Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi
In your light I learn how to Love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest
When no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes the art.
Calligraphy by Maral Khatol Walizarif
Jahan Stanizai had the professional training and education of six prominent universities behind her in fields ranging from education. literature, real estate, law, Islamic studies, and psychology. Her professional carrier as a marriage and family therapist (MFT), however, did not stand in the way of her struggle for civil rights, cross-cultural understanding, gender equality, peace activism, inter-religious harmony, and interfaith dialogue that took her around the country and around the world.
Jahan was a member of the Cypress Peace Conference on Afghanistan until that process was hijacked by the neocons in 2001. Previously she had served as Vice President of the Afghan Freedom Society of California. More recently, however, Jahan was a Board Member of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) and Amnesty International. At the time of her transition Jahan Stanizai was the President of the Culver City Area Interfaith Alliance.
I am sure that we can all agree that childbirth may be one of women’s most formidable processes. Now imagine that childbirth with a ten pound ten ounce son…go a step further and now imagine that same birth amidst the peak of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, one of the most pernicious wars of history.
Try to fathom that same birthing without the safety and comfort of a hospital, nursing staff, or amenities conducive to a smooth delivery. Just a husband, father, a midwife named rosemary, and from what I’m told a waterbed. Needless to say my life had already begun with the odds already stacked against me, so my mother defied the odds.
Sometimes parents think they are successful because they have children who make a lot of money, do whatever their parents/family say, or simply become copies of their parents. But the most successful parents are the ones who raise children to think and decide for themselves, who are able to consider not only their families and traditions, but what is important to them at the time. The most successful parents are the ones who raise children, who define themselves independently, not just as someone's daughter, or someone's wife, or someone's employee. I think that is the lesson my mom tried to teach everyone she met. My mom was a leader, who taught by example. And who was relentless in her improvement of herself and the world.
God is Beautiful and He Loves Beauty
Allah jamil wa yuhibu jammal
Her love shines on my heart before I open my eyes to the earliest awakened moment of consciousness every morning. She was so aptly named Jahantab, ‘shining over the world.’ That sun never sits on this heartland of mine. Her love fills every moment of my life in thought, in being, and the immersion of its presence. Her voice echoes my zikr, the constant conscious remembrance of the Divine.
In Islamic spirituality, just as for Diotima in the Platonic sense, the most genuine use of the love of another is to direct the mind to love the Supreme Consciousness through the beauty that inspires the mind and the soul. Thus, love, if correctly understood is the highest form of worship. Not of another, but the love of God through another who can mirror the intensity of the deepest emotions humans can express.
بسی تاریک گردیده جهان بی جهان من
ز خود انکار باید کرد زمان بی زمان من
قضا را قسمت و تقدیر که قدر عمر می کاهد
نقاب بر دیده گسترده ازان اشک روان من
او را اسم زیاد بود لیک هیچ مسمی را کفایت توصیف جوهر انسانی او نبود: جهان، گلالی، گلالی جان، گلی جان، گلی خانم، گُله، خاله گُله، مور، مامی.... پس من هر روز جهانتاب عالمتابم را به یک نام خاص صدا می کردم حتی به عبارات و کلمات محبت آمیز و خیال برانگیز که معمول عام نیست او را طلب می کردم و از او طلب می کردم و او میدانست که خود مخاطب است.
چی په تلین د تروږمی تمام جهان سی
زملولی زړه می ستا غم کی خزان سی
تا د هری لحظی زړه کی هسی ساتم
څو د یاد زما په زړه کی جاویدان سی
ژوند د بدن په کالبد او د هیکل په قالب کی نشو تعریف کولی. که انسان ماهیتاً د خدای روح دی د تن په قالب کی او د خدای امر دی د قران په استناد چی وایی قل روح من امر ربی. نو ځکه د ژوند اصلی معنی د تسلسل تداوم دی.
