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 Authors' Profile


‘Alija ‘Ali Izetbegovic

(b. 1925)

‘Alija ‘Ali Izetbegovic was born in B. Krupa in a renowned Bosnian Muslim family. Educated in Sarajevo, he got his degrees in law, arts and science. Throughout his life, he has been active in Islamic work, writing and lecturing. In 1949, he was sentenced to five-year hard labour for his association with “Young Muslims” Organization, which was engaged in Islamic education and welfare.

Retired after serving as a legal adviser for 25 years, he devoted his time and energies to writing about philosophy and Islam. In March 1983, ‘Alija was arrested alongwith twelve other Muslim intellectuals and sentenced in semi-secret trial by the court in Sarajevo to fourteen years imprisonment. This sentence was reduced to twelve years in 1984.



A. J. Arberry


A. J. Arberry was born at Buckland, Portsmouth and educated at the Pembroke College, Cambridge. He took a first in both parts of the Oriental Language Tripos in 1929 and was elected as the Junior Research Fellow by his College. During the period of 1932-1944 he worked, first as the head of the Classics Department of the Cairo University and then as the Assistant Librarian of the India Office, London. In 1944, he was appointed to the chair of Persian at the London University. In 1946, he became Professor of Arabic and Head of the Near and Middle East Department and in the following year he returned to Pembroke as Sir Thomas Adam’s Professor of Arabic, a post which he held for the remainder of his life.

A profound and inspiring teacher, he was also an immensely prolific and versatile writer, publishing over sixty works on a wide range of topics in Arabic and Persian studies as well on the facets of Islamic languages and civilization. His translation of the Qur’ān is regarded among the best to be produced in the English language.




Dr. Ahmad Hasan Qureshi


Dr. Ahmad Hasan Qureshi was born at Raikot, (Ludhiana), India. He studied at the Government College and earned a BA (Honours in English) and then an MA (English) in 1949. During 1949-50 he taught English at Dyal Singh College, Lahore. In 1950-51 he served as an Assistant Professor at the Government College, Mianwali. In 1951, Dr Qureshi proceeded to the United States for higher studies as a Fulbright Scholar. He earned B.Sc. (Journalism), MA English and Ph.D. English from the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana. In 1959, he taught English at Eureka College, Eureka, Illinois. In 1960, he accepted a Lectureship at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. In 1974, he was promoted to Full Professorship at Alberta. Professor Qureshi taught courses in several areas of English, American, Islamic Literature [in English translation], Comparative Literature and World Literature, specialising in Victorian Literature. He gave radio talks on literary issues, took part in panel discussions, read papers at national and international Humanities Conferences and directed MA and Ph.D. dissertations.

His research papers were published in learned journals in Canada, Pakistan, Japan and Holland. Professor Qureshi’s graduate seminars in Islamic Literature led him to an in-depth study of the Qur’ān and Hadith and convinced him that there were many literary treasures in the Qur’ān which had never received even a modicum of serious attention in the West.




Professor Alexander D. Knysh

Professor Alexander D. Knysh, the translator, is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research interests include Islamic mysticism and Islamic theological thought in historical perspective as well as Islam and Islamic movements in local contexts (especially Yemen and the Northern Caucasus). He has numerous publications on these subjects, including four books.



Dr. Muhammad Eissa

Dr. Muhammad Eissa, the reviewer, is a graduate of Al-Azhar University of Egypt and the University of California in Los Angeles. He has had a long teaching career at the American University in Cairo, UCLA, Northwestern University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has written, translated and edited numerous works in the areas of Arabic and Islamic studies. Currently he is the President of a private educational and consulting institution in the Chicago area, Illinois.




Alexis Carrel


Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon and biologist, recieved his Doctor’s degree from the University of Lyons in 1900. He then continued his medical work at the Lyons Hospital and also taught Anatomy and Operative Surgery at the University, holding the post of Prosecutor in the Department of Professor L. Testut. Specializing in Surgery, Carrel began experimental work in this subject in Lyons in 1902, but in 1904 he went to Chicago and in 1905 worked in the Department of Physiology in the University of Chicago under Professor G. N. Stewart. In 1906 he was attached to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York, where he carried out most of his experiments. Using a small needle and very fine silk thread, Alexis Carrel developed the first successful technique for suturing blood vessels together. He then devised methods to prevent infection during surgery. For this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1912. He also performed some of the earliest blood transfusions between humans, and transplanted kidneys and legs between dogs.




A.     Cressy Morrison


A. Cressy Morrison was a former President of the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Institute of the City of New York. He was also member of the Executive Board of the National Research Council; fellow of the American Museum of Natural History and life member of Royal Institution of Great Britain.



