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|Born||Tosun Bekir Bayraktaroğlu
January 21, 1926
|Residence||New York State, United States|
|Occupation||Sufi sheikh, writer, translator, artist|
|Spouse(s)||Jean Linder Bayrak|
Part of a series on Islam
Sufism and Tariqat
Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti (born January 21, 1926 in Istanbul) is an author, translator and Sufi. He served as a government official in Ankara, Honorary Consul of Turkey in Morocco and is the Sheikh of the Jerrahi-Halveti Order in America.
He studied Biological Sciences at Robert College, Istanbul; Art, Architecture, and Art History in the Studios of Bernard Leger and Andre Lhote in Paris; Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley; and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He received a Masters in Fine Arts from Rutgers University.
A retired professor of art and art history from Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, he has exhibited widely in the United States and is also a Guggenheim fellow. He retired from the art world in the 1970s and devoted his life to the study and teaching of Islam and Sufism.
|“||“Both my wife and I were artists, and we felt very strongly that it was feeding our egos. Art, art exhibitions, and the consequences of being accepted and successful are incredible food for your ego, which is the Sufi's enemy. The final straw was when we went to Rome to visit a friend, a sculptor, and there was a very pretty young girl there whom my friend introduced me to. And she was so adoring to me. She said, "Ohhh, I know you. I love your art." She was completely praising me, and I saw the ego suddenly rise up and say, "Aha! This beautiful, spiritual girl is telling you that you are a great artist." So I said, "Oh, my God! That's it. It's over." I hit the ego on the head and decided I was finished with it all.||”|
In 1970 Bayrak met Muzaffer Ozak Ashki al-Jerrahi who became his teacher. Bayrak is now a Sheikh of the Halveti-Jerrahi order residing near the Jerrahi Order of America mosque in Spring Valley, New York. He has been spiritual guide of the Jerrahi Order of the Americas, (the primary Western branch of the Halveti-Jerrahi Order of Dervishes) since 1977.
|“||“Service should be from the moment you are born until the moment you give your last breath, but you have to find out in what way. That's what's most important. We have to find out in what manner we are supposed to serve.” ||”|
Sheikh Tosun Bayrak has translated dozens of books on Islamic spirituality, but he is particularly known for his efforts on the works of the Sufi mystic Ibn Arabi. One of his best known works is Ibn Arabi: The Tree of Being (Archetype [archetype