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Whirling Derivishes (detail), by Jean-Leon Gerome [19th c.] (Public Domain Image)
Studies in Islamic Mysticism
by Reynold A. Nicholson
Bewilderment (hayra) when caused by letting the eye wander in different directions, is pernicious; but praiseworthy, when it is the result of gazing concentratedly on the beauty of the Beloved. The latter is characteristic of one who has lost himself in Divine contemplation. "O Lord, increase my bewilderment!" was a famous Sufi's prayer.--p. 208
This is a study of three early Sufi figures: Abu Sa'id (b. 967, d. 1049),
al-Jili (b. 1365-9, d. 1406-1417),
and Ibnu 'l-Farid (b. 1182, d. 1235).
The text includes historical and legendary narratives of these
Sufi masters, and detailed discussion of their philosophy and theology.
The book concludes with an extended critical translation of the
Odes of Ibnu 'l-Farid.
Reynold Nicholson also wrote
The Mystics of Islam, and translated
Iqbal's The Secrets of the Self.
His translation of Rumi's Masnavi between 1925 and 1940 (which
for copyright reasons can't be posted at this site) is considered his
life's masterpiece, and the basis of much of the contemporary interest
Chapter I. Abú Saíd Ibn Abi l-Khayr
Chapter II. The Perfect Man
I. Essence, Attribute, and Name
II. The Descent of the Absolute
III. The Essence as God
IV. The Heavenly Man
V. The Macrocosm
VI. The Return to the Essence
VII. Religion, Revelation and Prophecy
Appendix I. Jílí's Ayniyya
Appendix II. Some Notes On The Fuṣúṣu l-Ḥikam
Chapter III. The Odes of Ibnu l-Fáriḍ
I. Names and Titles
III. Technical Terms, etc.