17 results in English
The Spiritual Couplets
The most significant contribution of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (popularly known in Persian as Mawlānā, and in English as Rumi, 1207–73), the renowned poet and mystic of Iran, to Persian literature may be his poetry, and especially his famous Masnavi (The spiritual couplets). This work, which is said to be the most extensive verse exposition of mysticism in any language, discusses and offers solutions to many complicated problems in metaphysics, religion, ethics, mysticism, and other fields. Masnavi highlights the various hidden aspects of Sufism and their relationship to the ...
Collection of Persian Poetry and Prose
This manuscript in Persian is an untitled Sufi text on meditation containing both poetry and prose. It was completed in early 1520, probably in Herat (present-day Afghanistan) or Mashhad (present-day Iran). The colophon, which is in Arabic, gives the name of the scribe, Mīr 'Alī Ḥusaynī Haravī (circa 1476−1543). The manuscript is on a firm cream-colored paper inlaid into light cream (folios 1−8) or pale greenish-blue margin paper, with the writing enclosed within alternating gold and cream (or green) bands with black ruling. The margin paper is profusely ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Italian Libya
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Italian Libya is Number 127 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The study covers physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. It recounts how ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Spiritual Rhyming Couplets by Rumi
Masnavi-e Manawi (Spiritual rhyming couplets) is the famous poetic collection of the medieval ecstatic mystic scholar and Sufi, Mawlānā Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1207−73), known in Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran as Mowlana or Mawlānā Jalaluddin Balkhi and in the West as Rumi. This Persian manuscript in nastaliq script is a complete 15th century copy of Masnavi, with all six volumes. Narratives, homilies, and commentaries appear throughout. Many stories have stock characters, such as beggars, prophets, kings, animals. Ethical concerns, traditional wisdom, and stories filled with jokes, including ones about ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Al-Furqānī’s Qur’anic “Duʻā”
This 13-page manuscript is a Muslim mystic duʻā (prayer) attributed to Sayf ibn ʻAlī ibn ʻĀmir al-Furqānī, an Omani Ibadite (also seen as Ibadhite and Ibadi) scholar who is known for his writings on Islamic esotericism. Ibadism (also seen as Ibadhism) is an Islamic denomination that traces its roots to the seventh century, at the time of the Sunni−Shiite schism. It is named after Abdullāh ibn Ibāḍ, one of the founding scholars of the doctrine. Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other ...
Anthology of Rumi’s Poetry
Divan-i Mawlavī Rumi (Anthology of Rumi’s poetry) is a collection by the great Persian poet, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, popularly known in Persian as Mawlānā and in English as Rumi (1207–73). The collection includes poems on Sufism, supplications, and philosophy. The manuscript does not have a title page. Every poem is individual and self-contained, and the name of the poet appears at the end of most of the poems. Nothing is known of the copyist, although it is thought that this volume is 19th century.
Letters by ‘Alī Ḥamdānī
Maktūbāt-i Sayyid ‘Alī Ḥamdānī (Letters by Ali Hamdani) is a collection letters by the famous Persian scholar, saint, and preacher Sayyid ‘Alī Ḥamdānī (1314–85 A.D.; A.H. 714–87). He came from Hamdan in Central Asia and traveled to Kashmir in 1372–73 A.D. to spread the message of Islam. This is one of the rarest extant manuscripts of letters from the saint to his disciples, directing them how to unravel the secrets of Islamic mysticism. In the letters, Sayyid ‘Alī Ḥamdānī quotes a number ...
Explanation of the Work of al-Ghazali and Nuh ibn al-Tahir al-Fulani
Timbuktu, founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries of Timbuktu contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This work by Sulayman ibn Ahmad comments on the work of the famous scholar al-Ghazali and discusses a commentary on Ghazali's ...
Book of Wisdom
Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi (died 1166) was a philosopher, Sufi mystic, and the earliest known poet to write in a Turkic dialect. He was born in the city of Isfijab (present-day Sayram, in Kazakhstan) but lived most of his life in Turkestan (also in southern Kazakhstan). He was a student of Arslan Baba, a well-known preacher of Islam. At a time when Farsi dominated literature and public life, Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi wrote in his native Old Turkic (Chagatai) language. Iassavi’s Dīvān-i ikmet (Book of wisdom) is not just a ...
Book of Wisdom
Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi (died 1166) was a philosopher, Sufi mystic, and the earliest known poet to write in a Turkic dialect. He was born in the city of Isfijab (present-day Sayram, in Kazakhstan) but lived most of his life in Turkestan (also in southern Kazakhstan). He was a student of Arslan Baba, a well-known preacher of Islam. At a time when Farsi dominated literature and public life, Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi wrote in his native Old Turkic (Chagatai) language. Iassavi’s Dīvān-i ikmet (Book of wisdom) is not just a ...
Thesis on the Mirror of the Hearts
Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi (died 1166) was a philosopher, Sufi mystic, and the earliest known poet to write in a Turkic dialect. He was born in the city of Isfijab (present-day Sayram, in Kazakhstan) but lived most of his life in Turkestan (also in southern Kazakhstan). He was a student of Arslan Baba, a well-known preacher of Islam. At a time when Farsi dominated literature and public life, Iassavi wrote in his native Old Turkic (Chagatai) language. He was known during his lifetime as a holy person and people from all ...
The Meccan Revelations
Muḥyiddin ibn Arabi (1165–1240 AD, 560–638 AH), also known as al-Shaykh al-Akbar (the Great Shaykh), was a Muslim mystic and philosopher of Andalusian origin. He was born in Murcia but his family later moved to Seville. Ibn Arabi’s life was divided almost equally between West and East. After traveling extensively in North Africa, he embarked on a spiritual journey from his native Spain. He arrived in Mecca in 1202, where he spent three years. He then spent years traveling in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Turkey. He died ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Book of Compilation
Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi (also known by his Latinized name, Alpharabius, circa 870–950 AD) was a Muslim philosopher and scientist, who also had interests in political philosophy, logic, cosmology, music, and psychology. Although his origin is unconfirmed, it is generally agreed that al-Farabi was of Persian origin and that he was born either in Faryab in present-day Afghanistan or in Farab in present-day Kazakhstan. He was called the “Second Teacher,” a deferential reference suggesting he was second in philosophy only to Aristotle. Shown here is Kitab Al-majmu' (Book of ...
Contributed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
The Spears of the Party of the Merciful against the Throats of the Party of the Reviled
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Sufis (mystics) form an important element in Islamic society, and al-Hājj 'Umar ibn Sa'id al-Futi‏ Tal (1797-1864) provides ...
The Rewards of the Enlightened for their Defense of the Status of God’s Chosen Saints
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. This text explains the basic principles of Sufism, pointing out the various stages of knowledge that Sufi mystics pass ...
The Desire of the Aspirant
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. In Munyat al-murīd (The desire of the aspirant), Baba ibn Ahmad al-Alawi al-Maliki al-Maghribi al-Shingiti presents an explanation of ...
The Prosody of Pearls that Limit the Deleterious Effects of the Abhorrent World
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. Al-Durar al-manẓūmah fī taḍmīm al-dunyā al-muqabaḥah (The prosody of pearls that limit the deleterious effects of ...