Ranks of the Divine Seekers

A Parallel English-Arabic Text. Volume 1

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.

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Ovamir Anjum, Ph.D. (2008), University of Wisconsin-Madison, is Professor and Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Toledo. His publications include numerous articles and a monograph Politics, Law, and Community in Islamic Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Translation Notes

Translator’s Introduction
 1  Madārij and Its Author
 2  The Formation of Sufism
 3  Sufism and Antinomianism
 4  Sufism and Mysticism
 5  Defining Sufism
 6  Al-Harawī and Manāzil
 7  Madārij’s Reverential Critique of Manāzil
 8  The Problem of Ontology: Annihilation (fanāʾ)
 9  Causality and Ethics
 10  The Problem of Epistemology
 11  An Egalitarian and Accessible Path
 12  Conclusion

Selected Bibliography

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Madārij al-Sālikīn: Text and Translation

 1  Merits of the First Chapter of the Qurʾan, The Opening
 2  The Opening Affirms All the Three Types of Divine Unicity
 3  The Five Pivotal Names of God Affirm His Attributes
 4  Ten Levels of Divine Guidance
 5  The Opening Heals Hearts as well as Bodies
 6  Refutation of Heresies
 7  Exegesis of “You we worship and You we supplicate for help”

1 The Stations of the Journey
 1  The Station of Awakening
 2  The Station of Insight
 3  The Station of Purpose
 4  The Station of Resolve
 5  Interlude: On the Ordering of the Stations

2 The Station of Reflection
 1  Interlude: The Station of Annihilation
 2  Three Types of Annihilation
 3  The Causes of Experiential Annihilation
 4  The Essence of Experiential Annihilation
 5  The Dangers on the Path of Annihilation: Antinomianism
 6  Volitional Annihilation: The True Goal of the Righteous

3 The Station of Self-Reckoning
 1  The First Pillar
 2  The Second Pillar
 3  The Third Pillar

4 The Station of Repentance
 1  Repentance and The Opening
 2  The Conditions and Realities of Repentance
 3  Legitimate and Illegitimate Excuses for Sins
 4  The Inner Realities of Repentance
 5  The Finer Points of the Inner Realities of Repentance
 8  Interlude: Affirmation of the Ethical Value of Acts and Causality
 9  Levels of Repentance: The Commoners
 10  Some Rulings Concerning Repentance
 11  The Full Meaning of Repentance
 12  Sins: The Object of Repentance
 13  Twelve Kinds of Sins in the Qurʾan
 14  Perspectives on the Nature of Sin and Repentance

All interested in Islamic piety, Sufism, mysticism, and Qur’anic exegesis, and in the Islamic scripturalists’ critical appreciation of the Sufi tradition; academic specialists, students, as well as practitioners and educated lay persons.