The Comfort of the Mystics

A Manual and Anthology of Early Sufism


This critical Arabic text edition of Salwat al-ʿārifīn wa-uns al-mushtāqīn, a manual of early Sufism by Abū Khalaf al-Ṭabarī (d. ca. 470/1077), is based on a very old manuscript preserved in Dār al-Kutub al-Miṣrīya of Cairo, Egypt and copied in 459/1067. It is introduced by a detailed analytical study of the author and his work. Salwat al-ʿārifīn forms an integral part of Sufi literature and reflects Islamic developments in Nishapur in northeastern Iran. This crucial Arabic text, published for the first time, is especially valuable because of its great philological accuracy and sound textual tradition. It represents an essential source for the intellectual history of Islam during the middle of the 4th/10th to the middle of the 5th/11th century.
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EUR €219.00USD $308.00

Biographical Note

Gerhard Böwering, Ph.D. (1975), McGill University, is Professor of Islamic Studies at Yale University.

Bilal Orfali, Ph.D. (2009), Yale University, is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut.

Review Quotes

“…a finely produced collaborative work of painstaking scholarship and meticulous detail by two leading figures in the field.It sets the bar high for future scholars intending to publish critical editions of medieval Arabic texts.”
Atif Khalil in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 31.3 (2014)

"...the present edition provides presentday scholars with another invaluable window into the historical formation of the Sufi tradition and will
be a required point of reference for future studies in the field." Martin Nguyen in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 136, No. 3 (July-September 2016)

Table of contents

I. Introduction: The Author and His Work

a. The Sources for Abū Khalaf al-Ṭabarī’s Life and His Work
b. Abū Khalaf al-Ṭabarī’s Life and Scholarly Career
c. The Manuscript of Salwat al-ʿārifīn wa-uns al-mushtāqīn
d. The Place of Salwat al-ʿārifīn in Sufi Literature
e. Technical Observations about the Arabic Text Edition
f. Illustrations

II. Arabic Edition

III. Indexes

A. Qurʾān Citations
B. Names
C. Places
D. Poetry
E. Sources
F. Chapter Titles


All those interested in Sufism (Islamic Mysticism), Islamic Studies, Mysticism in general and Arabists.


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