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Edited by Radtke

This is the second volume from Fritz Meier's unpublished writings about the veneration of Muḥammad and deals with the role of invoking blessings on the Prophet ( taşliya) in Sufism. In particular the focus is on the mysticism of the more recent orders in the Islamic West, for instance the Tijāniyya and the Nāṣiriyya. Meier distinguishes between the mystical cult of Muḥammad in these orders and a mysticism directed toward God in earlier orders.
The book consists of two parts. Part One, Meier's unpublished manuscript, treats the theory, practice and effect of invoking blessings on the Prophet.
It is in fact the first serious study of the modern, Arabic-language mystical cult of Muḥammad, entirely based on analyzing the relevant sources.
Part Two offers over one hundred texts with translations, which provide illustrations of the subjects dealt with in Part One. These illustrative texts have been selected by the editor from Meier's unpublished papers.
The second volume contains the general index for volumes one and two.
Bernd Radtke was responsible for editing the present work.


Bernd Radtke

Arabic texts dating from the 3rd-4th/9th-10th centuries by the following five authors are here presented: Abū Shaykh al-Burjulānī, Ibrāhīm al-Khuttalī, Ibn al-Naḥḥās, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Rūdhabārī and Ibn Ḥamakān. The texts appear in transliteration along with a German translation. Their chains of transmission (isnāds) are analyzed and parallels with other authors are noted. The subject dealt with throughout is mystical piety. These highly interesting materials throw light on Islamic mysticism's early stage of development.

Bernd Radtke

The series Basic Texts of Islamic Mysticism intends to publish important texts of Islamic mysticism both from the early and classical periods, as well as from more recent times. The texts will be presented in translation with scholarly commentaries.


Edited by Gudrun Schubert and Renate Würsch

The Romance of Mahsatī and Amīr Aḥmad - written in a mixture of prose and quatrains - deals with the adventures of the legendary Persian poetess and her lover, the son of the ḫatīb of Ganğa. The present volume completes Fritz Meier's former study on the Diwan of Mahsatī. An appendix contains the quatrains of the oldest dated manuscript of the romance, which at the time was not available to Meier. This contribution to Persian literary history includes valuable folklore material allowing new insight into medieval Iranian material culture and evaluates a first-rate source of Iranian social history. This publication renders accessible a further study by Fritz Meier, outstanding specialist in Persian Literature. Benedikt Reinert's additional contribution offers his latest research on the genesis of the Persian quatrain.


Mahdi Tourage

This is the first systematic examination of the esoteric significance of the bawdy tales and explicit sexual passages present in Rūmī’s (d. 1273) Mathnawī, a masterpiece of medieval Perso-Islamic mystical literature and theosophic teachings. Using the relevant features of postmodern theories as strategic conceptual tools, and drawing on the recent interpretations of medieval kabbalistic texts, it is a fascinating examination of the link between the dynamics of eroticism and esotericism operative in Rūmī’s Mathnawī. In some of these bawdy tales, the phallus is used as an esoteric symbol. The book concludes that these tales are used primarily to communicate esoteric secrets, particularly when this communication is contemplated along gender lines, mediated through erotic imagery, or expressed in sexual terms.

Letters of a Sufi Scholar

The Correspondence of `Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī (1641-1731)


Samer Akkach

As a leading Muslim thinker, ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī of Damascus creatively engaged with the social, religious, and intellectual challenges that emerged during the early modern period in which he lived. Yet, at a time of high anti-mystical fervour, his Sufi-inspired views faced strong local antipathy. Through extensive correspondence, presented here for the first time, ‘Abd al-Ghanī projected his ideas and teachings beyond the parochial boundaries of Damascus, and was thus able to assert his authority at a wider regional level. The letters he himself selected, compiled, and titled shed fresh lights on the religious and intellectual exchanges among scholars in the eastern Ottoman provinces, revealing a dynamic and rigorous image of Islam, one that is profoundly inspired by humility, tolerance, and love.