Ananda K. Coomaraswamy


Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, the greatest among the Indian art-historians, was born in Colombo. After graduating from the University of London with Honours in Geology in 1900, he became the Director of the Mineralogical Survey of Ceylon. During his three-year’s stay in Ceylon, he formed the Ceylon Social Reformation Society and led the University Movement in which he initiated the national education, teaching of vernaculars in all schools and revival of Indian culture. Between 1906 and 1917, when he joined as the Curator of Indian Art in the Boston Museum, he was busy lecturing on Indian art and formed societies for the study of Indian art. In 1938, he became the Chairman of National Committee for India’s Freedom. His contribution on Indian philosophy, religion, art and iconography, painting and literature are of the great importance as are his contributions on music, science and Islamic art.


Angus Macnab


Angus Macnab was born in London of New Zealand-Scots parents. He received a classical education at the ancient “Public School” of Rugby and at Christ Church College, Oxford. He was a gifted translator of Latin and Greek poetry, but as a profession he chose teaching. His interest in Spain began in 1936 and after the Second World War, in which he served as a volunteer ambulance driver, he learned Spanish and decided to make Spain his home. For many years he lived with his Irish wife and three children in the charming Plaza de Santo Tome (opposite the church of the same name) in Toledo. While there, he received a number of distinguished visitors from England and America including novelists Evelyn Waugh and James Michener, musician and Tibetologist Marco Pallis, and publisher Tom Burns.

In 1938, under the influence of G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, Angus Macnab embraced neo-scholasticism and traditional Catholicism. For some this could have been an intellectual straitjacket, but in conjunction with his classical roots and his later oriental studies, it provided Macnab with a fine philosophical tool for a subtle examination of the two traditional cultures (Christian and Islamic) of Medieval Spain. The fruits of his investigation in this field were his books Spain Under the Crescent Moon and Toledo: Sacred and Profane.




Aziz Ahmad


Aziz Ahmad was born in Hyderabad where he spent most of the first half of his life. He was educated in Hyderabad and London, and taught in the Universities of Osmania (Hyderabad), London, and California at Los Angeles. Aziz joined Toronto University, Canada, as Associate Professor of Islamic Studies. He wrote many Urdu novels including Gurez and The Shore and the Wave. During his stay in Canada, he obtained D.Litt. and FRCS degrees becomig a fellow of the Royal Society. He was also Professor of Islamic Studies in the University of Toronto. He wrote a number of books on cultural and intellectual history of Muslim South Asia.



G. E. Von Grunebaum


G. E. Von Grunebaum received a doctorate with honors from the University of Vienna in 1931. To an outstanding linguistics and literary knowledge he joined an interest in society which encompassed many of the usual academic disciplines. Leaving Vienna when the Nazis came in 1938, he taught at the Asia Institute in New York from 1938 to 1943, at the University of Chicago from 1943 to 1957, and came to UCLA in 1957 as director of the newly formed Near Eastern Center and as professor of history. Here he built up a center that ranked among the very best in the world. Having published his dissertation of Arabic poetry in German in 1937, he wrote Modern Islam (1962), Classical Islam (1970) and others.




B. R. Von Schlegell

B. R. Von Schlegell is a visiting associate professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Ursinus College. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies. Her primary research interests include biographical literature of the Prophet Muhammad; early modern Ottoman history; progressive Islam; Quranic studies; Sufism; and women and gender issues in Islam. Her translated works include an Arabic translation of Principles of Sufism: The Risalah of ‘Abd al-Karim al-Qushayri and the Malay translation of Principles of Sufism. Her published works also include Muslim Women Throughout the World: An Annotated Bibliography and Sufi Women of Damascus. Ms. Schlegell was recipient of the Inaugural Kahn Teaching Award for Excellence by an assistant professor in May of 2000.




Caner K. Dagli

Caner K. Dagli earned a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from George Washington University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. His dissertation is titled “From Mysticism to Philosophy and Back.” He specializes in Islamic philosophy, mysticism in world religions and Sufism. Presently an Assistant Professor at the College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, USA, he has worked as the Interfaith Affairs Consultant to The Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan, providing consultative support and executing tasks related to interfaith and Islamic affairs for Jordan’s vision of interfaith understanding and cooperation. His scholarly interests include Sufism, Islamic philosophy in the West, religion and science, and the writings of the seventeenth century Persian philosopher Mulla Sadra, fields in which he has published articles.




Claude Addas

Claude Addas is a French Scholar and author who took her PhD from University of Paris in 1987. She is daughter of prominent scholar and writer Michel Chodkiewicz . She is a founding member of the Ibn Arabi Society, Oxford (England) and has lectured and authored extensively on the life and works of Ibn Arabi.



