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A Passage to Eternity
by Azmina Suleman

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Review by Kassam Juma:  `A Passage to Eternity' endorses and transports the reader into the transcendental realms of the `Real World', as articulated in the esoteric interpretation of the scriptures of all faiths, a world to which all souls will one day journey back! The most enthralling communiqué she brings back, however, is that there is an `inner voice' in us all that should be contemplated and acted upon in order to be receptive of that `everlasting peace' that awaits all souls in the hereafter. Thus, dwindling down the earthly visits of the soul! The most consoling certainty she confirms is that obstacles in life are in reality a phase of `audition' in endurance and patience, a test of faith and convictions, which persuades us to search `within' for guidance. The lives of all the Prophets and great saints bear testimony to this reality. Alas, the obstacles are a `blessing in disguise', for this world is a `playing field' to conceive a harmony of peace with each other in order to be peaceful with oneself and hence, God Willing, be receptive of that `blessing' which is the essence manifested in all faiths, namely; the `Oneness with God'. The book, no doubt, invigorates the journey of souls into Eternity. But more so, it brings to light the remedies to polish the Diamond that is within us all, in order to reflect the Divine Light in all its Majesty! I therefore look at this book as `A Passage to Eternity; a Recourse to Ponder'.

If by chance this book comes across as a work of fiction, then it is the most brilliantly articulated unsurpassed piece of solaced fiction in the realm of imagination! But the stunning clarity, the flow of the thought and the language engaged, betrays it to be a fiction. The testimony for it is manifested in the inspirational wisdom resourced to articulate the `passage' as a chronicle record, shimmering the esoteric wisdom. This can only be from the world beyond!

Review by Shamir Ladhani:  Hoping to escape reality and plunge into the trappings of a magical kingdom, Azmina and her family arrived at Florida's Disney World resort. But Azmina had no idea that the "Magic Kingdom" she was about to visit was not fashioned by earthly designers working under the tutelage of Mr. Walt Disney. She was destined to visit a place forged by the Spiritual Architect of the great beyond Himself.

Azmina's book A Passage to Eternity gives us a glimpse into the world of spirituality. It describes the intricate process that a soul passes through as it marks its trajectory towards its ultimate merging with the Almighty.

The first chapter sets the stage for the author's remarkable experience as she falls ill and is subsequently admitted into Disney's Celebration Health Hospital within days of her arrival to Florida. Azmina falls into a coma and undergoes a profound out-of-body experience which draws her into spiritual dimensions. Interestingly enough, the chapter is entitled "The Journey Home" - as it hints to the reader that he/she is truly estranged from his/her real home which lays await beyond the dimension of physical form.

In the next few chapters, Azmina takes the reader through an intimate journey of her soul, which she is convinced is a prototype journey of any soul. She explains how her soul has taken on many human forms over a multitude of lifetimes before her current one. She even describes how she was given the opportunity to `view' the events from several of her past lives - from being a Roman soldier denying a drink to a wayfarer to being a native leading a nomadic life. Amazingly enough, Azmina recognized certain souls that have repeatedly taken on earthly forms and that have journeyed with her through her many lifetimes, including her current but tentative one. And all the while, Azmina felt the presence of her spiritual master alongside her at every moment of her experience, guiding her and reassuring her in a vernacular that is of the ethereal plane. She also relates the various dimensions that she traveled through before her momentous encounter with the Light - that ultimate Truth and Essence that is God!

Translating the intricacies of the world of Spirit and the treasures that lie await into an earthly language is as challenging as having a mute describe the hue of a color to a blind man. Yet, if there is anyone who even comes close to accomplishing this, it is Azmina. Perhaps that is why she was instructed by the divine kinship to convey her spiritual experience in an earthly dialect to help awaken that vital spirit within all those who read her book. This book promises to inspire and spark a light within each soul which, as Azmina describes, is reminded of its original mission on Earth even before it took on the physical form.

The most redeeming feature of the book is its confirmation that ALL religions steeped in the practice of the universal principles of charity, kindness, patience and self-betterment, lead the soul towards its inevitable destiny - the journey `back home'.

After such an overwhelming spiritual encounter, Azmina turned to the teachings of her faith to help her better understand her journey. This is perhaps one of the more remarkable revelations in her book as one would tend to assume that in order to ascend within the spiritual domain one would have to be well versed with scriptures and doctrine. Azmina shatters this perspective as she begins her doctrinal research after her divine encounter!

Fortunately her search was made that much easier as she hails from a faith imbued in esotericism and mysticism - the Nizari-Ismaili tradition of the Shia branch of Islam. This particular tradition attaches a more spiritual interpretation of the following verse from the Holy Qur'an:- inna lillahi wainna ilayhi rajiaaoona (2:156) meaning `From God we are and unto Him is our return'. This return does not necessarily occur after physical death but can occur through a mystical journey of a soul while still trapped within a human physical form. In the final chapter, she is able to relate her interpretation of some of the doctrinal aspects of her faith to her numinous experience.

When the last chapter is finally consumed, the reader is implicitly challenged to seek an alignment between his/her interpretation of his/her faith and the spiritual encounter that lies await as described in A Passage to Eternity. Ironically, before her near-death experience, Azmina just wanted to briefly escape reality through Disney's world of fantasy. Instead, she did just the opposite as she briefly escaped the world of form and visited the Cradle of Reality.