Journal of Sufi Studies Review of Poetry in Praise of Prophetic Perfection


“Scholarship on Islam in Africa has long been in need of comprehensive work on West African madīḥ (i.e. Arabic poetry in praise of the Prophet Muhammad).Recent articles have explicitly called for such an endeavor,󰀱 and the time has come to fully exorcise the “Islam noir” specter󰀲 that has compelled those who write on West African madīḥ to characterize it pejoratively as, in the words of John Hunwick, “often highly stylized, deeply stamped with the metaphors and clichés of Arabic models of former ages … sometimes managing] to rise above the merely imitative or artificial.” Oludamini Ogunnaike’s Poetry in Praise of Prophetic Perfection is remarkably brief, but as the first monograph on the subject in English, it does the necessary work of sketching out the contours of the corpus and demonstrating how it should be understood and appreciated”


Islamic Africa Book Review of Poetry in Praise of Prophetic Perfection – Oludamini Ogunnaike


Rumi: Swallowing the Sun – Poems Translated from Persian


“The extraordinary success and influence of certain translations and adap- tations of Persian poetry into western languages – those by Sir William Jones, Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Rückert, August von Platen, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward FitzGerald, Basil Bunting, Robert Bly, Coleman Barks and Dick Davis – makes the burden of the translation past and present especially weighty. A meta-translation question must therefore be resolved in the mind of any would-be Persian translator before they begin: who is the intended audience of this translation, and”

Rumi, Swallowing The Sun (trans. Lewis)

The Poetics of Shuhūd – Ibn al-ʿArabī’s Enamored Heart’ and the Composition of Erotic Poetry


“To consider Muḥyī al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn al-ʿArabī (d.638/1240) as the expounder of his own poetic theory, or at least strands of a theory, opens up exciting opportunities for scholars and admirers of Sufism and Sufi poetry. Not only does Ibn al-ʿArabī have much to say about almost every facet of the sciences held important by Arabic writers in his age, he also usually manages to place each discussion within a larger visionary and ontological framework. That framework (even if reinterpreted and eventually somewhat altered) found a captive audience among thinkers and practitioners of Sufism to such an extent, that it is not difficult to label Ibn al-ʿArabī”

The Poetics Of Shuhud (Zargar)

Ahmad Ghazali, Inspirations from the World of Pure Spirits (trans. Pourjavady)


The present volume is a complete translation of the Sawani!J, written by the Persian Sufi master Ahmad Ghazzali with a commentary by the translator. The fame of the author, as A.J. Arberry rightly states, “has been overshadowed by that of his illustrious brother” 1 Abu Hamid Muhammad Ghazzili (4-50/I058-505/1 l I l). The exact date of Ahmad’s birth is not known, but we know that he was only a few years younger than his brother, and died fifteen years after him in 520/1126. He spent most of his life preaching in mosques

Ahmad Ghazali, Inspirations From The World Of Pure Spirits (trans. Pourjavady)

The Wine Song (Khamriyyah) of Ibn Al-Farid

The Wine Song of Ibn Farid

Shaykh Umar Ibn al-Farid was an Egyptian scholar of Islamic law, and a teacher of Hadith.  His poetry is considered by many to be the the very height of Arabic Sufi literature.

The Mystic Rose Garden (Gulshan i Raz) by Mahmud Shabistari

The Mystic Rose Garden

The Gulshan i Raz  is a collection of poems written in 1317 A.D. (717 A.H.) by Shaykh Sa’ad Al-Din Mahmud Shabistari in the mathnawi form. It is considered to be one of the greatest Persian works of Sufism.  The poem is in response to a series of fifteen questions on Sufism asked of Shabistari by the scholar Rukh Al-Din Amir Husayn Harawi.

The Garden of Fragrance (Bustan) of Sadi

The Garden of Fragrance

The Bustan is a book of poetry by the the great Persian poet Sa’adi Shirazi.  Written in the mathnawi style it was completed in 1257.