by E.H. Palmer
Decoding the cloaked Sufi narrative of the journey to God.
1867. A treatise on Sufiistic and Unitarian theosophy of the Persians compiled from native sources. The author describes not only the basic tenets of the Sufis, but also the Ahl i wahdat, which was a branch of Sufiism. This work is divided into five sections and contains 18 chapters. For the benefit of those studying oriental poetry, the author added an appendix containing a glossary of allegorical and technical terms in use among Sufiistic writers.
ORIENTAL MYSTICISM A TREATISE ON THE SUFIISTIC AND UNITARIAN THEOSOPHY OF THE PERSIANS COMPILED FROM NATIVE SOURCES BY E. H. PALMER HCHOI. AH OF 8T JOHNS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDOK MKMBKB OK TIIK ROYAL ASIATIC socikTV, AND OF THK SOClfiTlt AS1ATIQUK I K PARIS SECOND EDITION, WITH INTRODUCTION BY A. J. ARBERRY, Lirr. D. ANHISTANT LIBRARIAN OF THK INDIA OKKK K SOMKriMB FKI-I-OW OK PKMBROKfi COLLKOK, CAMBRIDOK LONDON LUZAC CO. 1938 Printed by offset in Great Britain by Billing and Sons Ltd., Guildford and Esher INTRODUCTION. EDWARD HENRY PALMER, born at Cambridge in 1840, and murdered by Bedouins in the Egyptian desert in 1882, is one of the most romantic figures in the history of Oriental studies. The story of his humble origin, of the amazing flair for languages which led to his discovery by the Fellows of St. Johns College, Cambridge, and of his subsequent brilliant career, is too well known to need retelling. At the age of thirty-one lie was appointed Lord Almoners Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge, a Chair which it has within this decade been thought proper to suppress, a curious circum stance in a country where the modern science of Orientalism may be said to have been born. It was while Palmer was engaged in cataloguing the Islamic manuscripts preserved in the libraries of Kings and Trinity Colleges that his interest was aroused by a short manual of the Sufi system of theosophy, the Maqsad i aqsa or Furthest Aim of Aziz ibn Muhammad al-Nasafl. In 1867, the year of his graduation as a Bachelor of Arts, he published the present little book, which he called Oriental Mysticism in this he gave a summarized ii Introduction. translation of Nasaffs treatise, working it up into a form suitable for general reading.
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