Universal World aims at religious dialogue, because it is a symbol of confrontation and peace.
Jamaluddin Ballabio releases an interesting interview exclusively, talking to us about extremely interesting things concerning the spiritual sphere that characterized his life.
Jamaluddin born in Como, immediately after graduating from Bocconi in Political Economy, in 1981 he went to India where he learned about Islam.
He converts to Sufism. He is currently the Representative in Italy of the Sufi master Shaikh Mohammed Adil Ar-Rabbani, forty-first Grand Master of the Naqshbandi Sufi order.
Sufism is the mystical part of Islam.
How did your conversion to Islam happen?
"Back in the 70's, the second half of the 70s, I was part of a theater group and in the many activities we gave birth to, basic theater and improvisation theater, we also gave life to a yoga course. Today this might seem a very normal thing but in those years it wasn't, yet Como, the city where I come from, was the only place where you could do yoga.
There was a capable person who taught the course. We were left-wing and the left-wing certainly didn't teach us religion, indeed, for them religion is the opium of the people.
I practiced a mystical exercise called the first position, the egg position, I don't remember the exact name of the Asanas, and I experienced being in the prenatal reality inside my mother's womb. In short, you cannot deny such a profound experience and therefore I immediately started following this path of Yoga, and many other spiritual concepts.
I moved conceptually from West to East beliefs; I began to study Indian philosophies, Hinduism and Buddhism and I happened to meet in Como a Tibetan Lama.
I take part in particular meetings and I know the Lama, I attend a week's retreat regarding the Tibetan book of the dead 'the Bardo'; the post mortem passage. I start practicing Buddhist meditation and take Buddhist initiation.
I became a Buddhist to obey my guru but I did not feel that he was the teacher for whom you should feel a total visceral love.
I asked him to recommend a monastery in Ladakh, since I intended to make a trip there. He started laughing, turning away, didn't give me any indication. Maybe he saw what was in my future, who knows. The fact is that I arrived at the airport, in Fiumicino, with my ticket and two people approached me, two young Italians more or less my age, at that time I was 26, and they told me - you have an ascetic aspect -. I answered yes, even if tibetan is not really my language, I have received Buddhist initiation.
So we flew together and they were going to visit a Sufi master in Delhi. I arrived in Delhi I had no destination because mine was Ladakh in the far north of India. So I followed them and as we arrived at this holy Sufi place we found a wonderful person.
Buddhism thaught me so much of detachment from the world, desire involves desire, yet I couldn't resist the karisma of that beautiful person; hieratic, an Afghan guardian of that mausoleum. I saw a person who actually had nothing of this world but something from above. He told us that the teacher we were looking for at that time was in Kashmir. Again I continued the journey with these two improvised companions, because Kashmir is immediately before Ladakh.
We arrived there and looking for this Sufi master. I asked myself some questions: - what am I trying to achieve here with this Sufi master? -. I was looking for the guru. In those days we had no information about Islam, we only knew the saying - if Mohammed does not go to the mountain the mountain goes to Mohammed -.
We just knew about them being fanatics, we didn't know anything else. I had my reluctance to meet a Sufi teacher, even though I was fascinated to meet him. Someone showed us where this teacher was and I said; let's go and visit him. First of all he gave me the name Jammaludin, my current name, which means beauty of the path. He gave a nice long speech for the 3 of us newcomers and then invited us. He told us that he couldn't briefly explain what Sufism and Islam are. He invited us to stay with them for 40 days.
Although my friends from Como had warned me - be careful you are a bit naive, don't get lost with the first thing you meet - I accepted that invitation and realized I didn't have to look for anything else. The teacher was so beautiful, 33 years old from Jerusalem. Around him, Westerners who have converted to Islam for years. There were intense practices and regular prayers of Islam plus Sufi rites.
We studied, read the Koran and did a lot of Dhiker, that is the recitation of the divine names. As a Buddhist and Hindu I had forgotten Jesus, Mary, Abraham and Moses. They were no longer in the range of things that for me were important.
To my great surprise I discover that -Jesus is close to me - the Prophet said: - like these two fingers (the index with the middle finger) and Jesus will be buried next to me. Jesus will return and will be Muslim. Jesus is the word the Spirit of God -. Furthermore there is an entire chapter about Mary in the Koran . So I saw that this Sufism reintegrated all the traditions I had looked for in those years."
"We should learn closeness to God. In these days of the lockdown when you had to go out to go shopping many people said: - Oh my God if I touch that handle I could die. - The Western man who for 70 years since the end of the World War II is so powerful, so sure of himself, so proud of his economy, of his wealth he is not ashamed of stealing the resources of the poor. Now the western man goes out of the house and says: - God I could die. - This is a very healthy teaching because we are fragile creatures, very little is enough for us to die. This should help us to reflect that we are not made for this world, we are just visitors on this planet. Only Allah is the master of this world. He would have liked to see us treating this world in in a different way, and he would have liked to see us remembering him.
There is a place in Cyprus that I often saw when I went to visit my master, who over the years has become desertified. Every August for some years I recall seeing in that field the corn maturing, but now you can see it folded and dying. The hearts of ungrateful people are true deserts. There is no gratitude to God.
I hope that man can put to good use the teachings that God wants to give us ".