Sufism: An Introduction to the Mystical Tradition of Islam
The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they've flourishedâ€”from Morocco to India to Chinaâ€”and as varied as their distinctive forms of art, music, poetry, and dance. They are said to represent the mystical heart of Islam, yet the term Sufism is notoriously difficult to define, as it means different things to different people both within and outside the tradition. With that fact in mind, Carl Ernst explores the broadest range of Sufi philosophies and practices to provide one of the most complete and comprehensive introductions to Sufism available in English. He traces the history of the movement from the earliest days of Islam to the present day, along the way examining its relationship to the larger world of Islam and its encounters with both fundamentalism and secularism in the modern world.
The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (Cambridge Companions to Religion)
Manufacturer: Cambridge University Press
Brand: Brand: Cambridge University Press
This series of critical reflections on the evolution and major themes of pre-modern Muslim theology begins with the revelation of the Koran, and extends to the beginnings of modernity in the eighteenth century. The significance of Islamic theology reflects the immense importance of Islam in the history of monotheism, to which it has brought a unique approach and style, and a range of solutions which are of abiding interest. Devoting especial attention to questions of rationality, scriptural fidelity, and the construction of 'orthodoxy', this volume introduces key Muslim theories of revelation, creation, ethics, scriptural interpretation, law, mysticism, and eschatology. Throughout the treatment is firmly set in the historical, social and political context in which Islam's distinctive understanding of God evolved. Despite its importance, Islamic theology has been neglected in recent scholarship, and this book provides a unique, scholarly but accessible introduction.
'Work for your terrestrial life in proportion to your location in it, and work for your afterlife in proportion to your eternity in it.' This is part of the advice that the great theologian and mystic Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111 AD) put down in his Letter to a Disciple. An old disciple of al-Ghazali had studied the Islamic sciences, including the many works of his master, for most of his life. Faced with the proximity of death, he turns again to his master this time asking for a summary of all his teachings. Letter to a Disciple is al-Ghazali's response. The emphasis in this short treatise is on religious and spiritual action and on putting into practice the knowledge that one has acquired. Letter to a Disciple can be considered as the last testament of he who is regarded as Hujjat al-Islam, the 'Proof of Islam'. This new translation is presented here as a bilingual, English-Arabic, edition.
Early Islamic Mysticism: Sufi, Qur'an, Mi'raj, Poetic and Theological Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
Manufacturer: Paulist Press
The first centuries of Islam saw the development of Sufism as one of the world's major mystical traditions. Although the later Sufi writings by mystics such as Rumi are known and available in translation, access to the crucial early period of Islamic mysticism has been far more limited. This volume opens with an essay on the place of spirituality within the Islamic tradition. Immediately following are the foundation texts of the pre-Sufi spirituality: the Qur'an passages most important to the mystical tradition; the accounts of Muhammad's heavenly ascent (Mi'raj); and the crucial work of early poets in setting a poetic sensibility for speaking of union with the divine beloved. The volume then presents the sayings attributed to the key early figures of Islamic spirituality: Ja'far as-Saddiq, the Sixth Imam of the Shi'ite Tradition; Rabi'a, the most famous woman saint of classical Islam; Muhasibi, the founder of Islamic moral psychology; Bistami, whose sayings on mystical union have generated fascination and controversy throughout the Islamic tradition; Tustari, a pioneer in the mystical interpretation of the Qur'an; Junayd, who helped place Sufi mysticism at the center of the Islamic tradition; Hallaj, famous for his ecstatic utterances and martyrdom; and Niffari, whose sayings are considered among the deepest mystical expressions within Islam. The sayings of these pioneers are embedded in the later stratum of analytical and synoptic writings of later Sufi thinkers: Sarraj; Sulami; Qushayri; and 'Attar. Extensive portions of these writers are translated into English for the first time.
*Includes pictures *Includes footnotes and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "There is no doubt in the sanctity of Mecca, but a donkey won't become a Hajj pilgrim by just going through the motions.â€ - Rahman Baba The reason for the existence of most of the world's cities is obvious to the student of geography. New York and Shanghai control deep ports and straddle great rivers bringing trade from the interior; Paris and London are at the crossing points of major cross-country rivers; Johannesburg sits atop a great mountain of gold ore; and Moscow and Madrid are at the heart of their great nations, easily able to control even the more distant corners of the land. Mecca, however, is different, as the city exists solely because it is holy. Even centuries before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, the leaders of Mecca established that their city was the pre-eminent holy site in western Arabia and established a truce for pilgrims to the city. In the process, one effect of this was that Mecca became a center for might today be described as tourism, as even ancient visitors needed places for food, water, and sleep. At the same time, they could make offerings in the temples and leave with mementos of their time in Mecca. Many also found it convenient to bring their trade goods to the markets of Mecca, where they could find visitors bringing interesting wares from across the region, and the city also enjoyed the status of a trade center. Of course, Mecca is now best known for being Islamâ€™s holiest city, revered as the birthplace of Muhammad and the site where Allah first revealed the Quâ€™ran to him. Within Mecca is the Kaâ€™aba, a building housed within the Al-Masjid al-Haram (Great Mosque) that is considered the holiest site, and wherever they are in the world, Muslims face in the direction of the Kaâ€™aba while praying. A pilgrimage to Mecca is considered a necessity for devout Muslims at some point in their lives, and the city itself is off limits to non-...
