9780934893701

Elixir of the Gnostics : A Parallel English-Arabic Text

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780934893701

  • ISBN10:

    0934893705

  • Edition: Bilingual
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-10-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

Sadr al-Din Muhammad Shirazi (1572-1640), more commonly called Mulla Sadra, was one of the grand scholars of later-period Islamic philosophy and has grown to become one of the best-known Muslim philosophers. Iksir al-'arifin, or Elixir of the Gnostics, is unique among Sadra's writings in that it reworks and amplifies an earlier Persian work, the Jawidan-nama (Book of the Everlasting) by Afdal al-Din Kashani, or Baba Afdal. The underlying theme of Sadra's amplification is emblematic of Muslim philosophy: the importance of self-knowledge in an individual's journey of "Origin and Return," the soul's origins with God and its eventual return to Him. Everything, Sadra says, is on such a path, gradually disengaging from the material world and returning to a transcendent essence--all leading to a final fruition in which everything in the universe returns to God and finds permanent happiness. Philosophy, Sadra argues, is the most direct means to self-knowledge--and thus the best tool for navigating this journey.

Author Biography

William C. Chittick (Ph.D. University of Tehran, 1974) is a professor of comparative studies, State University of New York, Stony Brook. He specializes in Islamic intellectual history, especially the philosophical and mystical theology of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as reflected in Arabic and Persian texts. He has also investigated the manner in which texts have been put into practice in the Sufi orders, which have dominated much of popular Islam down to the present

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Series ix
Notes on References and Spelling xi
Preface xiii
Translator's Introduction xvii
Author's Introduction 2(2)
Part One
Chapter One On the division of the sciences
4(1)
Chapter Two On the science of words
4(2)
Chapter Three On the science of practices
6(1)
Chapter Four On the science of thoughts
6(1)
Chapter Five On the science of the afterworld
7(9)
Part Two On the Knowledge of the Soul, which is a Receptacle for the Sciences
Chapter One On the cause of her being impeded
16(1)
Chapter Two On the knowledge that is individually incumbent on man
17(1)
Chapter Three On the attainment of the afterworld's felicity
18(1)
Chapter Four On knowledge of horizons and souls
19(3)
Chapter Five On the Adamic tablet
22(1)
Chapter Six On the divine vicegerency
23(2)
Chapter Seven On another human world
25(1)
Chapter Eight On the book of the soul
26(2)
Chapter Nine On the world of Sovereignty
28(4)
Chapter Ten On the consolidation of the discussion
32(3)
Part Three On the States of the Beginnings
Chapter One On the sorts of beginning
35(3)
Chapter Two On the quiddity of location
38(1)
Chapter Three On the quiddity of time
39(1)
Chapter Four On beginning and end
40(1)
Chapter Five On the beginning of human existence
41(3)
Chapter Six On the angels' prostration to Adam
44(1)
Chapter Seven On the quiddity of Iblis and the satans
45(1)
Chapter Eight On the angel's inspiration and the satan's disquietening
46(3)
Chapter Nine On the wisdom in the creation of the satans
49(1)
Chapter Ten On what was obtained in these chapters
50(6)
Part Four On the Knowledge of the Ends
Chapter One On the highest knowledge
56(6)
Chapter Two On the quiddity of the final end
62(2)
Chapter Three On the soul's imprisonment
64(5)
Chapter Four On divine solicitude
69(1)
Chapter Five On the signs of the horizons and the souls
70(6)
Chapter Six On the root of felicity and wretchedness
76(2)
Chapter Seven On the quiddity of death
78(3)
Chapter Eight On the meaning of forgiveness
81(4)
Chapter Nine On the soul's subsistence
85(2)
Chapter Ten On the interrelation of these three parts
87(2)
Notes to the English Text 89(30)
Bibliography 119(4)
Index of Qur'anic Verses 123(6)
Index of Hadiths and Sayings 129(2)
Index of Names and Terms 131

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