This article presents two famous collections of the lives of saints: ʿAṭṭār’s Taḏkirat al-awliyāʾ and Jāmī’s Nafaḥāt al-uns. Every collection of the lives of saints shares the common tradition of Arabic-language works. Indeed, Hujvīrī’s Kašf al-maḥjūb and Anṣārī’s Ṭabaqāt al-ṣūfiyyah ensured the transition with Sufi literature written in Arabic. However, the Taḏkirat al-awliyāʾ is the first truly original work in Persian. ʿAṭṭār and Jāmī sought to make known to their respective communities of belief the words and deeds of spiritual masters, but they did so in two different ways. ʿAṭṭār chose a limited corpus of saints that, in his eyes, represented the primary movements of the first centuries of Sufism. Jāmī instead favoured exhaustiveness, amassing a great number of biographies, especially on the shaykhs of the Naqshbandi order. While Jāmī conveyed the paths of saintliness in accordance with the religious orthodoxy of his order, ʿAṭṭār showed a special attachment to the ecstatic masters. The Taḏkirat al-awliyāʾ and Nafaḥāt al-uns thus represent two different ways of commemorating the memory of the spiritual masters who embodied the mystical thought of Islam.
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RitterHelmutO’KaneJohn, Das Meer der Seele. Mensch, Welt und Gott in den Geschichten des Farīduddīn ʿAṭṭār, (Leiden2003) 19792. English Translation: The Ocean of the Soul: Man, the World and God in the Stories of Farīd al-Dīn ʿAṭṭārLeiden, 2003.
Bruijn1983, 119-139. The text is dedicated to the Ghaznavid Sultan Bahrām Šāh (r. 512-547/1118-1152), who was a great patron of Persian literature.
Bruijn1999, 361-379. Rūmī based his mas̱navī-i maʿnavī on the model of the Ḥadīqat al-ḥaqīqah.
Ernst1999, 337. On this type of poetry, see Bruijn 1992, 75-86.
Arberry1958, 450. Divergent views exist with regard to his work; see Algar 2013 chapter “Further Readings.”
Ibid., 21; Kitāb al-Lumāʿ fī l-taṣawwuf, 16.
See Losensky2009, 15-18; Idem 2007, 107-119.
Talat Halman2013, 217.
Algar2013, 87, following Maḥǧūb 1984, 414.
This expression is taken from Morimoto2014, 111. The ʿulamāʾ are guided by the divine light (al-nūr al-rabbānī), but their acquired knowledge is that of the šarīʿah. Samhūdī adapts the discourse of Sufis in order to elaborate his own concept of ʿulamāʾ-awliyāʾ; see ibid., 116.
Ernst1985, 17. Junayd collected the šaṭḥ of Bāyazīd in a work entitled Tafsīr al-šaṭḥiyyāt.
Amri2008, 202. On the model of the prophetic mi‘rāǧ and its role in sainthood, see ibid., 201-216, and on the other voyages of saints, see chap. 8.