#055: Wisdom Crystallized: What is Sufi Metaphysics? w/ Mohammed Rustom

via Path & Present Podcast https://soundcloud.com/pathandpresent

Actionless Action – Mohammed Rustom


“It has indeed been a blessing to sit with the great Kenan Rifai’s commentary upon book one of Mevlana’s Mesnevi .Spending time with this book naturally led me to Kenan Rifai’s explanation of a famous tale in the Mesnevi  centered around ‘Ali b. Abi Talib tale is retold from Islamic tradition and is cast in Mevlana’s unique terms and worldview. The long and short of the story is as follows: in the heat of a one-on-one encounter with an enemy of Islam, ‘Ali gained the upper hand and thru this opponent to the ground. Just as he was about to finish him off withone blow from his sword, the enemy spat at ‘Ali’s face. When this happened, ‘Ali immediately dropped his sword and walked away. This per-plexed his enemy, and led him to ask ‘Ali in earnest why he had not killed him at that very moment. ‘Ali then speaks, telling the enemy that he only fights for the sake of God. But, when the man insulted him by spitting at him, the possibility that it would become a personal affair had presented itself to him. So he walked away from the situation. ‘Ali then explains that he never acts out of self-interest, but only for, in, and through God


Islamic Perspectives on Science and Technology Selected Conference Papers


The collection of papers that are featured in this book was presented at the International Conference on ‘Developing Synergies Between Islam and Science &Technology for Mankind’s Benefit’, held at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, on 1–2 October 2014.The conference was formally opened by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia,Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and involved two keynote speeches, invited talks from eminent scholars, and talks by senior scholars, as well as some PhD candidates reporting on their research findings. The conference, consisting of both plenary and parallel sessions, included two open forums: one on bioethics and the other on the teaching and history of Islamic science. Presenter-authors were requested to con-tribute recommendations that could be taken up by governments, institutions, NGOs, and the public to hopefully ensure beneficial outcomes to sectors of human


Sayyid Haydar Amuli’s Seal of Absolute walaya: A Shi’i Response to Ibn ‘Arabi – Mohammed Rustom


The work of one of the most important figures of philosophical Sufism, Sayyid Haydar Āmulī (d. ca. 787/1385), has largely been neglected in modern Western scholarship. In Iran, however, the situation is quite different as a steady stream of Persian monographs dedicated to Āmulī’s life and thought have been appearing over the past twenty years.In Arabic, we have a handful of studies, the most noteworthy being the 800-page tomeby Khanjar H  ̣amiyya.4Yet these works on Āmulī vary significantly in accuracy, scope, and depth. This explains why there are still so many key aspects of  Āmulī’s thoughtabout which we have only a cursory knowledge, such as his role as a philosophical/mysticalqur’anicexegete.5Anothertopicofenduring(because unresolved)investigation that is particularly worthy of our consideration is Āmulī’s engagement with Ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240)


Islam and the Density of Man – Mohammed Rustom


I would like to begin with an autobiographical account which takes us back to the fall of 2000, when I was a second‑year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. Like many of my classmates in philosophy, I had a fairly naïve understanding of what I was doing studying this discipline. I would eventually come to learn that there were different kinds of traditions of philosophy, and where one would end up focusing really had to do with a number of factors, not least one’s interests, predilections, and ultimate concerns. But, in the fall of 2000, as I sat in a very popular course on Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, such things were not entirely clear to me. I signed up for the course, to be honest, because the two authors who were its focus had names that sounded “cool.” The course description promised to give students a sense of the important and enduring themes in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche’s writings—themes which, in one way or another, helped define a number of pressing problems in several contemporary forms of philosophy. Little did I know that the course would be a catalyst for something else.

