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Although the exemplar of the Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam has mysteriously disappeared shortly after its composition, the earliest copy in al-Qūnawī’s hand has survived. Having been collated with the orginal, read in front of Ibn al-ʿArabī, and signed by him, it stands as the vetustissimus and optimus. This edition is established on its reading and is checked against ʿAfīfī’s classic. Besides a fully vocalized text, it provides an appended facsimile of the manuscript.

The introductory section is the first comprehensive study that tracks the whole story of the manuscript and attempts to identify possible scattered traces of the lost original. It reviews attitudes towards the text, as well as a century of scholarly research on it, and illustrates key concepts of the Master’s doctrine to help contextualize the book contents.
ما وراء الحكاية: دراسات أخلاقية في القصة القرآنية
Volume Editor:
Behind the Story: Ethical Readings of Qurʾānic Narratives is a pivotal work that presents groundbreaking research on the Qurʾānic narrative as a literary genre with profound moral significance. It underscores the genre's integral role in shaping Islamic moral thought, as manifested in areas like Islamic law, theology, Sufism, politics, and art. The book offers insightful interpretations of various Qurʾānic narratives, delving into their ethical dimensions and challenges. It also examines their historical reception and influence across both Muslim and non-Muslim scholarship, covering diverse disciplines such as mysticism, art, and applied ethics. This volume stands as an invaluable resource for scholars and students seeking a deeper understanding of the Qurʾānic narrative and its multifarious interpretations in the context of Islamic Studies and beyond.

Contributors
Taira Amin, Halla Attallah, Bilal Badat, Fatih Ermiş, Mohammad Fadel, Hannelies Koloska, Samer Rashwani, Emmanuelle Stefanidis, and Devin Stewart.

ما وراء الحكاية: دراسات أخلاقية في القصة القرآنية، يعالج هذا الكتاب القَصص القرآني من حيث هو نوعٌ أدبي ذو مضمون أخلاقي في المقام الأول، الأمر الذي لم يَحظَ بالنظر العلمي والمنهجي من قبل؛ على الرغم من تأثيره العميق في حقول الفقه والكلام والتصوف والسياسة والأخلاق والفن، وغيرها. يقدم القسم الأول قراءات تأويلية تسعى للكشف عن المفاهيم والمبادئ والأسئلة الأخلاقية التي يثيرها القصص القرآني، بينما يكشف القسم الثاني عن تاريخ تلقيها وتأثيرها في فنون عديدة تشمل التصوف والأدب والعمارة والأخلاق التطبيقية. هذا الكتاب لبنة جديدة في منهج دراسة القصص القرآني، ويطمح إلى أن يكون مرجعاً لا غنى عنه للباحثين والطلاب المشتغلين في حقول الدراسات القرآنية، والأخلاق النظرية والتطبيقية، والتصوف، والفنون، والدراسات الإسلامية عمومًا.

المساهمون
فاتح إرمش، وطاهرة أمين، وبلال بادات، وسامر رشواني، وإيمانويلا ستيفانيديس، وديفين ستيوارت، وهالة عطاء الله، ومحمد فاضل، وهانيليس كولوسكا.
The Handbook of Sufi Studies (HSUF) series is a new sub series of the renowned Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East. It serves as the principal reference tool for the field of Sufi studies and an essential forum for theoretically and methodologically sophisticated discussions of the major themes and research methods related to this field.

The goal of HSUF is not just to describe and summarize the findings of the previous scholarship on Sufism but also to engage critically with it and to offer new ways to approach it. Special attention is paid to the applicability to Sufi studies of methodological tools developed by sociology, cultural anthropology, subaltern and gender studies, religious studies, literary theory and discourse analysis.

Each volume of the series consists of a general introduction by the editor(s) followed by several general analytic essays on the topics at hand. Each analytical essay, in its turn, introduces several sub-chapters focusing on a particular issue within the overall thematic scope of the chapter. Written by major experts on Sufism, the Handbook of Sufi Studies (HSUF) series is meant to be a standard reference for both specialists in Islamic and religious studies and non-specialists interested in a balanced and academically rigorous discussion of Sufism.
Winner of the 2021 Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding (category: translation from Arabic into English)

This is an unabridged, annotated, translation of the great Damascene savant and saint Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) Madārij al-Sālikīn. Conceived as a critical commentary on an earlier Sufi classic by the great Hanbalite scholar Abū Ismāʿīl of Herat, Madārij aims to rejuvenate Sufism’s Qurʾanic foundations. The original work was a key text for the Sufi initiates, composed in terse, rhyming prose as a master’s instruction to the aspiring seeker on the path to God, in a journey of a hundred stations whose ultimate purpose was to be lost to one’s self (fanāʾ) and subsist (baqāʾ) in God. The translator, Ovamir (ʿUwaymir) Anjum, provides an extensive introduction and annotation to this English-Arabic face-to-face presentation of this masterpiece of Islamic psychology.
Studies on Sufism provides a forum for original scholarship on Sufism as situated within all of its temporal, geographical, linguistic, cultural and intellectual contexts. The series is open to all disciplinary perspectives and relevant topics of inquiry and publishes monographic studies, edited volumes, and critical editions and translations of texts. Contributions are welcome in English, French or German.

Abstract

“Snakes and Ladders” is an ancient Indian board game played by the throw of dice or cowrie shells on a grid of labelled squares. It belongs to the category of “race games” and more specifically “promotion games” of moral instruction. The player gradually moves his piece upward from the lower section of vices and hellish states to the higher section of virtues and subtle spiritual states finally to reach the divine realm. Landing on snakes brings him down whereas by reaching ladders the ascent journey is accelerated. As a game of gnosis, Snakes and Ladders was played by Jainas, Hindus, Buddhists as well as Muslims. In Turkey, it is known as satranc-ı urefā and in the Arab world as shaṭranj al-ʿārifīn – “chess of the gnostics.” The present paper examines a rare Sufi version from Afghanistan embroidered on cloth also highlighting the imagery of its figural motifs. Building on preceding studies, it focuses on the mystical terminology inscribed onto 101 squares which largely reflects the philosophy of Ibn al-ʿArabī. The investigated cloth-board is an example of Sufi material religion in folkish style which might date from the mid-twentieth century or later and appears to have been used by Shiʿite Sufis.

In: Journal of Sufi Studies
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In: Journal of Sufi Studies
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Abstract

This article attempts to shed light on the representation of scriptural exegesis in mystical poetry. Concentrating on the poetry of St. Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373 CE) and Ibn ʿArabī the Andalusian (d. 638/1240), the article explores how both authors transformed Scripture – the Bible and the Qur’an – into poetry and how they incorporated exegesis into their poems. On the level of exegetical method, the article presents various techniques of exegetical poetry such as typology, juxtaposition, and the creation of thematic links. On the level of intellectual history, the article highlights the common ground between the approaches of St. Ephrem and Ibn ʿArabī to both Scripture and exegetical poetry. More generally, it highlights the parallels between Eastern Christian and Muslim mystical traditions of exegetical poetry.

Open Access
In: Journal of Sufi Studies