Humility in Islamic Contemplative Ethics – Atif Khalil


“From the origins of Islamic history, humility (khushūʿ /tawāḍuʿ ) has occupied a cen-tral place in Muslim piety. This has been in large part due to its defining role in the Qurʾān and Hadīths, and no less because it stands as the opposite of pride (kibr )—the cardinal sin of both Iblīs and Pharaoh in Scripture. By drawing on the literature of Sufism or taṣawwuf   from its formative period to the 20th century—spanning the writings of such figures as al-Makkī (d. 386/996), al-Qushayrī (d. 465/1072), Ibn al-ʿArabī(d. 638/1240), Rūmī (d. 672/1273), al-Shaʿrānī (d. 973/1565), al-Darqāwī (d. 1239/1823),and al-Sharnūbī (d. 1348/1929)—the article examines the defining characteristics ofthis virtue, its marks or signs, and the dangers that lie in its embodiment. In the pro-cess, we shall see how humility occupies a place somewhere in between pride, conceit, and self-admiration, on the one hand, and self-loathing, self-denigration, and outright self-hatred, on the other. Although humility is, in theory, to be exercised towards both God and other human beings, the precise nature of its embodiment, as we might expect, varies in relation to both. The article ends with an epilogue on what it means to transcend humility altogether”


Ken Garden’s Review of Al-Ghazali, The Condemnation of Pride and Self-Admiration


“The Revival of the Religious Sciences is an enduring masterpiece of the Islamic tradition, a summa of Islamic religious disciplines (law, theology, etc.) within a rubric of virtue ethics, written by one of the most renowned thinkers of that tradition, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Admirers of the book in subsequent centuries enthused that, “if all the books of Islam were lost, the Revival would suffice for them,” and that the Revival “verged on being a Qur’an” (Murtaḍā al-Zabīdī, Itḥāf al-sāda al-muttaqīn bi-sharḥ iḥyāʾ ʿulūm al-dīn, 2nd ed., 14 vols. (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, 2002), vol. I, 37)”


Sufism, Scripture and Scholarship: From Graham to Guénon and Beyond By Atif Khalil and Shiraz Sheikh


The origins of the academic study of Sufism in Western scholarship
may be retraced to the second half of the 18th century, with the first
independent work on the subject appearing in 1819 by Lt. James W.
Graham (d. 1845), an officer working on the staff of Sir John Malcolm (d.
1833), a scholar-general in the British colonial army. Originally delivered….


Love in Islamic Thought – William C. Chittick


Western studies of Islam have paid relatively little attention to love. Early scholars
were heirs to a long history of European animosity toward this upstart religion and tended to
assume that love was a Christian monopoly. When Muslim writing on love did come to their
attention, they typically considered it peripheral or borrowed, often by classifying it as “Sufi.”
As Carl Ernst explains, “The term Sufi-ism was invented at the end of the eighteenth century, as
an appropriation of those portions of ‘Oriental’ culture that Europeans found attractive.


The Significance of Human Attire


Along with food and shelter, clothing must rank among the most important but least analyzed sites of colonization. And even those works that do examine the connection between colonization and clothing focus almost entirely on the material dimension of dress. Few works, if any, take the necessary additional step of defining clothing as a component of spirituality. Thus, to find a work that addresses both the material and spiritual dimensions of clothing is no easy task. This is partly due to the segregation of knowledge in modern academia, where discussions of spirituality are eschewed by

Pallis, Do Clothes Make The Person

On Cultivating Gratitude (Shukr) in Sufi Virtue Ethics by Atif Khalil

Gratitude or shukr is one of the most central of Islamic virtues, the importance of which
is underscored by the fact that the defining notions of “faith” and “disbelief” revolve
around the pivots of shukr and kufr (= ingratitude). The article focuses on treatments of
the virtue within the Sufi tradition, and even here, with a concentration specifically on
the importance attached to its cultivation within the inner life of the spiritual aspirant……
(link below)

On_Cultivating_Gratitude_in_Sufi_Ethics – Khalil

The Embodiment of Gratitude (Shukr) in Sufi Ethics by Atif Khalil


It has been argued that in the tradition of Western ethics there have been
two general approaches to gratitude. There is first of all a view found mostly
among modern moral philosophers which treats the given virtue as a set of
feelings and attitudes. The grateful person is obliged first and foremost to sincerely
acknowledge the benefaction before anything else,to convey a sense of their debt.
The second view……..

Embodiment_of__Gratitude_in_Sufi_Ethics - Khalil

The Dialectic of Gratitude (Shukr) in the Non-dualism of Ibn al-ʿArabī by Atif Khalil


The role and function of gratitude or shukr in Islam has been a
topic that, until recently, has been the subject of little extensive
analysis.This is despite the central place of gratitude within the…..

Dialectic Of Gratitude In Ibn Arabi - Khalil

Bidayat Al-Hidaya by Imam Al-Ghazali

Beginning of Guidance

By Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazali.  Translated by M. Abul Quasem