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Poems from the Straight Path – A Book of Islamic Verse

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By Joel Hayward
Published by White Cloud Press, Ashland, Oregon

Poems from the Straight Path- A Book of Islamic Verse, reflects, chronicles and tries to make sense of Joel Hayward’s conversion to Islam and his realization that the God to whom he prayed was one, not three, and that Islam was the way for him to worship the God of Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus. His conversion was a life-transforming journey that led Hayward, at almost forty, finally to bow his face to the ground before God for the first time. Prof. Joel Hayward is a New Zealand-born British scholar, writer and poet. Since 2017 he has been Professor of Strategic Thought at the National Defense College (NDC) of the United Arab Emirates, located in Abu Dhabi. From 2012 to 2016 he held two academic leadership positions within Khalifa University, also in Abu Dhabi. The process of learning Islam is more profoundly complex and confusing, yet stimulating and satisfying, than for those who were raised in Muslim families or communities, can possibly imagine. Everything needs to be learned. But first everything needs to be unlearned. Hayward’s journey of exploration, transformation and illumination forms the beating heart of this moving collection of poetry. A timely and important work that reveals the struggle and profound insights of someone bridging cultures and faith traditions. n