Ishaq Jud was a Sheikh in both the Sufi Ruhaniat International and the Mevlevi Order of America. He had been following the Sufi path for over 30 years. He also brought the Dances of Universal Peace to Eugene, Oregon in 1973.
On July 28, 2006, Ishaq went on a rafting trip with co-workers from the American Red Cross. His last minutes were joyous ones, as he so loved being out in nature, and especially being in the rivers and lakes of Oregon. I was told that he was swimming in the water, laughing and smiling, and then the next second he was gone. His heart stopped, due to complications from the diabetes he had dealt with since he was nine years old. Though the people there did excellent CPR and the paramedics and doctors worked tirelessly to save him, he never regained consciousness. But the last thing he saw were the trees, the beautiful blue waters of the McKenzie river and all of Allah’s glory before him.
His friend, Tony, says he felt Ishaq’s spirit leave his body, and then two wild geese flew over, honking, and one looked down. I heard from many people how Moineddin has sung a song – “Wild goose, wild goose, which is best…a wandering foot or a heart at rest”. It seemed clear…Moin had come to take Ishaq home. At Northwest Sufi Camp, Latifa Cordi brought a beautiful painting she had done of the two geese…it hangs on the western wall of our bedroom, over the ancestor altar which holds Ishaq’s pictures and ashes.
Over these past years Ishaq continues to visit me in dreams, and also many of his friends, family and students. Truly, as many Native cultures believe, “there is no death, only a change of form.”
I met Ishaq in 1978 in Eugene, Oregon, where I first learned about the Sufi path. We called it “heart city” then and full of heart it was! Ishaq was Sheikh in the Sufi Ruhaniat Order and led the wonderful big crowds of Sufi Dancing and weekly Gathas. His shining presence, his joy and strength were inspiring. I will never forget his spiritual devotion, his warm good laugh and his big heart. He was like a bright light attracting others.
Our yearly mountain hikes, singing holy songs while steeping in hot nature pools and dancing and singing our hearts open I will never forget.
Thank you, Ishaq, for having been such an inspiration on my path.
Ishaq was a bright light. When we danced in the late seventies he always wore his yellow robe and began the dance evening with the Introductory Bismillah. It seemed that the yellow of the robe went with the brightness of his smile, which was contagious. He and Mariam Baker attracted a committed group who met at their house, the Smiling Forehead Sufi Center, four or five nights a week for classes, zikr, or potluck picnics in the backyard.
We used to arrive at their house for zikr and there would be a sign on the door, “silence please.” Inside there would be music from a sitar and tamboura, and other musicians playing and many candles around the house instead of electric light.
Atmosphere! We would hear Rumi Poems and become immersed in zikr and quietly have tea afterward and go home filled with bliss. Thanks Ishaq for giving up your private family life and inviting us all into your home for such a feast.
Peace and blessings on your continued journey!
We Danced last night in Isaq’s circle of Love with a unique sweet evening with Mother and daughter leading. His presence is often in the room where we will remember him next Friday here in Eugene. His smile and laughter- I’ll never forget
In the 1970s, I worked with Ishaq Daniel at a Eugene day centre, catering for people with chronic mental illness. The clients loved the weekly music hour, when Daniel played his guitar and got everyone to join in. Many of the clients had little in their lives to be joyeous about, and it was lovely to see them react so positively to him and his music. He was a great work colleague–someone I trusted entirely and respected.
He was my teacher & friend & it was so hard to go onto camp without you the next month. Now we are missing you, Anna, Jamshed & Haleem. Walking the Milky Way together as we continue this earth walk without you with us…for awhile longer.
Ya Fattah! Nurjamila Elliott/ Southern Oregon
Ishaq and I were best friends in college and I introduced him to Maryam. Our many youthful adventures figure prominently in my new book, “A Change of Consciousness: a Hippie’s Memoir of the Sixties and Beyond”. These tales of a time of seeking magic, go from Stanford to Columbia, Lama Foundation to the Timothy Leary Turnaround. We had a lot of fun together. He is missed.