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Extra resources for A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama : Listening and Altered States (Routledgecurzon Sufi Series)

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By explaining its true doctrines, he helped to strengthen disciples on the path, and to rebut the false allegations of opponents. His solid defence of the Sufi way on Ashwarc principles prepared the ground for the later and more brilliant work of Ghazalc. 41 It appears as the last chapter of the main section on ‘stages’, which is really an exposition of Sufi theology and practice, presented thematically. Stylistically, the author’s writing resembles that of Sarraj. There are generous quotations from traditional sources, the Qurxan, SadCth, and Sufi masters, interspersed with the author’s own opinions and 36 SAMFW IN EARLY SUFI LITERATURE arguments, and with generous quotes from Qushayrc’s own master, Abe wAlc al-Daqqaq.

Of the dispassionate, ‘scientific’ variety. One who learns something intimately is shown that knowledge by that thing alone. Moreover, it is often a momentary state; knowledge comes like a flash of lightning which does not last. If this flash did continue it would overwhelm human faculties, such as happened to Abe xl-musayn al-Nerc who eventually died as a result of being overwhelmed by wajd. What is interesting about this short discussion is the way in which knowledge is related to revelation or to mystical insight rather than to mundane ‘scientific’ or empirical learning.

Of his writings, most are devoted to mystical topics, such as a voluminous Qurxan commentary, LaUAXif al-IshArAt (The Subtleties of Guidance), written before 410/1019. The very short ArbaW RasAXil fC Xl-Ta{awwuf (Four Treatises on the Sufi Way) is a collection of three brief treatises on mystical topics, followed by a didactic poem of 39 verses. His most famous work, however, is the RisAla, written in 438/1046. In many ways it follows the pattern of Sarraj’s LumaW, being apologetic and defensive of the legitimacy of Sufi teaching and practice, and also providing explanations of characteristic terminology and concepts.

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