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The Book Of Wisdoms (Kitab al-Hikam)

The Book Of Wisdoms (Kitab al-Hikam)

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The Book Of Wisdoms [Kitab al-Hikam with Ikmal al-Shiyam] - A Collection of Sufi Aphorisms With Commentary

Muslim religious life consists not only of belief in orthodox tenets of faith and a determined effort to follow the Sacred Law, but it also requires one to scale the heights of Islamic spirituality by attaining the states of the heart demanded by the Islamic revelation.

The Kitab al-Hikam of Shaykh Ibn Ata'illah al-Iskandari (d. 1309) is a famous and respected explanation of the journey of Islamic spirituality (known simply as 'the Path' or 'the Way'), with the Qur'an and the Sunna as the determiners of the principles contained therein. Although the work contains treatises and supplications, the essential core of the work is to be found in the author's collection of spiritual aphorisms (264 in total). These aphorisms are presented in this edition according to the arrangement of the great Indian scholar Shaykh Ali al-Muttaqi (d. 1567), together with a commentary by a twentieth-century sage, Shaykh Abdullah Gangohi

Shaykh Ibn `Ata'illah (d. 1309) lived in Egypt during the reign of the Mamluks. Originally from Alexandria , he moved to Cairo , where his professional life involved teaching Sacred Law in various institutions including the al-Azhar Mosque. He also led a concurrent existence as a Master for disciples of Islamic spirituality. The Hikam is his principal work, one that has attracted universal Muslim approval from his own time up to the present day.

Shaykh `Abdullah Gangohi (d. 1921) was a teacher in various Islamic schools in the Indian subcontinent, during an era of great academic and spiritual achievement in the region. His main area of expertise was Arabic language, and some of his works have become part of the core syllabus in numerous schools of Islamic studies. He took the Spiritual Path from the famous hadith scholar and Sufi Master Shaykh Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, who eventually made Gangohi a Master of the Path in his own right.

Victor Danner (d. 1990) was an American academic noted for his translation of the Hikam. He taught various subjects, including Arabic Language, Classical Arabic Literature, and Sufism, at Indiana University.


'Sometimes you encounter works which just make you re-evaluate your whole connection to Allah Most High. They make you realise the faqr (poverty) of your affair, and your distance from that which you thought you were close. Glorified is Allah. The Kitab al-Hikam is one such text. It has been serving wayfarers throughout the ages, in their quest to know their Most Majestic Lord.'

Gavin N. Picken, Ph.D., American University of Sharjah, UAE

'The style of the commentary reflects the intimate teachings communicated from Master to disciple; and brings the inner meanings of the Quran and the Sunna to life for readers on all levels of comprehension and faith traditions.'

Kenneth L. Honerkamp, University of Georgia, USA

'Enhancing ones love for the Divine by reforming the inner and outer self is an obligation for everyone, and is the purpose of sufism. . . and this book is the fragrant essence of sufism.'

Mawlana Khayr Muhammad Jalandhari, Late founder of
Khayr al-Madaris, Multan, Pakistan

'[The] commentary Ikmal al-Shiyam is an invaluable addition to our understanding of Ibn Ataillahs thought, as well as an aid to those who seek better to apply his wisdom to their daily lives.'

Nancy Roberts, Translator of Ibn Ataillahs Kitab al-Lataif (The Subtle Blessings)

'Using the late Professor Victor Danners translation, Booso has matched the elegance of the language in Danners translation with his editing of Gangohis Ikmal al-Shiyam. A welcome addition to the field of Islam and Sufism.'

Mary Ann Danner Fadae, Widow of Victor Danner and translator of Ibn Ataillahs Miftah al-Falah (The Key to Salvation)

'Commentary literature on the Kitab al-Hikam has been acknowledged as a genre that has been almost overlooked by both translators and scholars and The Book of Wisdoms makes a good step towards rectifying this situation.'

Benjamin G Cook, University of Tasmania, Australia

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