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Ethical and religious discussion. Remona Aly discovers that seclusion is the key to social revolution and human progress, unlocking the mysteries of the self and the divine.

Journalist Remona Aly discovers the power of seclusion.

Throughout centuries, individuals of many faiths, cultures and disciplines have argued that seclusion is the key to unlock the mysteries both of the self and of the divine.

According to Remona, in today's connected world finding solitude has become a lost art. In fact, western culture tends to equate a desire for solitude with people who are lonely or anti-social, but there are many physical and psychological benefits to spending time alone.

Throughout time, seekers of all faith traditions have been drawn to solitude as a way of deepening their relationship with God. Remona offers the lives of the Prophet Muhammad and Imam al-Ghazali as leading examples of how seclusion can lead to overwhelming personal revelations and radical change in society.

The work of Beethoven is also examined as his phase of seclusion lead him to produce some of the most extraordinary symphonies of his career.

Remona also reflects on her own personal time of seclusion before dawn, leaving her bed to take part in a voluntary prayer known in Arabic as Tahajjud - a sacred time which she describes as therapy for the soul.

Presenter: Remona Aly
Producer: Jonathan O'Sullivan
A TBI Media production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 7 May 2017 23:30

Music Played

  • Elvis Presley

    I Need Somebody To Lean On

  • Khaled Jubran

    Emm El Khelkhal

  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No.97 in C major, Hob.I:97

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 - "Eroica": I. Allegro con brio

  • The Benedictine Nuns of Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, Le Barroux

    Communion Panis

  • Sheikh Mishary Alafasy

    Surah Al Fatihah

  • Manic Street Preachers

    Solitude Sometimes Is

Readings

Title: Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment

Author: Vicki MacKenzie

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

 

Title: The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography 

Author: Barnaby Rogerson

Publisher: Abacus

 

Title: The Mujaddid of His Age: Al-Ghazali And His Inner Spiritual Journey

Author: Mohd Rosmizi and Salih Yacel

 

Title: Korea And Her Neighbours...

Author: Isabella Bird

Publisher: Nabu Press

 

Title: The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire (Studies in Middle Eastern History) 

Author: Leslie P. Peirce

Publisher: Oxford University Press

 

Title: Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph

Author: Jan Swafford

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

Title: The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master',

Translated By: Daniel Ladinsky

Publisher: Penguin

Broadcast