By A. J. Arberry

"A concise yet actual account of varied sayings and teachings of Muslim Sufis." — Islamic Review
Islam's mystical aspect, Sufism, bargains believers a version of worship that transcends orthodox rituals and rite for direct, unmediated touch with the Divine. This quantity was once the 1st concise heritage of Sufism to seem in any language — and it is still the best.
Noted pupil A. J. Arberry bargains insights into each point of Sufism, from interpretation of the be aware of God and the lifetime of the Prophet, to issues of ascetics and mystics. different issues contain the theorists of Sufism, the constitution of Sufi idea and perform, the Sufi orders, the theosophy of Islamic mysticism, the Persian poets, the decay of Sufism, and more.
Readers with an curiosity in mysticism, Islamic notion, or spiritual ritual will relish this scholarly, but available advent to a tremendous and hugely influential portion of Muslim non secular practice.

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Though from my gaze profound Deep awe hath hid Thy Face, In wondrous and ecstatic Grace I feel Thee touch my inmost ground. When al-Junaid in this way was succeeding to escape from the mortal peril of preaching the apotheosis of man, his junior contemporary al-Hallaj was not so fortunate in his reading of the riddle of existence, and being condemned for blasphemy he was executed upon the cross in 309 /92 2 . He went along with al-Junaid so far as seeing in the supreme mystical experience a reunion with God ; but he then proceeded further and taught that man may thus be viewed as very God Incarnate, taking as his example not, as one might suppose, Muhammad, but Jesus.

It was after all not a difficult transition to make from saying that all else but God is nothing (which is the logical outcome of the extreme ascetic teaching that the world is worthless and only God' s service is a proper preoccupation of the believer's heart) , to claiming that when self as well as the world has been cast aside the mystic has passed away into God. Credit for reconciling this daring but logical develop­ ment with the orthodox doctrines of the Divine Unity (tauhid) is sometimes assigned to Ahmad b.

If ! " 2 5 With her name is generally associated the first enunciation in Sufism of the doctrine of Divine Love, which later came to be so dominant a feature of the movement : her short poem on this theme is one of the most often quoted in Sufi literature. Two ways I love Thee: selfishly, And next, as worthy is of Thee. 'Tis selfish love that I do naught Save think on Thee with every thought. 'Tis purest love when Thou dost raise The veil to my adoring gaze. Not mine the praise in that or this : Thine is the praise in both, I wis.

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Sufism : An Account of the Mystics of Islam by A. J. Arberry


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