Around 1720 in Fez Aḥmad b. al-Mubārak al-Lamaṭī, a religious scholar, wrote down the words and teachings of the Sufi master ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Dabbāgh. Al-Dabbāgh shunned religious studies but, having reached illumination and met with the Prophet Muḥammad, he was able to explain any obscurities in the Qurʾān,
ḥadīths and sayings of earlier Sufis. The resulting book, known as the
Ibrīz, describes how al-Dabbāgh attained illumination and access to the Prophet, as well as his teachings about the Council of the godly that regulates the world, relations between master and disciple, the darkness in men’s bodies, Adam’s creation, Barzakh, Paradise and Hell, and much more besides.
This ‘encyclopaedia’ of Sufism with its many teaching stories and illustrations provides a window onto social life and religious ideas in Fez a generation or so before powerful outside forces began to play a role in the radical transformation of Morocco.
John O'Kane, B.A. (1963) in Classics, Princeton University, is an independent scholar. His translations include
The Secrets of God's Mystical Oneness (Mazda, 1992),
Fritz Meier, Essays on Islamic Piety and Mysticism (Brill, 1999) and
The Feats of the Knowers of God (Manāqeb al-‘ārefin) by Shams al-Dīn Aḥmad-e Aflākī (Brill, 2002).
Bernd Radtke(born 1944) has taught at the universities of Basel, Bergen (Norway) and Utrecht. His field of specialization is Islamic cultural and intellectual history (Geistesgeschichte), in particular Islamic mysticism.
"[...] a treasure trove of information..This translation will undoubtedly expand scholarly awareness of this little-read but influential book, which reflects a still understudied period in the development of Sufi thought and practice." - Valerie J. Hoffman, in:
Islamic Africa, 2010