The Path of Love Toward the Divine

Qamar-ul Huda
Boston College
Department of Theology
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

This paper examines the way two prominent Sufi Muslim scholars reasoned with the Qur’ân and the Prophet’s sayings ( hadiths ) to illustrate how an inner mystical spiritual path was the nearest way toward the divine. Historically, scriptural reasoning in the Islamic tradition has included a diverse group of disciplines involved in bringing a deeper understanding of scripture to one’s existence and to better knowing of God. From legal scholars, philosophers, grammarians, theologians, poets, to the Muslim mystics or Sufis, each group has added their voice to the arena of scriptural reasoning.

For too long in the field of Islamic studies, many scholars have viewed the superficial dichotomy between the trained religious scholars ( ‘ulamâ’ ) versus the Sufis (mystics of Islam) as an accepted model of religious authorities. Until recently, Sufis were categorized under the title of popular religion which was based on fixed, superstitious, misguided beliefs and practices influenced by other religious traditions. It was suggested that those who practiced these sûfî beliefs were illiterate, anarchistic, and opponents to the religion of the literate clerics. Also, the masses that took part in “popular religion” were not susceptible to historical changes or capable of contributing intellectually to the tradition. These outdated views are not pertinent to us at the moment, but it needs to be stated that scholarly prejudices against Sufism prohibited any real discovery of Sufis and of their contributions until recently.

Briefly, since the tenth century, Sufis were scholars of law, philosophy, theology, literature, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. Prominent Sufis like ‘Abu Bakr al-Shibli (d. 946) and al-Qusharyri (d.1074) were important scholars and influential members in all of the major Sunni legal schools ( madhabs ), and were major advisers to statesmen on jurisprudence. It is widely known, too, that Sufi scholars had developed their own ways of defining and transmitting spiritual knowledge and authority, and simultaneously devised their own ways of legitimization. Sufi scholars were not only accepted in mainstream Sunni Islam but they were crucial in the intellectual growth and exuberance of Islamic scholarship. To not acknowledge these voices in the past and present is to ignore the plurality of authorities in Islam, and more importantly the tremendous impact these Sufi authorities had on the intelligentsia and popular religious practice. Two monumental Sufi Muslim scholars who had a profound impact on Islam are Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabî and Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardî. This paper investigates into the multiple perspectives in which Ibn ‘Arabî and al-Suhrawardî interpreted the Qur’ân and the Prophet’s sayings. With their different approaches to understanding scripture, both scholars were able to bring a deeper and real knowledge of the self and the divine.

Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (1165-1240):

Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi known as, Shaikh al-Akbar “The Grand Shaikh” is widely accepted as the one of the foremost thinkers in Sufi Islam. As a southern Spanish Muslim who traveled extensively from North Africa, Syria, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula, he taught the principle of Oneness of the divine and how each person is able to access and subsist with the divine. For him, the true meaning comes of Oneness, whichis a mystery, and the whole of his work can be described as a ceaseless circumambulation around the Unknowable One, which lies beyond all contrasting descriptions and manifestations. [1]

Ibn ‘Arabî’s theory of wahdat al-wujûd (“Oneness of Being”) is the absolute all-inclusive principle, encompassing all beliefs and doctrines. The Arabic word wujûd also means experience or finding, and therefore Being cannot be understood or appreciated solely as an intellectual idea. It is the quest of life, to be found and realized. The Oneness of Being that is expounded in Ibn ‘Arabî’s thought is not really doctrine or dogma, but lies at the heart of the real nature of things. As life itself, it cannot be fitted into any one body of belief or confined to any one description. [2]

The “Oneness of God” is fundamentally a matter of spiritual insight and experience, which means a radical change in vision. Ibn ‘Arabî inverts our normal way of seeing things, to bring us closer to a different understanding. He poses a very interesting question: “In reality, whose vision is it that is inverted?” He argues that we usually believe that what we see is real, taking the appearance of things, which is something we can imagine in our minds, removed from the visible world, as real. Such “ultimate” reality may even be a figment of our imagination, or so far removed from us that it does not impinge on everyday life or might not exist. [3]

He stated that “The creation is intelligible and God the Real is perceptible and visible, according to the people of faith and the people of true insight and Experience.” To Ibn ‘Arabî, the only true existence belongs to the One, and it is that One which is visible in all manifestations. “Things” have no existence in themselves except as places of manifestation or reflections of the expressions of primordial Unity. Ibn ‘Arabî asserted that those who have real insight appreciate and are imbued or intoxicated with all that is good and true. The inherent sweetness of existence is there for anyone who sees things as they truly are or has belief in such vision. “Belief” is not an intellectual appreciation nor a blind conviction, but belief is something more heart-felt and intrinsic to being human. [4]

