THERE'S HARDLY ANYTHING MORE CONTROVERSIAL THAN ISLAM these days, but there's one branch of Muslim culture that by philosophy and practice is peaceful and apolitical. Even so, it has been subject to persecution by other sects.
The mystical, inward-facing order of Sufism goes back to the very beginning of the Islamic religion in the 8th century. It has parallels to the venerable traditions of Buddhist and Hindu mysticism, and aims for direct union with God by purifying the heart.
The work of the Persian Sufi poet RUMI has achieved worldwide popularity for its beauty and insight, and a body of Sufi music evolved to accompany religious practices and meditation — the most famous being the whirling dervishes of the Mevlevi order in Turkey. It's a genre that's not only alive today, but producing new strains of contemplative music.
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we return to the gentle, passionate world of Sufi-influenced music on a program called SUFI SOUL 2. Music is by MERÇAN DEDE, NIYAZ, HANS CHRISTIAN, YUVAL RON, OMAR FARUK TEKBILEK, MICHEL BANABILA, ELIYAHU SILLS, GARY STROUTSOS, and CHRISTOFFER HYLANDER.