Perhaps no mystic in the history of the world has delved as deeply into the inner knowledge that informs our being as did Ibn 'Arabi. He was born into the cultural and religious crucible of Andalusian Spain in 1165, a place and time in which Muslim, Jewish and Christian scholars learned from each other and from the Greek classics that were then being translated and circulated. Drawing from the most advanced philosophical and metaphysical thinking of his time and from his extensive knowledge of the religion of Islam, Ibn 'Arabi created an extraordinary mystical theology that essentially sprang from his own spiritual realization. Because of the advanced nature of his teachings he has been known for 800 years as the Sheikh al-Akbar, or the Greatest Master. Because of the subtlety of his language and complexity of his thought, access to Ibn 'Arabi has always been difficult and translation daunting. Previously only short extracts were available in English. This volume, the first in our English translation of Les Illuminations de la Mecque, contains 22 key chapters of this Sufi 'summa mystica,' on such issues as Ibn 'Arabi's doctrine of the Divine Names, the nature of spiritual experience, the end of time, the resurrection and the stages of the path that lead to sanctity. This great book soars beyond time, culture and any particular form of religion. Describing what is fundamental to our humanity, it is astonishingly universal. Finally readers in the West have an entree into one of the most important, profound works of world literature.
**A New York Times Editor's Pick****One of Time's Most Anticipated Books of 2017, a Bustle Best Nonfiction Pick for January 2017, a Chicago Review of Books Best Book to Read in January 2017, an Amazon Best of January 2017 in History, a Stylist Magazine Best Book of 2017, included in New Statesman's What to Read in 2017**From the Ambassador of the UAE to Russia comes Letters to a Young Muslim, a bold and intimate exploration of what it means to be a Muslim in the twenty-first century.In a series of personal letters to his son, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a short and highly readable manifesto that tackles our current global crisis with the training of an experienced diplomat and the personal responsibility of a father. Todayâ€™s young Muslims will be tomorrowâ€™s leaders, and yet too many are vulnerable to extremist propaganda that seems omnipresent in our technological age. The burning question, Ghobash argues, is how moderate Muslims can unite to find a voice that is true to Islam while actively and productively engaging in the modern world. What does it mean to be a good Muslim?What is the concept of a good life? And is it acceptable to stand up and openly condemn those who take the Islamic faith and twist it to suit their own misguided political agendas? In taking a hard look at these seemingly simple questions, Ghobash encourages his son to face issues others insist are not relevant, not applicable, or may even be Islamophobic. These letters serve as a clear-eyed inspiration for the next generation of Muslims to understand how to be faithful to their religion and still navigate through the complexities of todayâ€™s world. They also reveal an intimate glimpse into a world many are unfamiliar with and offer to provide an understanding of the everyday struggles Muslims face around the globe.
Ibn Taymiyya and his Times (Studies in Islamic Philosophy)
Manufacturer: Oxford University Press
Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) is one of the most controversial thinkers in Islamic history. Today he is revered by what is called the Wahhabi movement and championed by Salafi groups who demand a return to the pristine golden age of the Prophet. His writings have been a source of inspiration for radical groups to justify acts of violence and armed struggle. In order to understand the widespread present-day influence and prominence of this rather obscure medieval figure, the book, through a series of articles written by leading authorities in the field, attempts to study Ibn Taymiyya's original contributions to Islamic theology, law, Qur'anic exegesis, and political thought. The book is the first comprehensive academic treatment of Ibn Taymiyya to appear in a Western language in over half a century.
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (Encountering Traditions)
Manufacturer: Stanford University Press
Brand: Brand: Stanford University Press
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (1930) is Muhammad Iqbal's major philosophic work: a series of profound reflections on the perennial conflict among science, religion, and philosophy, culminating in new visions of the unity of human knowledge, of the human spirit, and of God. Iqbal's thought contributed significantly to the establishment of Pakistan, to the religious and political ideals of the Iranian Revolution, and to the survival of Muslim identity in parts of the former USSR. It now serves as new bridge between East and West and between Islam and the other Religions of the Book. With a new Introduction by Javed Majeed, this edition of The Reconstruction opens the teachings of Iqbal to the modern, Western reader. It will be essential reading for all those interested in Islamic intellectual history, the renewal of Islam in the modern world, and political theory of Islam's relationship to the West.