Another area of serious importance is how prayers are neither devotional in any ordinary sense, nor are intended to be prayers for communal recitation. They are meant to be more private and intimate affairs, where the requests imply a high degree of understanding and self-knowledge. [5] There is precision and depth in their formulation, which is consecrated primarily to the celebration of Union. Prayer is detailed exposition of spiritual union, expressing the most intimate of converse with the divine beloved – So one who prays is a true adorer. So the reciter and the one recited to are understood to be two sides of the same reality.

Ibn ‘Arabî believed what is recited is that which ‘arrives in the heart’ ( warid ) and is ‘received’ by the adorer, on the one hand, and the request that reaches the Real ( al-Haqq ) and is responded to, on the other. For example, from the Qur’ân 55:29, it states:

“Whosoever is in the heavens and the earth is in request of Him; every day He is at work”

For Ibn ‘Arabî, this Qur’ânic verse expresses a central issue of all existence. At every moment each being, from the greatest galaxy to the smallest particle, is requesting and receiving its nourishment, physically and spiritually. Ibn ‘Arabî responds to this verse by stating:

“The Divine work is the request of those who ask.
There is not a single existent that is not requesting of Him,
The Exalted One, but they are according to different degrees in asking.”

Divine labor consists in constantly fulfilling the requests of created beings, from the highest to the lowest. Essentially, God’s response is as inherently necessary as the asking of the creature. Q 40:60 “Call upon Me and I shall answer you.” God has promised to respond to the constant request of the creatures, and this is in itself is a request. Ibn ‘Arabî explicitly states that “He (God) asks the servants to call Him, while the servants ask to respond. Thus both are asking and asked for ( ṭâlib wa maṭlûb ).” [6]

Let us examine a few other Qur’ânic examples used by Ibn ‘Arabî to argue the position that the Divine Reality is awaiting the moment when His servants are enlightened and realize the ongoing and open invitation by the divine. Some verses from the Qur’ân Ibn ‘Arabî builds upon are:

“I am close, I respond to the call of the caller when he calls upon Me” 2:186
“I am closer to mankind than his jugular vein” 50:16
“Remember Me, and I shall remember You” 2:152

Ultimately in reality, according to Ibn ‘Arabî, it is always God Himself who is being asked for, since there is no other than He. But there are different degrees of knowledge in the asking. Given that there is always a divine response to our request, it is essential to become conscious of what is actually being asked for. An intimate moment-by-moment consciousness is knowing Divine closeness.

His prayers are theophanic in nature (the truest manifestation of the divine to human beings) and the primary aim is to see things as they are from the perspective of the Real. Prayers, according to Ibn ‘Arabî are equally a form of invocation and a form of remembrance ( dhikr ) of God. In reciting prayers, the servant is not indulging in mere mechanical repetition of religious rituals, but consciously acknowledging the Presence of God, opening up to the full force of the Divine revelation and savoring its manifold tastes. This realization of prayer becomes a mutual remembrance, as God says in the Qur’ân, “Remember Me, and I shall remember You.”

For Ibn ‘Arabî this is a dialogue with the Unseen, a private communion where only one side of the discourse can be visible. The visible text of the prayers is only part of the conversation, and their recitation is to be drawn into an intimate dialogue with God Himself, invoking Him and being invoked, inviting Him and being invited. This is a re-turning to Reality, a conversion that requires constant reiteration.

Abû Hafs ‘Umar al-Suhrawardî (1145-1234):

Shaikh Abû Hafs ‘Umar al-Suhrawardî studied theology from the prominent sufi teacher Shaikh ‘Abdul Qâdir Jilânî and was eventually initiated into sufism by his uncle, Shaikh Abû Najîb al-Suhrawardî. Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s best extant Sufi text, ‘Awârif al-Ma’ârif , “The Benefits of the Spiritually Learned,” was one of the more popular sufi books of his time and posthumously it became the coffee table book for sufi novices. [7] One of the many reasons for its esteemed reputation in the sufi world was that the manual attempted to reconcile the practices of sufism with the observance of Islamic law. To later generations of sufis and to a wide cross-section of sufi orders the book became one of the most closely studied and memorized texts in the sufi tradition. [8] Shaikh ‘Umar al-Suhrawardî, like many other distinguished sufi thinkers, tried to bring about a deeper theological understanding in the sufi tradition by analyzing the Qur’ân, the customs of the Prophetic tradition, and the texts of past sufi shaikhs.

