Tag Archive for: Sufism

Beauty and Tradition with Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr

The Semantics of Gratitude (Shukr) in the Qurʾān – Joseph E. B. Lumbard College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar

Abstract:

Since the publication of Toshihiko Izutsu’s The Structure of Ethical Terms in the Qurʾan in 1959, scholars of Islam have recognized that gratitude (shukr) is central to the ethicoreligious worldview conveyed by the Qurʾān. Izutsu further developed this analysis in God and Man in the Qurʾan and Ethico-Religious concepts in the Qurʾan. Ida Zilio-Grade enhances our understanding by providing linguistic analysis of shukr, and Atif Khalil examines the understanding of shukr in Sufi texts. This paper draws the connections between these three approaches. It expands upon Zilio-Grade’s linguistic analysis by examining the root sh-k-r and analyzing the differences between the uses of shākir (thankful) and shakūr (ever-grateful) when used in relation to the human being and when used in relation to God. It then demonstrates that expanding the analysis of contextual semantic fields employed by Izutsu to include intertextual semantic fields reveals how shukr is related to the cognitive faculties of the human being. The paper concludes by examining how authors such as a-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111), al-Tilimsānī (d. 773/1291), and Aḥmad al-Tijānī (d. 1230/1815) addressed the paradoxes to which this Qurʾānic presentation of shukr gives rise.

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The Qur’an in the Thought of Ibn ‘Arabi (Routledge Companion to the Qur’an, 2022)

Abstract:

“Paul Nwyia once wrote that the early Sufis were engaged in “the Qur’anization of memory,”1 a process that Ibn ޏArabī (d. 1240) seems to have taken to its logical extreme. By his time the various fields of Islamic learning had become subdivided into many specialties, some of which had little apparent connection with the founding revelation. His immense and highly sophisticated output, energized by the vision of tawhīd, reintegrated and harmonized these sciences – especially jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, Sufism, Kalam, and philosophy – by tying them back explicitly to the Qur’an, even if he did not do this in any systematic manner. 2 Like the Qur’an, he writes, his style does not follow standard rational procedures, deriving instead from the very roots of reality itself.3 Although he constantly interprets Qur’anic verses and terminology, he does so from a variety of shifting standpoints, so the whole range of his explications did not fit into any specific genre (such as ishāra as exemplified by Qushayrī’s, d. 1074, Latā if al-ishārāt, or tawīl like the commentary of ޏAbd al-Razzāq Kāshānī, d. circa 1330). As for the systematic versions of his teachings that spread to every corner of the Islamic world, these were the work of his followers and tended to obscure the fact that his formulations were typically offered as explanations of the sacred text”

Journal of Islamic Philosophy 6: A Special Issue on Mulla Sadra

Abstract:

Mohammed Rustom is Professor of Islamic Thought at Carleton University. He has been the recipient of a number of academic distinctions and prizes such as the Ibn ‘Arabi Society Latina’s Tarjuman Prize (Spain), a Templeton Foundation/University of Birmingham Global Philosophy of Religion grant (USA/UK), a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Fellowship (Canada), the 21st International Book of the Year Prize (Iran), The Institute of Ismaili Studies’ Annemarie Schimmel Fellowship (UK), and Senior Fellowships courtesy of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute’s Library of Arabic Literature and Humanities Research Fellowship programs (UAE). An internationally recognized scholar whose works have been translated into over ten languages, Professor Rustom’s research focuses on Islamic philosophy, Sufism, Quranic exegesis, and cross-cultural philosophy. He is also Editor of Equinox Publishing’s Global Philosophy series, Associate Editor of the Journal of Sufi Studies (Brill), Commissioning Editor of the Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society (JMIAS), and Editorial Board member of the Library of Arabic Literature (NYU Press). This profile is maintained by students of Professor Rustom.”

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One Step to God: ‘Ayn al-Qozat on the Journey of the Heart – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract:

An age-old myth is that ‘Ayn al-Qozat was put to death by the “orthodox” Seljuqs because his teachings squarely contradicted mainstream Muslim theology. But as we now know, the reasons for his death had nothing to do with his ideas and were largely political. ‘Ayn al-Qozat, a very prominent voice in Hamadani society and a person of great public influence, was a vehement critic of the Seljuq regime and its injustices towards the poor and the needy. Itwas therefore in the Seljuqs’ best interest to murder ‘Ayn al-Qozat, and to do so by justifying it as a state-sponsored execution of a person proven to have been a “heretic.”

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Philosophical Sufism in the Sokoto Caliphate: The Case of Shaykh Dan Tafa – Oludamini Ogunnaike

Abstract:

It has long been assumed that the discipline of falsafa (Islamic philosophy) died out in the Western lands of the Islamic world after the fall of Andalusia, and that philosophical intellectual work was largely limited to the disciplines of theology (kalām) and Sufism (taṣawwuf). Moreover, the more creative and discursive tradition of theoretical of philosophical Sufism is also supposed to have migrated East in the 13th-C along with figures such as Ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1240) and Ibn Sab‘in (d. 1271). However, the oeuvre of the Sokoto scholar Shaykh ‘abd al-Qādir ibn Muṣṭafā (d. 1864) (better known as dan Tafa, the grandson of Shaykh ‘Uthmān dan Fodio) poses a significant challenge to these assumptions.  Shaykh Dan Tafa’s works include a defense of philosophy, a treatise on universals (kulliyāt), a versified introduction to the study of philosophy, a critical evaluation of materialist and naturalist philosophies, as well as several works of philosophical Sufism, including a treatise on certain topics from ‘abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī’s masterpiece of Philosophical Sufism, al-Insān al-Kāmil. It seems unlikely that Shaykh Dan Tafa studied and produced these works entirely on his own, indicating the existence of little-known West African traditions of Islamic philosophy and philosophical Sufism. This chapter evaluates some of Shaykh Dan Tafa’s works and their ramifications for our understanding of the history of Islamic philosophy and philosophical Sufism in West Africa, and the role of these two traditions in the intellectual history the region.

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

Abstract:

“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”

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The Importance of Sufism in Chinese Islam (with Sachiko Murata)

Abstract:

Cemalnur Sargut Hocam asked us to say something about the significance of the Kenan Rifai Chair of Islamic Studies at Peking University, which we inaugurated in the Spring of 2012. As many of you know, the Kenan Rifai Chair is housed in Te Institute of Advanced Humanistic Studies. The Institute was founded by Professor u Weiming in 2010 shortly after he retired after thirty years at Harvard. During our timein China we taught one course at Peking University, another at Minzu University, and we participated in several conferences and workshops. We met many of the foremost Chinese scholars of Islam and we had a number of talented students

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Actionless Action – Mohammed Rustom

Abstract:

“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

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