Ranks of the Divine Seekers

A Parallel English-Arabic Text. Volume 2


Translator: Ovamir Anjum
Winner of the 2021 Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding (category: translation from Arabic into English)

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).
Winner of the 2021 Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding (category: translation from Arabic into English)

5 The Station of Oft-Returning
 1  Reform
 2  Fulfillment
 3  State

6 The Station of Remembrance
 1  Conditions of Benefitting from Admonition
 2  Contemplating the Qurʾan
 3  Five Things that Corrupt the Heart
 4  Endless Desires for Worldly Things
 5  Attachment to Things Other Than God
 6  Gluttony
 7  Sloth

7 The Station of Holding Fast
 1  The Meaning of Holding Fast
 2  The Holding Fast of the Elite

8 The Station of Fleeing
 1  Fleeing from the Ego
 2  Fleeing from All Other Than the Truth

9 The Station of Disciplining
 1  The Disciplining of the Elite of the Elite]

10 The Station of Listening
 1  Against Music
 2  The Prohibition of Singing and Music
 3  The Arguments of Those Who Permit Singing
 4  First Principle: Scripture is the Judge of Mystical Knowledge
 5  Second Principle: All Disagreements Are Judged by Scripture
 6  Third Principle: The Weighing of Harm and Benefit
 7  Spiritual Taste
 8  Levels of Audition
 9  The Audition of the Elite
 10  The Audition of the Elite of the Elite

11 The Station of Grief
 1  Levels of Grief

12 The Station of Fear
 1  Kinds of Fear
 2  Fear of Self-deception
 2  Balancing Fear and Hope

13 The Station of Trembling

14 The Station of Humility
 1  Putting Out The Fire of Ego
 2  Recognizing the Lesions of One’s Soul and Deeds
 3  The Third Level
 4  Humility and Attentiveness in Prayers

15 The Station of Meekness
 1  Being Blind to People’s Opinions

16 The Station of Renunciation
 1  Is Renunciation Possible in These Times?
 2  Parting from All Longings
 3  Renunciation of Renunciation

17 The Station of Scrupulousness
 1  Levels of Scrupulousness
 2  The Web of Divine Stations

18 The Station of Devotion

19 The Station of Hope
 1  The Excellence of Hope
 2  Levels of Hope

20 The Station of Desire

21 The Station of Shepherding
 1  Levels of Shepherding
 2  Shepherding of Time

22 The Station of Watchfulness
 1  Ranks of Watchfulness
 2  Watchfulness of the Elite of the Elite

23 The Station of Venerating God’s Prohibitions
 1  Is God Worshipped for Fear of the Fire and Love for the Garden?
 2  Conditions of Displaying One’s Good Deeds
 3  Venerating Scripture on Divine Attributes
 4  Protecting the Divine Opening

24 The Station of Purification
 1  Levels of Purification
 2  The Second Level
 2  Purification and Truthfulness

25 The Station of Refinement and Correction
 1  Second Level
 2  Third Level

26 The Station of Standing Firm
 1  Exclusivity
 2  The Soul of All States
 3  Levels of Steadfastness
 4  The Second Level
 5  The Third Level

27 The Station of Trusting Reliance
 1  Meaning of Tawakkul
 2  Levels of Reliance
 3  The Level of Joyful Contentment
 4  Separating Relegation from Inaction and Negligence
 5  Relating Reliance in God to the Beautiful Divine Names
 6  Limiting Reliance to Unworthy Pursuits
 7  Returning to al-Harawī on Trusting Reliance
 8  The First Level according to al-Harawī
 9  The Blemish of Asking of Creation
 10  Third Level

28 The Station of Relegation
 1  Second Level
 2  Third Level

29 The Station of Trust in God
 1  First Level
 2  Second Level
 3  Third Level

30 The Station of Submission
 1  The Defects of Submission
 2  Second Level

31 The Station of Patience
 1  The Literal Meaning
 2  Kinds of Patience
 3  Patience according to al-Harawī
 4  First Level
 5  Third Level
 6  Patience and God

32 The Station of Joyful Contentment
 1  Contentment versus Patience in Suffering
 2  Contentment and Tranquility
 3  Three Levels of Contentment
 4  The Three Conditions of Contentment
 5  Second Level
 6  Differentiating Normative and Ontological Commands
 7  God’s Wisdom in Creating the Devil
 8  Sixty-Two Virtues of Contentment and Indifference to Pleasure and Pain
 9  Returning to al-Harawī
 10  Third Level

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.