Cyril Glassé

 (b. 1944)

Cyril Glassé is a graduate of Columbia University. His published work includes a translation of Margaret Von Berchen’s Study of Islamic Jerusalem, A Guide to Saudi Arabia (Berlitz, 1981) and The Pilgrim’s Guide to Mecca written for the Hajj Research Centre, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah. He is a practicing Muslim and has traveled extensively throughout the Islamic world.




E. F. Schumacher 


E. F. Schumacher was an internationally influential economic thinker with a professional background as a statistician and economist in Britain. He served as Chief Economic Advisor to the British National Coal Board for two decades.

His ideas became well-known in much of the English speaking world during the 1970s. He is best known for his critique of Western economies and his proposals for human-scale, decentralized and appropriate technologies. According to The Times Literary Supplement, his 1973 book Small is Beautiful is among the 100 most influential books published since World War-II. It was soon translated into many languages and brought international fame to Schumacher, after which Schumacher was invited to many international conferences, in the universities as guest speaker and as an advisor for various consultations.

Schumacher's basic development theories have been summed up in the catch-phrases Intermediate Size and Intermediate Technology. Schumacher's other notable work is the 1977  A Guide for the Perplexed, which is a critique of materialist scientism and an exploration of the nature and organization of knowledge. Together with long-time friends and associates like Professor Mansūr Hoda, Schumacher founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group (now Practical Action) in 1966.




Edward William Lane


Edward William Lane , considered as the greatest Arabic scholar in Europe in his day, was born at Hereford. Descending from a family of scholars and men of letters, Lane was educated, after his father’s death in 1814, at the grammar schools of Bath and Hereford, where he showed a bent for mathematics, which led him to contemplate a Cambridge degree with a view to taking orders. The plan was abandoned, his health being unequal to the trials of a confined occupation and the extreme climates. To this happy disability he owed the development of his special genius that flowered in his marked passion for eastern studies. One of his early works was a translation of the Thousand and One Nights, or Arabian Nights’ Entertainment. In 1843, appeared a volume of Selections from the Kurán. Lane had planned to remedy the deficiencies of the existing Arabic-Latin dictionaries by compiling an exhaustive thesaurus of the Arabic language from the numerous authoritative native lexicons. The materials were gathered, the chief native lexicon (the Tāj ul-‘Arūs) upon which he intended to found his own work, was sufficiently transcribed. For more than a quarter of a century, Lane devoted all his efforts to completing his task, compiling the most scholarly dictionary of the Arabic language. After twenty years of unremitting labour, the first part of the Arabic-English Lexicon was published. The succeeding parts came out in 1865, 1867, 1872, 1874, and posthumously, under the editorship of S. Lane-Poole in 1877, 1885, and 1892. Lane continued his labours in spite of increasingly delicate health and growing weariness.




Elma Ruth Harder

Elma Ruth Harder was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She grew up on a prairie farm, picking berries and vegetables in the family garden, co1lecting eggs in the hen house and driving the grain truck during harvest. The first school she attended was a two-room schoolhouse, where she shared the same classroom with students from Grade I to V. Later, she went on to study in the fields of education, theology, home economics and adult education. She left Saskatchewan– the land of the living skies– to see what the skies looked like in other parts of the world. She has worked and lived in many parts of the world. She has taught elementary school, home economics, English as a second language and a variety of other subjects at several different levels in places as far distant as Islamabad in Pakistan, Fort Chipewyan in Northern Alberta, Miyazaki in Japan and Montreal and Saskatchewan in Canada. Now she and her family live under the wide blue Alberta sky.



Dr. Fazlur Rahman


Dr. Fazlur Rahman is one of the most learned Muslim thinkers of the second-half of the twentieth century, in terms of both classical Islam and Western philosophical and theological discourse. He came from a Punjabi family steeped in traditional Islamic learning; and then went on to familiarise himself with modern critical thinking at Oxford under   H. A. R. Gibb and Van Der Bergh. Later, he returned to Pakistan to head up the Central Institute of Islamic Research which was set up by the Pakistani government for implementing Islam. However, due to the political situation in Pakistan, Rahman was hindered from making any progress in this endeavour and he returned to North America to re-evaluate his religious heritage and started teaching there. After teaching at UCLA as a visiting professor for a few years, he moved to the University of Chicago in 1969 and established himself there becoming the Harold H. Swift Professor of Islamic Thought. At Chicago, he was instrumental for building a strong Near Eastern Studies program that continues to be among the best in the world. Rahman also became a proponent for a reform of the Islamic polity and was an advisor to the state department. So far, he is the only Muslim to receive the prestigious Giorgio Levi Della Vida prize (1983). He has published numerous articles and books, among them, Avicenna’s Psychology, Islam, Islam and Modernity; Major Themes of the Qur’ān, Revival and Reform in Islam, Islamic Methodology in History and Health and Medicine in the Islamic Tradition.




