Mystical Dimensions of Islam by Annemarie Schimmel

By Annemarie Schimmel

Mystical Dimensions of Islam offers, 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 student of jap religions, attracts the reader into the temper, the imaginative and prescient, the way in which of the Sufi in a fashion that provides an important component 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 assorted levels, together with classical voluntarism and postclassical theosophical mystical traits. specific emphasis is put on religious schooling, the several methods of major the mystic towards the existential awareness of the profound secret of the career of religion that "there is not 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 excellent and evil, are implied. the most burden of the textual content, in spite of the fact that, is Sufism as mirrored in Islamic poetry, and Professor Schimmel examines a few of the points of mystical poetry in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sindhi, Panjabi, and Pashto. the writer skillfully demonstrates how Sufi beliefs permeated the full textile of Muslim existence, delivering the common Muslim—villager or intellectual—with the virtues of excellent belief in God and the loving hand over to God's will.Professor Schimmel's lengthy acquaintance with Turkey, Iran, and the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent presents a distinct emphasis to the research, and the author's own wisdom of Sufi perform in those areas lends a modern relevance to her paintings.

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Nicholson , "A Historica l Enquir y concernin g th e Origi n an d Developmen t o f Sufism, " Journal o f the Royal Asiatic Society, 1906 , p . 303 ; Richar d Hartmann , "Zu r Frag e nac h de r Her kunft un d de n Anfange n de s Sufitums, " De r Islam 6 (1915) ; Annemari e Schimmel , "The Origi n an d Earl y Developmen t o f Sufism, " Journal o f th e Pakistan Historical Society, 1958 . 14. Max Horten , Indische Stromungen i n de r islamischen Mystik (Heidelberg , 1927-28); lik e hi s articl e "De r Sin n de r islamische n Mystik, " Scientia, July 1927 , this book shoul d b e use d wit h caution .

On Korani c exegesis se e Igna z Goldziher , Di e Richtungen der islamischen Ko ranauslegung (Leiden , 1920) ; Pau l Nwyia , Exegese coranique e t langage mystique (Beirut, 1970) , an excellen t analysi s of earl y Suf i language , add s t o Loui s Massignon' s classical study, Essai sur les origines du lexique technique d e l a mystique musulmane, gd ed. (Paris , 1968) . H I S T O R I C A L O U T L I N E S OF C L A S S I C A L S U F I S M / 25 "essential textboo k o f hi s sciences , th e ke y fo r hi s Weltanschauung," a s Louis Massigno n ha s pu t i t ( P 465) .

Further, the recitation of the Kora n was an important means of leading the spiri t int o a meditativ e state , or eve n o f producin g a mystical rapture. Recited in beautiful tones, the rhythmic and musical wording o f the hol y boo k carrie d th e mind s o f the devou t int o highe r spheres an d migh t ope n a higher leve l of understandin g t o them . The languag e of th e Kora n was common t o Muslim s all ove r th e world; it has helped to shape the expressions not only of theologians or lawyer divines but o f poets and me n o f letters; it permeate d th e Islamic community as a living force.

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