State University of New York Press

SUNY series in Islam

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series in Islam

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Charismatic Community, The

Shi'ite Identity in Early Islam

The Charismatic Community examines the rise and development of Shi>ite religious identity in early Islamic history, analyzing the complex historical and intellectual processes that shaped the sense of individual and communal religious vocation. The book reveals the profound and continually evolving connection between the spiritual ideals of the Shi>ite movement and the practical processes of community formation. Author Maria Massi Dakake traces the Qurite Imam, >Ali b. Abi Talib. Dakake argues that walaµyah pertains not only to the charisma of the Shi>ite leadership and devotion to them, but also to solidarity and loyalty among the members of the community itself. She also looks at the ways in which doctrinal developments reflected and served the practical needs of the Shi>ite community, the establishment of identifiable boundaries and minimum requirements of communal membership, the meaning of women’s affiliation and identification with the Shi>ite movement, and Shi>ite efforts to engender a more normative and less confrontational attitude toward the non-Shi>ite Muslim community.

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Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam

An Architectural Reading of Mystical Ideas

This fascinating interdisciplinary study reveals connections between architecture, cosmology, and mysticism. Samer Akkach demonstrates how space ordering in premodern Islamic architecture reflects the transcendental and the sublime. The book features many new translations, a number from unpublished sources, and several illustrations. Referencing a wide range of mystical texts, and with a special focus on the works of the great Sufi master Ibn >Arabiµ, Akkach introduces a notion of spatial sensibility that is shaped by religious conceptions of time and space. Religious beliefs about the cosmos, geography, the human body, and constructed forms are all underpinned by a consistent spatial sensibility anchored in medieval geocentrism. Within this geometrically defined and ordered universe, nothing stands in isolation or ambiguity; everything is interrelated and carefully positioned in an intricate hierarchy. Through detailed mapping of this intricate order, the book shows the significance of this mode of seeing the world for those who lived in the premodern Islamic era and how cosmological ideas became manifest in the buildings and spaces of their everyday lives. This is a highly original work that provides important insights on Islamic aesthetics and culture, on the history of architecture, and on the relationship of art and religion, creativity and spirituality.

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Kernel of the Kernel

Concerning the Wayfaring and Spiritual Journey of the People of Intellect (Risala-yi Lubb al-Lubab dar Sayr wa Suluk-i Ulu'l Albab) A Shi'i Approach to Sufism

Kernel of the Kernel is an authoritative work on Sufism from a Shiµ>iµ perspective that is not only fascinating, but also contains much practical advice. In addition to providing a theoretical discussion of spiritual wayfaring, it is also the account of a personal fifty-year spiritual journey by Sayyid Muh|ammad H|usayn T|abaµt \abaµiµ scholar and spiritual master. In Kernel of the Kernel, T|abaµt \abaµism as well as the role of Shiµ>iµ Imams in the spiritual realization of a sincere wayfarer.

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Sanctity and Mysticism in Medieval Egypt

The Wafa Sufi Order and the Legacy of Ibn 'Arabi

Using the original writings of two Egyptian Sufis, Muh\ammad Wafaµ< and his son >Aliµ, this book shows how the Islamic idea of sainthood developed in the medieval period. Although without a church to canonize its “saints,” the Islamic tradition nevertheless debated and developed a variety of ideas concerning miracles, sanctity, saintly intermediaries, and pious role models. In the writings of the WafaµAliµ Wafaµ< drew on earlier philosophical and gnostic currents to construct their own mystical theories and notes their debt to the Sufi order of the Shaµdhiliyya, the mystic al-Tirmidhiµ, and the great Sufi thinker Ibn >Arabiµ. Notably, although located firmly within the Sunni tradition, the Wafaµ

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