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The Principles of Sufism

'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah

Publication Year: 2014

'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah (d. 923 H/1517 AD) of Damascus was one of the great women scholars in Islamic history. A mystic and prolific poet and writer, 'A'ishah composed more works in Arabic than any other woman before the 20th century. Yet despite her extraordinary literary and religious achievements, 'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah remains largely unknown. For the first time her key work, The Principles of Sufism, is available in English translation.
 
The Principles of Sufism is a mystical guide book to help others on their spiritual path. She recounts the fundamental stages and states of the spiritual novice’s transformative journey, emphasizing the importance of embracing both human limitations and God’s limitless love. Drawing on lessons and readings from centuries-old Sufi tradition, 'A'ishah advises the seeker to repent of selfishness and turn to a sincere life of love. In addition to his lucid translation, Th. Emil Homerin provides an insightful introduction, notes and a glossary to 'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah’s remarkable account of the pursuit of mystical illumination.

Published by: NYU Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-ii

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Letter from the General Editor

Philip F. Kennedy

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pp. iii-viii

The Library of Arabic Literature is a new series offering Arabic editions and English translations of key works of classical and pre-modern Arabic literature, as well as anthologies and thematic readers. Books in the series are edited and translated by distinguished scholars of Arabic and Islamic studies, and...

Table of Contents

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pp. ix-

Abbreviations

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pp. x-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This project has taken shape over a number of years, and has had the support of many institutions and foundations. I am grateful for the support of the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the University of Rochester. In Egypt, I was...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xix

ʿĀʾishah al-Bāʿūniyyah (d. 923/1517) was an exceptional Muslim scholar. She was a mystic, and a prolific poet and writer, composing more works in Arabic than any other woman prior to the twentieth century. In her writings, ʿĀʾishah often speaks of her abiding love for God and His prophet Muḥammad, and her quest for...

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A Note on the Text

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pp. xx-

This Arabic edition and English translation of The Principles of Sufism are based on al-Muntakhab fī uṣūl al-rutab fī ʿilm al-taṣawwuf, manuscript 318 (Taṣawwuf Taymūr) in Cairo’s Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣriyyah, and dated 1071/1661. ʿĀʾishah’s writings have been carefully read and copied in Arabic for centuries, and so...

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The Principles of Sufism

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pp. 1-6

Praise God, who pours His aid upon His beloved ones as a special allotment and reward, quenching their hearts from the drink of oneness with love and purity, revealing Himself to their inner hearts in glory and beauty, and gracing them with gifts of proximity in contemplation and union. I praise Him...

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The First Principle: Repentance (Tawbah)

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pp. 7-36

God the Exalted has said, «Turn to God, together, O believers, that you might be successful.»2 The Exalted has said, «Seek forgiveness from your Lord, then turn to Him in repentance,»3 and the Exalted has said, «O you who believe, turn to God with sincere repentance!»4 The Exalted has said, «And those who...

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The Second Principle: Sincerity (Ikhlas)

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pp. 37-62

God the Exalted has said, «Worship God sincerely, dedicating faith to Him alone.»60 He has said, «Say, “I was ordered to worship God sincerely, dedicating faith to Him alone.”»61 He the Exalted has said, «They were ordered only to worship God sincerely, dedicating faith to Him alone.»62...

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The Third Principle: Remembrance (Dhikr)

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pp. 63-96

God the Exalted has said, «Therefore, remember Me, and I will remember you.»99 Al-Qushayrī, may God be pleased with him, writes: The way for the literalists is: «Therefore remember Me» with proper conduct, «and I will remember you» with miracles. But for...

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The Fourth Principle: Love (Mahabbah)

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pp. 97-142

God the Exalted has said, «Say, “If you love God, then follow me, and God will love you!”»150 Al-Qushayrī writes: Love requires the total effacement of yourself such that you are consumed in your beloved. A Sufi said,151 There is no love till eyes flow with tears,...

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Epilogue on Love

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pp. 143-166

At the conclusion of this book, God the Exalted inspired us with mystical truths, in both poetry and prose, regarding this very special love. They are appropriately placed here as an epilogue to this work. We ask God’s help, and He «suffices us and is the best trustee»!222 Know, may God show you mercy, that love is God’s most wondrous secret...

Notes

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pp. 167-176

Glossary of Names and Terms

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pp. 177-187

Bibliography

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pp. 188-190

Further Reading

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pp. 191-

Index

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pp. 192-197

About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

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pp. 198-

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About the Typefaces

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p. 199-199

The Arabic body text is set in DecoType Naskh, designed by Thomas Milo and Mirjam Somers, based on an analysis of five centuries of Ottoman manuscript practice. The exceptionally legible result is the first and only typeface in a style that fully implements the principles of script grammar (qawāʿid al-khaṭṭ)....

About the Editor-Translator

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pp. 200-


E-ISBN-13: 9780814745168
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814745281
Print-ISBN-10: 0814745288

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2014