Mystical Encounters: Locating Sufis and Sufism in the Biographical Writings of Ibn al-Khaṭīb

in Medieval Encounters
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Ibn al-Khaṭīb’s engagement with Sufism has received less attention among scholars than other aspects of his political and literary career. The existing research has focused primarily on the debate concerning the sincerity of his commitment to Sufism. This article proposes to locate Ibn al-Khaṭīb’s attitude toward Sufism and the Sufis of fourteenth-century Nasrid Granada by analyzing some of the notices he dedicated to Sufis in his biographical dictionary, al-Iḥāṭa fī akhbār Gharnāṭa. By studying a broad range of biographies, this article hopes to shed light on Ibn al-Khaṭīb’s views regarding the compatibility of Sufism with public service and to increase our knowledge about the activities of the Sufis of Nasrid Granada by illustrating the various roles they played in Nasrid society.

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References

3

Santiago Simón, Ibn al-Jaṭīb y el sufismo, 41.

6

Emilio García Gómez, Foco de antigua luz sobre La Alhambra desde un texto de Ibn al-Jaṭīb (Madrid: Publicaciones del Instituto de Estudios Islámicos de Madrid, 1988), 36: “Para mí, [Ibn al-Jaṭīb] no sólo no lo es, sino que está en los antípodas de lo místico.”

7

García Gómez, Foco de antigua luz, 36.

8

Santiago Simón, Ibn al-Jaṭīb y el sufismo, 40; Emilio López Molina, Ibn al-Jaṭīb (Granada: Comares, 2001); Ahmad Mukhtār al-ʿAbbādī, “Móviles económicos de la vida de Ibn al-Jaṭīb,” Al-Andalus 20.1 (1955), 214‒221.

9

Santiago Simón, Ibn al-Jaṭīb y el sufismo, 41.

15

Fernando Velázquez Basanta, “Ibn al-Jaṭīb, cronista granadino de su tiempo,” in Actas del 1º Coloquio Internacional sobre Ibn al-Jaṭīb (Loja, 28 y 29 de octubre 2005) (Granada: Fundación Ibn al-Jatib, 2007), 36.

17

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 1:5.

20

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 1:10.

28

Malti-Douglas, “Islamic Biography,” 3.

29

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:215.

33

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:216.

34

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:166.

36

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:166.

39

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:174.

40

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:174.

41

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:174.

42

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:174.

43

Fierro, “Opposition to Sufism,” 200; Milouda Charouiti Hasnaoui, “Una familia de juristas en los siglos xiv y xv: los Banū ʿÂsim de Granada,” in Estudios onomástico-biograficos de al-Andalus, ed. Manuela Marín (Madrid: csic, 1994) 1:180. On this ṭarīqa, see also I. Calero Secall and V. Martínez Enamorado, Málaga, ciudad de al-Andalus (Malaga: Ágora, 1995), 238‒243.

44

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:175.

45

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:176.

46

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:176.

47

In 1309, James ii, Count of Barcelona, King of Aragon and Valencia (r. 1291‒1327), launched an unsuccessful crusade to capture Almería. The crusade was jointly carried out with the King of Castile Fernando iv in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Alcalá de Henares. On this expedition see Carme María Marugán, “El ejército de la Corona de Aragón en la expedición contra Almería de 1309,” Medievalismo 19 (2009): 199‒242.

49

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:176.

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Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:176.

51

K.A. Nizami, “Faqīr,” Encyclopaedia of Islam (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 2:757; Bashir, Sufi Bodies, 58‒78; Aziz, Religion and Mysticism, 36.

55

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:172.

56

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:172.

58

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:368.

59

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:368.

60

ʿAziz, Religion and Mysticism, 35.

61

Bashir, Sufi Bodies, 58; ʿAziz, Religion and Mysticism; Marín, “Zuhhād of al-Andalus.”

63

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:166.

65

See Vincent Cornell, The Way of Abu Madyan: The Works of Abu Madyan Shuʿayb (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1996); and Ahmed Shafik, “Abū Madyan Šuʿayb, máximo exponente del sufismo magrebí del siglo xii, a través de su vida y su obra,” Anaquel de Estudios Árabes 20 (2009), 197‒221.

66

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:205.

67

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:205.

70

Cited in Emilio de Santiago Simón, El polígrafo granadino Ibn al-Jaṭīb, 40. See also Ibn al-Khaṭīb, Aʿmāl al-aʿlām fī man būyiʿa qabla al-iḥtilām min mulūk al-Islām wa-mā yataʿallaq bi-dhālika min al-kalām, ed. Kasrāwī Ḥasan (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 2003).

72

Cited in Muḥammad Khalid Masud, Shatibi’s Philosophy of Islamic Law (Islamabad: Islamic Research Institute, 1995), 64‒65.

74

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:371.

75

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:205.

77

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:205.

78

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:176.

83

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:167.

85

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4: 216.

87

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:216. In this, however, he differed from his source, the biographer Ibn al-Zubayr, who stated categorically that “[Ibn Fuḍayla] did not follow the Ashʿarī school (huwa ghayr sāʾir li-madhhab al-Ashʿarīyya).” See Abū Jaʿfar Ibn al-Zubayr, Kitāb Ṣilat al-Ṣila, eds. ʿAbd al-Salām al-Ḥarrās and Shaykh Saʿīd al-Aʿrāb (Rabat: al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiyya, Wizārat al-Awqāf wa-Shuʾūn al-Islāmīyya, 1994), 4:188.

89

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:216. Ibn al-Zubayr writes “He made them safe from vice (aslama-hum ʿayban).” See Ibn al-Zubayr, Ṣilat al-Ṣila, 4:188.

90

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 4:216.

92

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:349.

93

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:349.

94

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:351.

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Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:349.

97

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:194.

99

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:194.

101

Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:194.

102

María Jesús Viguera Molins, “La religión y el derecho,” in Historia de España de Menéndez Pidal. El reino Nazarí de Granada (1232‒1492): sociedad, vida y cultura (Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 2000), 159‒190, esp. 168‒174.

104

Cynthia Robinson, “Marginal Ornament: Poetics, Mimesis, and Devotion in the Palace of the Lions,” Muqarnas. An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World 25 (2008), 185‒21; Juan Carlos Ruiz Souza, “El Palacio de los Leones de la Alhambra. ¿Madraza, zawiya y tumba de Muhammad v? Estudio para un debate,” Al-Qanṭara 22 (2001), 77‒120; Luis F. Bernabé Pons, “El sistema educativo en al-Andalus: las madrasas,” in La madraza. Pasado, presente y futuro, ed. Rafael López Guzman and María Elena Diez Jorge (Granada: Universidad de Granada, 2007), 11‒24.

109

Cf. Ibn al-Khaṭīb, al-Iḥāṭa, 3:175.

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