Al-Suhrawardî was a trained jurist ( faqih ) in the Baghdadi Hanbalî legal tradition and specialized in law ( sharî’â ), Qur’ânic exegesis ( tafsir ), reasoning and ethics in tasawwuf , philosophy ( falsafa ) and was a scholar on the life of Prophet Muhammad ( dirasât as-sunnâ wa ahadîth ). As a student of two prominent sufi teachers, Shaikhs ‘Abdul Qadir Jilânî and Abû Najîb al-Suhrawardî, he was influenced by a pragmatic practice that asserted the supremacy of obeying the law while bringing a rational interpretation of sufism. A respected muḥaddith scholar (an authority in hadith studies) with a background in jurisprudence ( fiqh ), religious legal studies ( sharî’â ), philosophy ( falsafa ) and the general field of sufi genealogy, al-Suhrawardî was one of the intellectual giants of the scholars of religious authority ( ‘ulamâ ). As a Hanbalî jurist he followed the tradition of presenting evidence with passages of the Qur’ân, citing evidence from the sunnâ and hadiths , and sayings from past eminent sufi masters. In the year 1200, the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Nasir (1179-1225) designated al-Suhrawardî as Shaikh al-Islam , the prestigious position that administered the religious affairs for the caliphal state, thereby moving his ideas of sufi-state co-operation and his sufi order to the forefront of Islamic religious politics.

Shaikh al-Suhrawardî asserted a conservative tone and spoke out against his contemporaries, such as Ibn al-‘Arabî (d.1165-1240), for the excessive reliance on philosophical method as the main way of theological reflection. He was a strong proponent of obeying the law closely as well as all its related disciplines, mainly because a strict observation of the law ( sharî’â ) was related to spiritual ascension. For him, the sharî’â was more than a set of divine legal codes to follow; it was rather a divine path that leads the individual back to the creator. This opposition to philosophical and mystical speculation as the primary sole path of contemplating on the nature of the divine was due to the fear that an untrained person could put forth an interpretation that was totally false to the tradition and that interpretation could be misconstrued as authentic to sufi teachings. Nevertheless, although shaikh al-Suhrawardî was tolerant of all kinds of sufi beliefs and practices, he was interested primarily in those who followed the particular Suhrawardîyya path of law and sufism.

Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s Sufi texts contain an elaborate theory on how all anti- sharî’â immoral activities emanated from the lower self ( nafs ) and that only reason and patience controlled its natural impulses such as rage and lust. [9] The desire for evil ( ammân ), repentance ( tawba ) and satisfaction ( mutma’îna ) represented three different stages in the natural development and gradual purification of the nafs . To shaikh al-Suhrawardî, the heart ( qalb ), while a part of the body, was essentially a different organ of the body which went beyond basic anatomical functions. For him the heart of a true believer ( mu’min ) was analogous to a pure soul and being illuminated by a shining light; but the heart of the unbeliever was dark and made of a lowly substance. The heart of the hypocrite was shrouded in a veil, and a many-faceted heart was one that was inclined towards both good and evil. [10]

Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s ideas on reason were that it was an innate human skill that prompted human beings to acquire different kinds of knowledge. It was supplemented and supported by sharî’â . Spiritual perception helped man to adopt a middle of the road policy and obtain knowledge of the heavenly spheres ( malakût ). Thus one could acquire an understanding of the world of matter and space, as well as of the earthly world and the Unseen. If reason was not supported and supplemented by the light of Islamic sharî’â , human beings could prosper in the world, but not obtain blessings from the spiritual world.

Only true sûfîs were able to discriminate between experiences emanating from the lower soul, from God, from Satan and from the angels. One dependent on an impure source for their existence was always a victim of evil influences; it was, therefore, a sûfî’s duty to foster a balanced detachment from the material world and to constantly adhere to outer proper moral conduct in order to fulfill the requirements of the Suhrawardîyya ta�awwuf .

