When Dr Abdal Haq Godlas wrote to me that he was coming to Malaysia and wanted to meet the Muslim Spiritual Community here for a two day event I was very excited. I quickly contacted the moderator of the biggest tasauf online community and asked him if I could make an announcement and ask who would be interested in coming to the event.
I was in for some disappointment when the response I got was almost non existent except for one or two people.
As the day got closer and with no helpers in sight to organise the event, I decided to take it into my own hands and organise the event myself .
Perhaps in making the commitment to do it, the spiritual energies of the event are making themselves felt and somebody pledged some funds to help the program come to light and, a friend who has a newspaper column offered to advertise it in the newpapers two weeks from now.
The event will be a two day workshop in Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya , at a conference venue, with meals provided and the option of residence. Proceeds will go towards helping Dr Alan with his expenses on his trip here ..since his unversity paid only for his airfare to attend a conference here.
Dates are 11-12 August .
The theme is Spiritual Transformation by means of Rememberence , Zikr, Gratitude and Love.
I include below Dr Godlas's biography
Professional Biography of Dr. Alan A. Godlas
Dr. Godlas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia. He is the director of the UGA Virtual Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Islamic World (VCISIW) and is the Co-Director of the UGA-Morocco Maymester program. At UGA he teaches Islamic Studies and Arabic courses (and sometimes Persian and Ottoman Turkish) as well as a survey course on the world's religions. Dr. Godlas is on the steering committee for the UGA Center for Asian Studies, and he is also a member of the Linguistics faculty, the Medieval Studies Program (link fixed 20 August, 2005), and the African Studies Program.
A native-born Californian, Dr. Godlas received his M.A. (1983) and Ph.D. (1991) in Near Eastern Studies (specializing in Islamic Studies) from the University of California at Berkeley, under the supervision of Prof. Hamid Algar. Dr. Godlas, however, began his career in higher education by studying for and receiving his B.S. in Ecological Psychology from the University of California at Davis in 1972. He then trained in Gestalt Therapy at the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco from 1973-74 and studied at the SAT Institute under the direction of Dr. Claudio Naranjo in 1974. Subsequently, Dr. Godlas traveled to the Islamic world, studying Persian literature at the University of Tehran from 1974-1976, advanced Arabic as a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) in Cairo in 1983-84, and advanced Turkish as a fellow at Bosporus University in 1984. He has taught at the University of Georgia since 1991.
Dr. Godlas has conducted extensive research in manuscript libraries in Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. His areas of research include Qur'anic commentary (tafsir), hadith, Islamic mysticism (also known as Sufism) and consciousness transformation, and the relationship between Islam, modernism, and postmodernism. The Islamic texts that he studies are primarily in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. A final area of his research is the development of a disciplinary framework for the study of religion.
His professional experience includes being on the editorial boards of both Fons Vitae press and the journal, Sufi Illuminations, and being a member of the steering committee of the Study of Mysticism and Study of Islam sections of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Godlas was granted a National Endowment to the Humanities fellowship for the study of mysticism with Professor Huston Smith in 1993. In the Summer of 1997, Dr. Godlas received a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship for study in Uzbekistan (link fixed 20 August, 2005). Dr. Godlas is most well-known for his Islamic Studies and Sufism websites, which are the foremost comprehensive academic websites for the study of Islam and Sufism on the entire worldwide web. His recently developed webpage Muslims, Islam, and the Iraq War is the only thorough treatment of the relationship between Muslims and the Iraq war. In April 2002 his Islamic Studies website was one of five nominees for a Webby award in the category of spirituality. (The Webbys are the equivalent of the Oscars for websites.) Among his competitors was the website of the Vatican!
Dr Godlas was among the five well-known figures chosen by Beliefnet, the leading commercial interfaith website, to be interviewed about the best picture nominations for the Oscars in 2002. See Dr. Godlas' comments about Moulin Rouge.Most recently, in January 2003, Dr. Godlas was chosen by the US Department of State and the Emir of Kano to give two presentations on Islam for a bilateral conference in Kano (Northern Nigeria) on US and Northern Nigerian relations.
Dr. Godlas has delivered numerous lectures in the US on understanding Islam and related issues for organizations such as CNN, the UGA Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, College of Charleston, Georgia Southwestern State University, Athens Council for Continuing Education of the Elderly, and many churches of different denominations. Recently, he delivered three lectures as the 2004 DeLamotte Lecturer at Shorter College in Rome, GA. He has also lectured internationally, delivering papers and invited presentations in Turkey, Iran, Morocco, Uzbekistan, and Nigeria, and by digital video to Senegal. In UGA's Georgia Magazine (Decemember, 2003) Click here for an article that discusses Dr. Godlas' life and work. It was based on a lengthier biographical article on Dr. Godlas that traces the intellectual journey of his life titled "Surrendering to God" by Philip Lee Williams (UGA Franklin College Chronicle, Fall 2003). The most recent discussion of Dr. Godlas and his work is the article Improving Global Understanding, One Bias at a Time published in October 2006.
Currently Dr. Godlas is translating and editing Ruzbihan al-Baqli's encyclopedic esoteric Sufi Qur'anic commentary, 'Ara'is al-bayan (The Brides of the Qur'an). The translation is currently under contract and when finished will number roughly 3,000 pages.