The Exoteric Aḥmad Ibn Idrīs

A Sufi's Critique on the Madhāhib and the Wahhābīs


Knut Vikør, Bernard O'Kane, O'Fahey and Bernd Radtke

The Moroccan mystic and theologian Aḥmad b. Idrīs (1749-1837) was one of the most dynamic personalities in the Islamic world of the 19th century. Through his teachings and the activity of his students important Sufi orders were founded which exerted wide-ranging social and political influence, orders such as the Sanūsiyya in Libya and the Khatmiyya in the Sudan. To date, publications dealing with him have especially focused on his biography and particular aspects of his mystical doctrines.
In the present work an Arabic edition and translation with commentary of two texts are made available which throw light on Ibn Idrīs' attitude towards the religious-dogmatic questions of his day and age. The first text, Risālat al-Radd ‘alā ahl al-ra’y, provides information about Ibn Idrīs' relation to the Islamic schools of jurisprudence, in particular his position regarding the ijtihād-taqlīd debate which was so significant in the 18th and 19th centuries. Like many similarly minded scholars of his time, Aḥmad b. Idrīs categorically rejects the authority of the established schools of jurisprudence and favors instead the application of personal methods in deriving a legal judgement.
The second text presented here is a vivid report by one of his students describing a debate which Ibn Idrīs, at an advanced age, entered into with a Wahhābī theologian in the Yemenite city of sabyā in 1832. The text makes clear with regard to which points Ibn Idrīs hoped to establish agreement with the Wahhābīs, and where it was not possible to reach any mutual understanding.
The introduction of the present book examines the tumultuous political circumstances in which both Arabic texts were composed and sketches the larger cultural and intellectual context which shaped Ibn Idrīs' world of ideas.



Fritz Meier (1912-1998) is one of the most outstanding Orientalists of this century. His publications combine masterful philological method and precision, profound and penetrating textual interpretation, and a wide-ranging familiarity with primary sources which may truly be characterized as phenomenal. Among the numerous fields in which he has undertaken original research, Persian poetry and Islamic mysticism (Sufism) in the widest sense stand out in particular. His work on Sufism covers the whole of the Islamic world and Islamic history from its beginnings up to the 20th century.
The present provides for the first time a translation of 15 of Fritz Meier's seminal articles. The selected articles deal with the history of Sufism; Sufi morals and practices such as dhikr and samā‘; the historical development of the master-disciple relationship; Ibn Taymiyya's attitude toward Sufism; pious devotional practices such as making use of the tasliya; essential sources for the history of Sufism in the Maghreb and the Almoravids.
Extensive indices facilitate the use of this epoch-making work.


Johann Christoph Bürgel

Edited by Fabian Käs

Das vorliegende Buch widmet sich den Lebensumständen und der Berufsethik der arabischen Ärzte des Mittelalters. Auf der Grundlage zahlreicher biographischer, protreptischer, deontologischer und isagogischer Schriften untersucht Bürgel verschiedenste Aspekte der medizinischen Ausbildung, der Berufsausübung und der Rolle von Ärzten in der islamischen Gesellschaft. Besonderes Augenmerk gilt dabei der Bewahrung und Weiterentwicklung der antiken griechischen Berufsethik. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt liegt auf den Wechselbeziehungen zwischen wissenschaftlicher Medizin und islamischer Religion.

The present book investigates conditions of life and professional ethics of the Arab physicians in the Middle Ages. Based on a multitude of biographical, protreptic, deontological, and isagogic texts, Bürgel analyzes diverse aspects of medical education, professional conduct, and the role of doctors in Islamicate societies. Special attention is given to the survival and further development of ancient Greek professional ethics. Another focus is on the interrelations between scientific medicine and Islamic religion.

The Ottoman Middle East

Studies in Honor of Amnon Cohen


Edited by Eyal Ginio and Elie Podeh

This collection of articles discusses various political, social, cultural and economic aspects of the Ottoman Middle East. By using various textual and visual documents, produced in the Ottoman Empire, the collection offers new insights into the matrix of life during the long period of Ottoman rule. The different parts of the volume explore the main topics studied by Amnon Cohen: Ottoman Palestine, Egypt and the Fertile Crescent under Ottoman rule, Ottoman Jews and their relations with the surrounding societies and various social aspects of Ottoman societies.