Shaikh al-Suhrawardî on Prayers:

As a leading scholar and religious-political authority of his time, al-Suhrawardî took a firm position on not missing any of the daily ritualistic prayers. On the subject of prayers he was adamant about following the Prophet’s customs as strictly as possible and not being negligent about prayers like other sûfî orders. He points to a Prophet’s saying that refers to God calling prayers the “pillars of the religion.” [11] Al-Suhrawardî was concerned about the behavior of sûfîs reflecting a complete adherence to example of the Prophet. He stated that “God has prescribed five obligatory prayers and the holy Prophet (s) stated that God claimed that prayers are the pillars of the religion, who ever neglects prayers becomes part of the unbelievers. With prayer, one encounters a binding testimony. One of the parts to prayer is that testimony comes with prayer.” [12] He continues to explain that “A hadîth reports that when a seeker of truth prepares to do prayers, then almighty God places a veil over the seeker, and with personal greetings God places angels on the shoulders who also simultaneously pray with the believer.” [13]

For al-Suhrawardî, prayers are an important dimension for a spiritual seeker who wishes to see and experience God’s disclosure. Prayers are not just ritualistic performances ordered by the rules of sharî’â , but should be understood as an integral component to ta�awwuf . Under the subheading ‘The Excellence of Prayers’ the shaikh uses a Prophet’s saying that refers to the power of prayer that opens the heart to experience a type of humility that is tied to the experiences of heaven. In this quote, al-Suhrawardî brings this spiritual experience and prayer together as two dependent entities:

“It is the tradition of Shaikh ‘Abdallâh ibn ‘Abbâs (r) that the Prophet (s) reported that almighty God created heaven and there are unique things that exist in it. It is a place where the eyes have not seen things, and the ears have not heard things, and nor has any person’s heart ever experienced [it]. And God tells us in the holy Qur’ân “The believers that will succeed are those who are humble in their prayers.” [14]

For al-Suhrawardî, one of the most important features to prayer is for the sûfî heart to grow in humility and for the disciple to realize the transformations that are being experienced. Hadîths used in Sufi texts aim at highlighting the transcendental experience in prayer and attempt to inspire spiritual awakenings similar to that of the Prophet. Al-Suhrawardî’s use of hadîths in the prayer section connects one’s prayer with the Prophet’s spiritual journey, and locates oneself in a relationship with the Prophet. The relationship between the sûfî and the Prophet is of remembrance and celebration, but prayers ultimately bring the sûfî to the divine. Al-Suhrawardî stated:

“Prayers are a means of establishing a relationship between the Divine and the believers. Therefore it is necessary for the believer to practice the greatest humility in prayer and whenever God hears you pray, it is the humblest prayers that appeal to Him. Praying with humility will lead to victory.” [15]

Prayers regarding Sûrâ al-Fâtiha:

Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s discussion on particular sûrâs from the Qur’an is continuous with traditional sûfî thought that certain chapters and verses of the Qur’ân have more ‘spiritual power’ than others. [16] His exegesis begins with sûrâ al-fâtiha , the first chapter in the Qur’ân, after he cites the well-known saying of the Prophet that it was his favorite sûrâ in the Qur’ân . Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s interpretation of this chapter gives him extended legitimacy to build upon his expertise in hadîth studies. Even in this area of Qur’ânic hermeneutics, he draws on the hadîths of the Prophet to make connections of the spiritual experience, and the Qur’ân and the inclusion of the Prophet’s sayings. While it reinforces his scholarly authority in Sufism and in the legal-minded religious class; more importantly, the al-Suhrawardî is bringing the Qur’ânic revelation recited by the Prophet as a part of the ta�awwuf spiritual experience. Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s interpretation of sûrâ al-fâtiha is the following:

“God gave believers a special favor with the revelation of sûrâ al-fâtiha . With this sûrâ one’s prayers are acted upon by God as quickly as possible and God has taught His believers the way to pray. sûrâ al-fâtiha is recited from morning to night because it is so important that it was revealed to the holy Prophet (s) on two separate occasions. One time it was revealed in Mecca and another time it was revealed in the holy city of Medina. If this sûrâ is recited at different times, only then you can begin to understand its deeper meanings. If you were to repeatedly recite sûrâ al-fâtiha a thousand times then you will learn a new meaning each time.” [17]

Shaikh al-Suhrawardî applies the explanation of Shaikh Abû Hurâyra, who believed this chapter was an example of the way the Divine keeps a dialogue with His creation. From Abû Hurâyra’s analysis, the relationship between the Creator and the believer reaches a critical moment when the believer praises God and calls for his humble guidance. Shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s decision to cite Abû Hurâyra’s discussion of the recitation of sûrâ al-fâtiha again reinforces the rules of sûfî spiritual conduct and the need to follow the rules of the Suhrawardîyya order as closely as possible.

