The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic Thought / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

An anthology of Islamic teachings that use gender symbolism to explain the relationships between God and the world, the world and the human being, and the human being and God. Murata (religious studies, State U. of New York) focuses on Sufis and translations from over 30 Muslims. She argues that the core of Islamic thought is not in the nature of things but in the relationships between then. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791409145
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 412
  • Sales rank: 892,249
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents


by Annemarie Schimmel

A Note on Dates and Citations from the Koran


The Intellectual Tradition in Islam

The Feminist Critique of Islam

The Background of the Present Book

Chinese and Islamic Thought

Theological Polarity

Signs of God

Cosmic Correspondences

Human Equilibrium

The Plan of the Book

Part 1

The Three Realities

Signs in the Horizons and the Souls

Qualitative Correspondence

Qualitative Levels

Human All-Comprehensiveness

Children of the Elements

The Myth of Adam's Creation

Human Becoming

The Cosmic and Human Books

Part 2: Theology

Divine Duality

God and the Essence

Incomparability and Similarity

Complementary Names

God and His Vassal

The One and the Two

The Creation of the Many

The Differentiation of the Undifferentiated

Being and Knowledge

Majesty and Beauty

Awe and Intimacy

Social Implications of Divine Duality

The Two Hands of God

Right and Left

The Views of Koran Commentators

Fingers and Feet

The Two Hands in the Futuhat al-makkiyya

The Fusus al-hikam

Mu'ayyid al-Din Jandi

'Abd al-Razzaq Kashani

Dawud Qaysari

Sadr al-Din Qunawi

Sa'id al-Din Farghani

Farghani on the Two Handfuls

Part 3: Cosmology

Heaven and Earth

The Creation of the Cosmos

The Tao of Heaven and Earth

Heaven and Earth as Correlative Terms


Shifting Relationships

The Seven Heavens

The Four Elements

The Virtues of the Earth

Macrocosmic Marriage

Fathers and Mothers

Universal Marriage


The Pen and the Tablet

The Intellect and the Soul

Natural Children

Changing Relationships

The Faces of the Intellect

The Two Wings of Gabriel

Human Marriage

Marriage in Society

Man's Degree over Woman (I)

Man's Degree over Woman (II)

Mutual Love

Women Made Lovable

The Fusus al-hikam

Mutual Longing

Witnessing God in Women

Marriage and Creation

Perfect Sexual Union

The Symbolism of Grammatical Gender

Spiritual Counsel

The Womb

Universal Worship

The Mercy of Existence

Nature as Wife and Mother

Love for Parents

The Womb as Microcosm

The Womb as Nature

Part 4: Spiritual Psychology

Static Hierarchy

Principles of Ta'wil

Names of the Unseen

Signs of the Microcosm




The Spirit's Kingdom

Heaven and Earth

Dynamics of the Soul

Struggle on the Path to God

The Soul's Evil

Conflicting Character Traits

The Soul's Receptivity

Manliness and Chivalry

Negative Masculinity

Adam, Eve, and Iblis

The Soul's Animals

Purifying the Soul

The Heart

In the Koran and the Hadith

Between Spirit and Soul

The Heart in the School of Ibn al-'Arabi

The Birth of the Heart

The Heart's Birth According to 'Izz al-Din Kashani

The Heart's Birth According to Ibn al-'Arabi's School

The Soul as Virgin Mother

The Perfected Heart

True Men and True Women


Appendix I
Chronological List of Authors Cited

Appendix II
Notes on Authors Cited



Index of Koranic Verses

Index of Hadiths and Sayings

General Index

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