Islam And The Density Of Man (SW 46, 2020)

Metaphysics of Muhammad The Nur Muhammad from Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (d. 148/765)to Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 672/1274)

This study analyzes the development of the theme of the “Light of Muḥammad”(al-nūr al-Muḥammadī) or the “Muḥammadan Reality” (al-ḥaqīqa al Muḥammadiyya)among several Shiʿi and Sufi thinkers through the seventh/thirteenth century. These thinkers include Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (d. 148/765), Sahl al-Tustarī (d. 283/896), the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ (early to mid 4th/10th century), the Ismaili dāʿīs Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī (d. after 361/971) and Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī (d. after 411/1020), Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) and ʿAyn al-Quḍāt (d. 526/1131), Ibn al-ʿArabī (d. 638/1240), ʿAbdal-Karīm al-Shahrastānī (d. 548/1153), and Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274). I argue that the “Light of Muḥammad” as a theological and metaphysical idea evolved historically through three distinct but cumulative phases of conceptualization: mytho-cosmological narrative, Neoplatonization, and ontological theophanization. Through these developments, the theological status of the Light of Muḥammad underwent a gradual but decisive shift from being reckoned as the first spiritual creation of God in the early period to being revered as the ontological self-manifestation of God in later periods

Metaphysics Of Muhammad (Andani)

The Sound of Silence – William C. Chittick


“I tried to imagine how the authors of the old texts that I read would have reacted to the phrase “the silence of God.” Probably they would have muttered, “Try listening for once.” Or they might have quoted the Qur’anic verse, “They have hearts but they do not understand with them, they have eyes but they do not see with them, theyhave ears but they do not hear with them”(7:179).The word silence (in Arabic,śamt ) is the opposite of speech (kalām). Muslim theologians and philosophers consider speech an essential attribute ot the divine reality. In other words, by definition, God speaks, constantly and forever, whether or not there are listeners to hear. In the”


Sulamī’s Treatise on the Science of the Letters (ʿilm al-ḥurūf)


“The terms, “Sufism” and “the Science of the Letters” ( ilm al-ḥurūf)’ mentioned together frequently awaken associations with the most widely known work on magic in Islam, Shams al-ma’arifwa-lata’i], al-‘awiirif(“The Brilliance of Knowledge and the Subtleties of its Gift”) of Abii l-‘Abbas Ahmad b. ‘Ali al-Buni ( d.622/1225).The author was a native of the town of Bone (i.e., ‘Annaba) on the Mediterranean coast between Algiers and Tunis, an old Phoenician settlement that became known as the Roman city of Hippo, the bishopric of Saint Augustine (395-430 ), which passed into the hands of the Muslim conquerors in the beginning of the second eighth century. The Shams al-ma’iirif exists in three versions, a short one, the oldest ( dated 618/1221), a middle-sized one, and a long one. the work may be best understood as a kind of encyclopedia of magical”

Sulami's Treatise On The Science Of Letters (Bowering)

The Set of the Real: Mathematical Implications of the Metaphysics of René Guénon – Peter Samsel


“René Guénon, the seminal founder of the Traditionalist School, was also perhaps its preeminent metaphysician. More particularly, he was the plenary expositor of a metaphysics through which mathematical conceptualization runs like a golden thread. As Frithjof Schuon, another remarkable metaphysician, has observed, “Guénon was like the personification, not of spirituality as such, but uniquely of metaphysical certainty; or of metaphysical self- evidence in mathematical mode…”2 As is well known, Guénon’s primary intellectual formation prior to his plunge into the esoteric was that of mathematics, which he both studied and taught for many years.3 In this, he followed a well established tradition of linkage between mathematics and metaphysics extending back to such figures as Pythagoras and Plato.4 Indeed, mathematics in”

The Set Of The Real (Samsel)

Vicegerency and Nature:Ibn ‘Arabī on Humanity’s Existential Protection of the World –


“Human beings are the vicegerents of God on earth and thus also are the stewards of nature.1 This paraphrases one of the main themes of the re- lationship between humanity and the natural environment in the Islamic world, as well as in other religious traditions. Vicegerency implies a spe- cific relationship between God, humanity, and nature, as well as a par- ticular metaphysics, which is what I seek to expound here. The Islamic intellectual response to the ecological crisis began with the writings of Seyyed Hossein Nasr. His summary of vicegerency—or of human purpose in relation to God and to the world—constitutes the foundational treatment of vicegrency in the contemporary discourse on Islamic environmentalism, so it is helpful to begin with it here”

Vicegerency And Nature (Murad)