در لحظه های شام و پگاه می پرستمت
ای غایب از نظر چو خدا می پرستمت
به روان پاک جهان رفته ازین جهانم
عشقهٔ پیچان من
تسبیح او را به زبان می آوردم ولی تصویر تو با خیالم بازی میکرد. اهتزاز خنده های پرصفا و بی آلایش تو کماکان جان و جهانم را در شوق می لرزاند. آفتاب عشق تو بر دنیای دلم می درخشید. فراخنای آسمان دلم در افق خیال تو ناپدید شده بود. تو و من در چمنساری پی همدیگر می دویدیم و می خندیدیم. دمنزار از رنگ سبز من لباش پوشیده بود و از رنگ گلابی روشن سرخگون تو گل می بارید.
در رسای میرمن جهانتاب
ای دوستان چه شد که جهان از جهان رفت
سرو سهی به هزار عز و شان رفت
تابش ز شمس و قمر از جهان رفت
آندم که خفت جهانتاب فغان رفت
نور زمین چسان ز زمین بر سما رفت
تاریک شدزمین که جهانتاب جان رفت
شمع هزار محفل ګلرخان بود
دفتر سپید ماند که جان از جهان رفت
On Sunday, August 25th Jahan Stanizai was honored and remembered by family and friends in a gathering of the celebration of her life. The events was hosted by the Islamic Center of Southern California and attended by many friends of Jahan from all faith communities adhering to the one common denominator—humanity.
United Nations Association, Pacific L.A. Chapter
The Culver City Area Interfaith Alliance
Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
Parliament of the World's Religions -
Southern California Committee
Unity-and-Diversity World Council
Muslim Public Affairs Council
The IMAN Foundation
The Sepideh Namazikhah Foundation
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Greater-Los Angeles Area Chapter
The Pacifica Institute - Los Angeles
The Bayan-Claremont University
A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change
New Vision partners
The Islamic Center of Southern California
United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force
The Mehrgan Foundation - San Diego
South Coast Interfaith Council
The Guibord Center –
Religion Inside Out
California State of Compassion
United Religions Initiative -
North American Region
The Peace Institute
SARAH (Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
World Interfaith Harmony Film Festival
Inter-religious Council of Southern California
Wallenberg Institute of Ethics
Spiritual Salons - Los Angeles
All Faiths Divinity School
Agape Peace Ministry
Interfaith Unity for Peace on
honoring the memory of
at the IMAN Center for Peace
September 22, 2013
A Letter of Recognition by Mrs. Sultana Hakimi wife of the Afghan Ambassador in Washington, D.C. honoring Jahan has been received. Mrs. Hakimi acknowledges Jahan Stanizai's contributions to the cause of the Afghan women in diaspora and her activism in the interfaith community in an attempt to bring people of different belief systems together through peace and understanding. Mrs. Hakimi’s letter in Dari language is posted below.
The following websites and Facebook pages may be consulted for more info:
Dawn Elder World Entertainment + Media Enterprises
Has dedicated their just released
Voices of Afghanistan
LOVE SONGS FOR HUMANITY
Ustad Farida Mahwash
Homayoun Sakhi and the Sakhi Ensemble
to Jahan that reads:
In memory of Jahan Stanizai
for her love and devotion to all humanity!
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
“In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs and the floor dances.”
Zarin TV, a global network based in Orange County, California and its founder Noor Wodjouatt dedicated an entire three-hour program on Saturday October 5th to the memory of Jahan Stanizai. The program titled ‘Know Thyself to Know Thy God’ was a discussion between Mahmood Waseeq host of Tafahom dar Partaw-e Qur’an and Dr. Zaman Stanizai that evolved around a theme dear to Jahan’s heart: Bridge-building through interfaith activism—in essence a commemoration and celebration of Jahan’s legacy in bringing together people vested in diverse traditions of reason and revelation. The entire program in Dari language in video format can be viewed in Stanizai.com.