murgarita" is a perfect book which obliges a reader to think.
-Your last word and advice?
To be thoughtful. Talking without thinking, acting without thinking and etc… discomforts me a lot. We have to know the reason of our deeds or words. 2 different persons can look to single thing but their thoughts will create their looks.
Hazrat Zainab (SA) is a symbol of patience, all her family were martyred and captured in front of her eyes. When Yazid asked her that was she humiliated? She said that I didn’t see anything but beauty. Tolerating so much pain is a value.
Some of her translations and compilations
How could God's hand be kissed?
Send a message to God
Why men don’t listen and women can't read maps
Why men lie and women cry
Secrets about life every woman should know
Are you The one for me? Knowing who's right and avoiding who's wrong
What women want men to know
Woman on men: views on the opposite sex
I don't know how she does it: a comedy about failure, a tragedy about success
Adolescence: the survival guide for parents and teenagers
Cancer is a word not a sentence
The friend next door
The story of Tracy Beaker
Stories from panchatantra
Who is Silence? Fairy tales
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