“Shaikh Abû Hurayra’s tradition [is] that the Prophet (s) reported that prayer divides the believer in between two parts. That is when the believer recites ‘ bismillâh urahmân wa rahîm ‘ (In the name of God, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate) then God replies ‘my servant has called upon me.’ When the believer continues to recite ‘ alhamdulilâh rabil’alamîn ‘ (All Praise is due to the Master of the Worlds) then God responds by stating that my believer has praised me. When the believer recites ‘ arahmân wa rahim ‘ (The Compassionate and Merciful) then God states that my believer has commended me. As the believer continues to recite ‘ malik yaumadîn ‘ (The Owner of the Day of Judgement) then God replies and states that my believer has placed the responsibilities of all work onto me. Then the believer recites ‘ iyâka na’budo wa iyâka nasta’�n ‘ (To you alone we worship and to you alone we ask for guidance) then God states that there is room in the believer for me. As the believer states ‘ adanas sirâtûl mustaqîm sirâtûl lazinain’umta ‘alaihim gharil maghdube ‘alaihim wa la dhâlîn ‘ (Show us the straight path, the path that leads to you, and not like those who’ve gone astray and caused you anger) God states that all of this is for my believer and whatever he desires it will be granted.” [18]

Al-Suhrawardî quotes this hadîth not only to point out to his audience that there is a constant dialogue between the divine and human beings, but also that recitation of the Qur’ân brings about a real response from its author. By using sûrâ al-fâtiha as the forum for this dialogue he creates a channel for the believer and links their personal prayers with divine communication. This is another example of al-Suhrawardî functioning as an authoritative sûfî shaikh guiding his disciples toward God by remembering the Prophet.

According to al-Suhrawardî, the internal and external worlds need structure and this ability to create structure in an chaotic world depends on the intellectual abilities to comprehend their Sufism. One possible reason why al-Suhrawardî was interested in having his disciples actively practice and strengthen their reasoning ( ‘aql ) in their Sufi path is because the development of the mind was connected to spiritual awareness. Under the subject, “The Excellence of Reasoning,” al-Suhrawardî stressed the benefits of being politically active with the state, and it’s clear that he desired his disciples to be intellectually capable for those challenges. One main reason to emphasize the importance of reasoning in Suhrawardî Sufism is to distinguish his order from the world-rejecting and antinomian sûfî orders. Shaikh al-Suhrawardî stated the following on the subject of reasoning:

“Reasoning ( ‘aql ) is the job of language. The power to think is reflected in the following hadîth : First God made the human mind so that his creation could think. The ability to use ‘aql is related to worship, as another hadîth reports that with ‘aql you can know me and also praise me.” [19]

Al-Suhrawardî believed that reasoning was one of the most important elements for progress in ta�awwuf spirituality. His text contains a plethora of examples from the life of the Prophet on this subject that legitimized his argument for reasoning while connecting reasoning with the sunnâ of the Prophet. For example he stated, “The holy Prophet (s) once said the truth is that almighty God gave his servants ‘aql piece by piece. They learn to increase their knowledge, practice pure prayers and try to do proper fasting, but there is a great difference in their ‘aql .” [20] One other hadîth used to validate the important place of reasoning in ta�awwuf practice is clear in the following statement:

“One time Ayesha (r) asked the Prophet (s) what is the best way for people to evaluate themselves? The Prophet (s) replied that ‘aql is the best means to evaluate oneself. She pursued further and asked are people not in control of their actions? The Prophet (s) responded that obedience to almighty God involves ‘aql , and with more ‘aql involved, then people will apply more righteous actions. They will benefit as their righteous actions increase.” [21]

Al-Suhrawardî’s use of the Prophet’s saying in the subject of reasoning is another example of using the highest authority in spirituality, that is the Prophet. This process of linking Suhrawardîyya Sufism with the Prophet’s life was intended to demonstrate the ways his sûfî order mirrored and celebrated the Prophet. Reasoning for al-Suhrawardî went beyond understanding the intricacies of the Qur’ân and sayings of the Prophet for legalistic purposes. Rather, reasoning for al-Suhrawardî was more about raising the level of reverence for the Prophet: there was a desire to capture the Prophet’s spiritual encounter, to embody his spiritual achievements. For al-Suhrawardî, reasoning of the law, the Qur’ân, hadiths , and customs of the Prophet were all meant as a means for Suhrawardîyya sûfîs to remember, reenact, reconnect, and relive the spiritual life of the Prophet.

