by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor Simerg, Barakah and Simergphotos
Simerg’s series entitled “Books by Ismaili Authors” continues with USA based Shafeen Ali’s acclaimed book “To be One with God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life,” in the same Q/A format as our recent presentations of books written by Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji. We encourage Ismaili authors to participate in this series, regardless of when their books were published. See details of the series HERE and submit your responses to the editor of Simerg, Malik, at Simerg@aol.com.
Simerg: What is behind the naming of the title of the book?
Shafeen Ali: Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s following quote was my inspiration: “A man must be at one with God. … how we stand this instant and every instant toward Him matters to us more than anything else in the universe. That is the fundamental question:- Are you in harmony with God? If you are – you are happy.” 
Simerg: Why would you want me or my family members to read the book, and what will we all learn from it?
Ali: It is my aspiration that anyone who sincerely gives themselves to this book will find oneness with God, for a moment, if not a lifetime. This has been the experience of many of the book’s reviewers. I myself read the book when I feel despair or distant from God.
Simerg: What inspired you to write the book?
Ali: I had been married for 18 months and happy materially. But one evening, late at night, I was awakened with a feeling that I was not fulfilling my purpose in life. That night began an inner search which reached one milestone in the publishing of this book, six years later.
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Simerg: How can I purchase the book and what are its available formats?
Ali: The book is available in Paperback and Digital formats (epub, kindle, etc.). One can find all the different channels to buy the book as well as preview sample readings from each of the seven journeys on my website home page at: https://shafeenali.com/. [Readers will appreciate the options Shafeen has provided on his website; please visit it. To purchase the book at Amazon please click Paperback/Digital — Ed.]
“it will be very difficult to put this book down as you will keep expecting something more meaningful and deeper to unravel”
“… appealed to my heart and soul and provided me with an unforgettably transformational experience“Review quotes from the author’s website
Simerg: How did you find a publisher for the book?
Ali: I published the book myself through Createspace (currently Kindle Direct Publishing for Amazon, paperback and kindle ebooks) and Smashwords (for other ebook formats).
Simerg: Did you hire an editor, an illustrator or did you do all the work by yourself?
Ali: My book cover designer was Shaila Abdullah (please see her website My House of Design), an award winning Ismaili Muslim designer and author, and my editors were two other Ismaili Muslim sisters, Rozi Banani and Sonia Nur Mohammed (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Simerg: Which was your first book and how many have you written?
Ali: This has been my only book. I have aspirations to develop more means, including books, for people to be one with God. I have recently published a 3-Part Mini Video Series on Realizing the Inner Imam For One Humanity on my website and on Youtube.
Simerg: How long did it take you to write To Be One With God — from start to finish and to begin marketing it?
Ali: Active research, writing, editing, and publishing took around 2 years including building a website on my own to market the book. It has now been 4 years since the book was published.
Simerg: Tell us something more about the book.
Ali: This book explores seven different journeys for man to seek oneness with God, all inspired by the inner being of the author, his “Inner Imam.” While on these journeys, readers will encounter many voices: man, God, teachers of God, and the author himself. The purpose of these voices is to harmonize the reader’s understanding and experiences of oneness with God. The teachers of God include Shri Rama, Shri Krishna, Jesus Christ, Moshe Rabbeinu, Gautama Buddha, Muhammad Rasulullah, Shri Hanuman, and the great philosopher Socrates, all of whom witnessed these journeys unfold in their own lives.
Date posted: March 25, 2021.
Shafeen Ali is a Shia Ismaili Muslim who has been a faith-based teacher and speaker for the last 10+ years. He has delivered more than 150 presentations and workshops throughout the world on faith and religious education. Shafeen also has a Masters in Business Administration and has spent more than 13 years managing and executing business and technology projects and teams in the United States. The source of strength and guidance in Shafeen’s life has always been the spirit of God within, his Inner Imam. Through his book, To Be One with God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life, Shafeen is externalizing that innermost part of him with the hope and prayer that this spirit will provide strength and guidance to others just as it has done for him.
 Read Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah’s full quote
CALLING ALL ISMAILI AUTHORS
We encourage Ismaili writers to introduce their books in a similar format as Shafeen Ali, Mansoor Ladha, Zeni Shariff and Shamas Nanji have done in their respective interviews. Please also see the series launch article and submit your responses to Malik at Simerg@aol.com. All submissions will be acknowledged. If a writer has published multiple books, each book will be highlighted in a separate article, and not combined with other books into one post. All writers should include a brief profile with a portrait photo. The Ismaili Authors’ Series so far (in chronological sequence, oldest article first):
1. “Justice Bertha Wilson Pushes the Boundaries of Humanity” by Shamas Nanji; (article published on February 10, 2021)
2. “Little One, You Are The Universe” by Zeni Shariff; (February 25, 2021)
3. “Memoirs of a Muhindi” by Mansoor Ladha; (March 6, 2021) and
4. “To Be One With God: Seven Journeys to the Meaning of Life” by Shafeen Ali (March 25, 2021)
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