Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaikh Ahmad Al-'Alawi, His Spiritual Heritage & Legacy

Overview

'Almost a prerequisite for any serious study of Sufism in European languages': this was the verdict of Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his review of the first edition of the book. According to the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, it is 'one of the most thorough and intimately engaging books on Sufism to be produced by a Western scholar'. Certainly there is nothing second-hand about it. The author lets Sufis speak for themselves and, in a series of unusual and absorbing texts mainly translated from Arabic, he gives a vivid...

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Overview

'Almost a prerequisite for any serious study of Sufism in European languages': this was the verdict of Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his review of the first edition of the book. According to the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, it is 'one of the most thorough and intimately engaging books on Sufism to be produced by a Western scholar'. Certainly there is nothing second-hand about it. The author lets Sufis speak for themselves and, in a series of unusual and absorbing texts mainly translated from Arabic, he gives a vivid picture of life in a North African Sufi order. Against this background stands the unforgettable figure of the Algerian Shaikh who was head of the order from 1909 until his death in 1934. The last few chapters are mainly devoted to his writings, which include some penetrating aphorisms, and which end with a small anthology of his remarkable mystic poems.

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What People Are Saying

A. J. Arberry
"A masterly study of a man whose sanctity recalled the golden age of medieval mystics. In this well documented book, Dr. Lings draws on many rare sources...and has made some important original contributions."
Titus Burckhardt
"What Martin Lings adds by way of commentary is of the greatest significance and may serve as a key to a deeper understanding of Islam as a whole."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780946621507
  • Publisher: Islamic Texts Society
  • Publication date: 6/1/1993
  • Series: Golden Press Series
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 262,099
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Part One: The Path and the Order
2. Seen from Outside
3. The Origins of Sufism
4. Seen from Within
5. The Spiritual Master

Part Two: The Doctrine
7. Oneness of being
8. The Three Worlds
9. The Symbolism of the Letters of the Alphabet
10. The Great Peace
11. Gnosis
12. The Ritual Purification
13. The Ritual Prayer

Part Three: Further Dimensions
15. Selections from his Aphorisms
16. Selections from his Poetry

Appendix I: List of his Writings
Appendix II: The Spiritual Chain

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