By Annemarie Schimmel
Mystical Dimensions of Islam provides, for the 1st time, a balanced ancient therapy of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism—Islamic mysticism—from its beginnings during the 19th century. via her sensitivity and deep knowing of the topic, Annemarie Schimmel, an eminent pupil of japanese religions, attracts the reader into the temper, the imaginative and prescient, the best way of the Sufi in a way that provides an important aspect to her research of the historical past of Sufism.After exploring the origins of the magical circulate within the meditations of orthodox Muslims at the Koran and the prophetic culture, the writer then discusses the improvement of its diversified phases, together with classical voluntarism and postclassical theosophical mystical tendencies. specific emphasis is put on non secular schooling, different methods of major the mystic towards the existential consciousness of the profound secret of the career of religion that "there isn't any deity yet God." Sufi psychology and Sufi orders and fraternities are comprehensively explored.Through an exam of mystical anthropology, which culminates within the veneration of the prophet and the saints, the questions of unfastened will and predestination, of fine and evil, are implied. the most burden of the textual content, despite the fact that, is Sufism as mirrored in Islamic poetry, and Professor Schimmel examines some of the features of mystical poetry in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sindhi, Panjabi, and Pashto. the writer skillfully demonstrates how Sufi beliefs permeated the complete cloth of Muslim existence, delivering the typical Muslim—villager or intellectual—with the virtues of excellent belief in God and the loving quit to God's will.Professor Schimmel's lengthy acquaintance with Turkey, Iran, and the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent presents a special emphasis to the examine, and the author's own wisdom of Sufi perform in those areas lends a modern relevance to her paintings.
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Additional info for Mystical Dimensions of Islam
Reynold A . Nicholson, Th e Mystics o f Islam (1914 ; reprin t ed. , 1962) , is still a classic , thoug h i t i s outdate d a t certai n places . Hi s Studies i n Is lamic Mysticism (1921 ; reprin t ed. , Cambridge , 1967) , contain s thre e excellen t studie s on outstandin g personalitie s (Ab u Sa cld, Ib n al-Farid . Jill) ; an d hi s Th e Idea o f Personality i n Sufism (Cambridge , 1923 ) is a collection of lectures . 11. Adalbert Merx , Ideen und Grundlinien einer allgemeinen Geschichte de r Mystik (Heidelberg , 1893) .
Go d has "put sign s into nature an d int o th e huma n soul " (Sura 51:21), and i t is necessary to see and t o understand them . God, a s revealed i n th e Koran , i s both th e ster n Judg e an d th e Merciful an d Compassionate ; He is All-knowing and Wise, but H e is also the Mos t Cunning . Th e numerou s an d ofte n contradictor y attributes given to Allah in the Kora n for m th e chain of the ninetynine mos t beautiful names—names that wer e to pla y an importan t role i n late r mystica l theorie s an d i n th e lif e o f praye r an d wer e sometimes use d i n almos t magica l connections .
23 The Sufi s claime d tha t th e whol e wisdo m wa s included i n th e letter alif, th e firs t lette r i n th e alphabe t an d symbo l of Go d (se e Appendix i) . Are not many scholars who rely upon book s "like th e donkey whic h carrie s books " (Sur a 62:5) ? Di d no t Noa h liv e fo r nine hundre d years , with onl y th e recollectio n o f God ? And , a s Rumi adds with a slightly ironical bent, "h e had not read th e risdla nor th e Qut al-qulub" ( M 6:2652-53), the tw o handbooks of moderate Sufism .
Mystical Dimensions of Islam by Annemarie Schimmel