The “Sealed Nectar”: An Overview of a Sufi Treatise of 'Umar al-Suhrawardī (d. 632 AH/1234 AD)

In: Arabica
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  • 1 The University of Haifa

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Abstract

Besides the analysis of one impact of al-Suhrawardī's teachings—his division of the Sufi path—there are other bases for assuming a more varied system of thought, one that runs counter his reputation as a moderate Sufi thinker. Through study of an unknown text of the author, a conclusion was reached that 'moderation' as related to Sufi authors is an evaluation that should be reconsidered. The specific discourse in the above text demonstrates rhetorical differences between long Sufi manuals and short epistles and treatises, most prominently manifest in the way the author reviews the highest and ultimate ranks of the Sufi path in terms of unity, and of immortality in Deity. Rereading al-Suhrawardī's writings reveals the author's talents for reaching into the mentality of the ordinary man, and flexibility when relating to problematic issues. This paper is one attempt in the direction of a wide-ranging study of what had long been considered 'moderate', 'official', and 'high' with in Classical Sufism.

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