The Conclusive Argument of God is the master work of Shāh Walī Allāh of Delhi (1762), considered to be the most important Muslim thinker of pre-modern South Asia. This work, originally written in Arabic, represents a synthesis of the Islamic intellectual disciplines authoritative in the 18th century.
In order to argue for the rational, ethical, and spiritual basis for the implementation of the hadith injunctions of the Prophet Muhammad, Shāh Walī Allāh develops a cohesive schema of the metaphysical, psychological, and social knowledge of his time.
This work provides an extensive and detailed picture of Muslim theology and interpretive strategies on the eve of the modern period and is still evoked by numerous contemporary Islamic movements.
Marcia K. Hermansen, Ph.D. (1982) in Islamic Studies, University of Chicago, is Professor in the Theology department at Loyola University in Chicago. She has published numerous articles and books on Islamic thought, Sufism, Islam and Muslims in South Asia, Muslims in North America, Women in Islam, and other topics.
With this translation, one of the most important texts for the study of Islamic intellectual life in the 18th century Indian subcontinent is made available in a carefully prepared and well annotated translation.'
MESA Bulletin, 1997.
Professor Marcia Hermansen has presented both an illuminating contribution to eighteenth-century Indo Muslim ṣūfī studies and a thoroughgoing analysis of a major figure from the period. Given the stiltedly idiosyncratic, complexly recondite nature of Shāh Walī Allāh's Arabic prose style, the translator succeeded remarkably well in rendering the next into easily readable English.'
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 2000.
Those interested in Islamic thought, mysticism, and contemporary Islamic movements.