[1] Ibn ‘Arabî’s reference to circumambulation is to connect to the pilgrimage rites in Mecca where pilgrims come at a pay tribute to the legacy of Prophet Abraham. It is understood that the Ka’ba was built by Abraham and his son Isma’il after the last test of sacrifice commanded by God. Pilgrims pray at the Ka’ba as well circumambulate the structure as the Prophet Muhammad practiced it.

[2] For more see David Emmanuel Singh “The Possibility of Having Knowledge of al-wujûd al-mahd Sheer Being According to Ibn Arabi’s Kitâb al-jalal wa-al-jamal” in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 10 (1999): 295-306.

[3] For more on wahdat al-wajûd see William Chittick, The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn ‘Arabî’s Metaphysics of Imaginations (Albany: SUNY Press, 1989) and Imaginal Worlds: Ibn ‘Arabî and the Problem of Religious Diversity (Albany: SUNY Press, 1994); Michel Chodkiewicz, An Ocean Without Shore: Ibn ‘Arabî, the Book, and the Law (Albany: SUNY Press, 1984) and, Stephen Hirtenstein, The Unlimited Mercifier (London: Anqa Publishers, 1999).

[4] See Michel Chodkiewicz, Seal of the Saints: Prophethood and Sainthood in the doctrine of Ibn ‘Arabî , trans., by Liadain Sherrard (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

[5] Pablo Benito and Stephen Hirtenstein, The Daily Prayers of Ibn ‘Arabî (London: Anqa Publishing, 2000), 10-12.

[6] Benito, 22.

[7] ‘Awârif al-Ma’ârif has been translated by some as “Knowledge of the Gnostics” or “Manual of the Dervishes” or “The Gifts of the Spiritual Perceptions” but I believe all of those translations bring confusion to the theology of the Suhrawardîyya order and to the intellectual dimensions of shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s sufism. ‘Abû Hafs ‘Umar al-Suhrawardî, ‘Awârif al-Ma’ârif , (Cairo: Maktabat al-Kaherah, 1973). Hereafter cited as AM.

[8] For a discussion on shaikh al-Suhrawardî’s contribution see, ‘Abû Bakr Muhammad al-Kâlâbadhî, Kitâb al-ta’arruf li-madhab ahl al-ta�awwuf , (Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanjî, 1934); Muhammad Mândawî Ghawthî, Gulzar-i abrâr. Urdu translation by Fal Aḥmad J�warî, Adhkâr-i abrâr, Urdû tarjuma-yi gulzâr-i abrâr [1808], reprinted (Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, 1975); Abu Nasr Tahir Khanaqahi, Guzida dar Ta�awwuf wa Akhlâq , edited by Iraj Afsar. (Tehran, 1968).

[9] Saiyid Abbas Rizvi, The History of Sufism in India (Delhi: Manhoram Manohol Publishers, 1979), 92-93.

[10] AM, 266-69.

[11] AM, 274.

[12] When al-Suhrawardî quoted from the Qur’ân he usually took sections of a verse to support his particular idea and supplied the citation. Whenever he made a reference to the Prophet he followed the sunnâ by supplying the proper benediction of salâ allâhu ‘alaihim wa salam , and with companions to the Prophet, members of the Prophet’s family, Shî’î Imâms, and eminent sûfî shaikhs he applied raḥmat allâh alahi .

[13] AM, 275.

[14] AM, 64.

[15] AM, 273.

[16] See, A.J. Wesinck, Concordance et indices de la tradition musulmane . 8 volumes, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1936-1971); Frederick Denny, “Exegesis and Recitation: Their Development as Classical Forms of Qur’ânic Piety” in Transitions and Transformations in the History of Religions. Essays in Honor of Joseph M. Kitagawa , edited by Frank Reynolds and Theodore M. Ludwig, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1980), pp. 91-123; and, Abu’l-Qasim ‘Abdulkarim al-Qushayri, Al-risâla al-qusharyrîyyâ fî ‘ilm al-ta�awwuf , 2 volumes, edited by ‘Abdulhalim Muhmud and Mahmud b. Ash-Sharif, (Cairo: Matba’t al-Hassan, 1974).

[17] AM, 272.

[18] AM, 272-273.

[19] AM, 411.

[20] AM, 412.

[21] AM, 412.

© 2003, Society for Scriptural Reasoning