Posts

Poised on the Higher Horizon: Seeing God in the Sahara – Ariela Marcus-Sells

Abstract:

“This article presents an Arabic transcription and complete English translation of an untitled text – labelled “Khalwa ” in the manuscript catalogue – attributed to S ī d ī  al-Mukhtār al-Kunt ī , a Saharan scholar and Suteacher of the late-eighteenth century. In the accompanying commentary, I demonstrate how this textdraws together two passages in the Qur’ān: the ambiguous visionary encounters of 53:1-18 and Moses’srequest to see God in 7:142-143 to argue that, unlike Moses, Muḥammad received a direct vision of God. I further argue that, for S ī di al-Mukhtār al-Kunt ī , the question of seeing God was linked to his concern over legitimate and illegitimate knowledge from the realm of the unseen (ʿālam al-ghayb ). Intertextual references demonstrate that S ī d ī  al-Mukhtār understood the friends of God to occupy the same role in thespiritual hierarchy as Muḥammad and the prophets. Read in this context, “Khalwa ” suggests that the friends of God might be able to follow Muḥammad’s example, see God with their own eyes, and thus master the sciences of the unseen”

Poised_on_the_Higher_Horizon_Seeing_God

ISLAM, YOGA AND MEDITATION (from Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies) – Patrick DSilva

Abstract:

How have Muslims responded to, engaged with and developed original versions of yoga and meditation? This chapter provides a brief historical overview with an emphasis on Muslim communities in South Asia, especially during the Mughal period. This first part of the chapter establishes the basic framework for understanding the earliest surviving texts demonstrating Muslim engagement with yoga in South Asia, as well as the most important texts and individuals who stand out as key examples of how this engagement develops over subsequent centuries. This chapter also pays special attention to the translation and circulation of a set of Śaivite divination techniques centred on the breath known as Śiva-svarodaya (sometimes svara-yoga or svara-jñāna) from Sanskrit and Hindi into Persian and Arabic as ilm-i dam/ilm al-dam (‘the science of the breath’).1 The second part examines meditation, with an emphasis on the Sufi rituals known as dhikr, the ‘remembrance’ of God. The third section analyses contemporary concerns and controversies regarding Muslims and yoga

ISLAM_YOGA_AND_MEDITATION_from_Routledge

Review of Sufism and Deconstruction: A Comparative Study of Derrida and Ibn ‘Arabi by Ian Almond

Abstract:

When William C. Chittick published his encyclopedic Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Metaphysics of Imagination almost thirty years ago, he made readily available to the English speaking world,for the first time, lengthy excerpts drawn primarily from the thirteenth century Andalusian thinker’s most comprehensive summation of Sufi thought in the Meccan Revelations. Chittick’s most significant contribu-tion, arguably, lay in the virtually unparalleled lucidity with which he introduced and translated a range of key passages authored by a medieval figure notorious for his often elliptical and allusive style of writing. This was a tremendous accomplishment for a single scholar, the full extent of which can be measured today by SPK’s standing as probably the most widely cited secondary source in the field of Ibn al-‘Arabi studies

Review_of_Sufism_and_Deconstruction_A_Co

Universal Science: An Introduction to Islamic Metaphysics

Abstract:

“These observations on the centrality of philosophy in the human experience, by the author of ʿIlm-i kullī, are redolent with the wisdom of the living Islamic philosophical tradition, a tradition which survives in all its fullness into our own times only among the Shīʿah. Āyatullāh Mahdī Ḥāʾirī Yazdī was not only an authority on all aspects of the Shīʿah intellectual tradition, but he was also among the few such authorities in its history to have acquired the highest phil- osophical credentials from a Western university and written works of great insight in the light of his twin intellectual attainments.2 Glimpses from the ex- traordinary story of Mahdī Ḥāʾirī Yazdī’s life journey are offered herein by way of introduction to the English translation of his Universal Science (ʿIlm-i kullī). In this work his own journey intersected with that of another seeker of knowl- edge, John Yaḥyā Cooper (24 August 1947 – 9 January 1998), who commenced its”

Hairi Yazdi, Universal Science, An Introduction To Islamic Metaphysics (trans. Cooper)

THE PHILOSOPHY OF SEYYED HOSSEIN NASR

Abstract:

“There is a well-known saying of’All ibn Abi ‘falib, the cousin and son-in­ law of the Prophet of Islam and representative par excellence of Islamic esoterism and metaphysics, according to which one should pay attention to what is said and not who has said it. This teaching has been close to my heart since my youth and rarely have I accepted to write something of an
autobiographical nature. But the Library of Living Philosophers requires a work of such a nature from the person with whose thought a particular volume is concerned. Therefore, with some reticence I tum to this task. Once”

Auxier, Hahn, And Stone (eds.), The Philosophy Of Seyyed Hossein Nasr


The Sufi Doctrine of Man – Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qūnawī’s Metaphysical Anthropology

Abstract:

“Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qūnawī (d. 673/1274) was the foremost disciple of the great Andalusī mystic, Muḥyī-l-Dīn Ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240) and played a pivotal role in disseminating his teachings. Although less famous than his master, Qūnawī has traditionally been recognised both as a key interpreter of Ibn ʿArabī’s work and as a sophisticated metaphysician in his own right. Yet for almost half a century now, since Osman Yahia’s1 and Henri Corbin’s2 respective studies on Ibn ʿArabī first brought the figure of his chief disciple to the wider attention of western scholarship, there has emerged no full-length examination of Qūnawī’s thought.”

Todd, The Sufi Doctrine Of Man

Devil’s Advocate: ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s Defence of Iblis in Context – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract:

The writings of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt Hamadānī (d. 525/1131) anticipate some of the major trends that characterize the post-Avicennan ḥikmat tradition. But modern scholarship has as of yet not completely come to grips with the far-reaching implications of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s teachings, many of which are framed in terms of the symbolic language and imagery of the Persian Sufi school of passionate love (madhhab-i ʿishq) and the defence of the devil’s monotheism (tawḥīd-i Iblīs). The focus in this article will be upon this lat- ter aspect of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s Sufi doctrine. Upon closer inspection, his “Satanology” (for lack of a better term) turns out to not only be concerned with a defence of the devil as a tragic, fallen lover of God; it is also intimately related to our author’s robust theodicy, as well as his theory of human freedom and constraint. At the same time, ʿAyn al-Quḍāt’s defence of Iblis demonstrates his understanding of philosophical and theological discourse as themselves symbolic representations of another, higher form of being and knowing.

Devil's Advocate (SI 115.1, 2020)

Review of Kaukua, Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy – Mohammed Rustom

Review Of Kaukua, Self-Awareness In Islamic Philosophy (JAOS 138.1, 2018)

Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy:Mullā Ṣadrā on Existence, Intellect, and Intuition –

Abstract:

This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Ansubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of aninstructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.

Review Of Kaukua, Self-Awareness In Islamic Philosophy (JAOS 138.1, 2018)

Sufism, Islamic Philosophy, and Education in West Africa – Oludamini Ogunnaike

Abstarct:

“West Africa has been home to and contributed to the development of several important Islamic intellectual traditions, including logic (manṭiq), theology (kalām), Sufism(taṣawwuf), legal philosophy (uṣūl al-fiqh), and even philosophy (falsafa)—all of which influenced the distinctive forms of pedagogy that emerged in West Africa, in which ritualpractice, physical presence, and the cultivation of virtue and adab (manners, a particularhabitus) played an important role. The 20th and 21st centuries”

Sufism_Islamic_Philosophy_and_Education

Love in Islamic Thought – William C. Chittick

Abstract:

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.

Love_in_Islamic_Thought