Franklin D. Lewis

Franklin D. Lewis is Associate Professor of Persian in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, and an expert on Persian literature. In 1995, his thesis on Sana’i won the Best Dissertation of the Year Award from the Foundation for Iranian Studies; in 1996 he began work on the painstaking research that was to culminate in Rūmī: Past and Present, East and West, published to critical acclaim from academics and general readers alike.

In 2001, for this book, Lewis received the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Award, handed out each year by the British Society of Middle Eastern Studies to the author of the best book on the subject published in Great Britain, becoming the first American in its four-year history to take home the award.




Frithjof Schuon

(Shaykh ‘Īsa Nūr al-Dīn)


Frithjof Schuon was born in Basle, Switzerland. At sixteen, he interrupted his classical education to earn a living as a designer in Paris, where he studied Arabic and Arabic calligraphy. Subsequent visits to North Africa and the East, prompted by his profound interest in the great religions of the world, resulted in many contacts with Sufi, Hindu and Buddhist authorities, in addition to important links he established with representatives of the spiritual legacy of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches; and two visits to the North American Plains Indians (he was officially adopted by the Lakota tribe) won him a number of close friends, particularly among the Sioux and the Crow.

Of his first book, The Transcendent Unity of Religions, which has been published in six different languages, T. S. Eliot wrote: “I have met with no more impressive work in the comparative study of Oriental and Occidental religion.” In addition to his books, he was a regular contributor to Studies in Comparative Religion, and also contributed to Etudes Traditionnells for over twenty years.



Gai Eaton

(Hasan ‘Abd al-Hakīm)


Charles Le Gai Eaton was born in Switzerland and educated at Charterhouse and King’s College, Cambridge. He worked for many years as a teacher and journalist in Jamaica and Egypt (where he embraced Islam in 1951) before joining the British Diplomatic Service. He retired early after serving in India, Africa and the Caribbean to take up an appointment as consultant to the Islamic Cultural Centre in London. He is the author of The Richest Vein, King of the Castle, Islam and the Destiny of Man, Remembering God– Reflections on Islam and A Bad Beginning. He extensively wrote, lectured and broadcasted on religious topics. The author was brought up as an agnostic and embraced Islam at an early age. As a Muslim, he has retained his adherence to the perennial philosophy which, he maintains, underlies the teachings of all the great religions.



Huston Smith

(b. 1919)

Huston Smith was born in Soochow, China and was educated at Central College in Fayette, Missouri, the University of California and the University of Chicago. He has taught at Washington University, the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. He worked as professor and chair of the philosophy department at MIT from 1958 to 1973. He then moved to Syracuse University, where he was Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy until his retirement in 1983 and current emeritus status. At University of California, Berkeley he was visiting professor of religious studies.

His articles and reviews have appeared in professional journals as well as The Saturday Review and Temenos. His books include The Purposes of Higher Education, The Religions of Man, Forgotten Truth: The Primordial Tradition, Beyond the Postmodern Mind, Cleansing the Doors of Perception, The Way Things Are– Science and Spirituality, Religion– Significance and Meaning in an Age of Disbelief and the best-selling classic The World’s Religions. He is widely regarded as the most learned and literary contemporary writer on the history of religions.





Dr. James Fadiman

(b. 1939)

James Fadiman is an author, teacher, and student of Sufism. He works as a Consultant to Management and Adjunct Full Professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California.



Dr. Robert Frager

Robert Frager is a Harvard-trained psychologist. He is the former president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he  is currently Director of the Spiritual Guidance program and professor of Psychology. Dr. Frager is renowned for his pioneering work in the field of transpersonal psychology and for his role in establishing the country’s first educational institution dedicated to this emerging field of research and practice. He also teaches courses in Spiritual Psychology and The Wisdom of Islam at the online University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles. He is also a Sufi teacher in the Halveti-Jerrahi Order in which he was initiated by Muzaffer Ozak. His works include; Motivation and PersonalityLove Is the Wine: Talks of a Sufi Master in America; Personality and Personal Growth; Who Am I?: Personality Types for Self-Discovery; Heart, Self and Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance, and Harmony; The Wisdom of Islam: A Practical Guide to the Wisdom of Islamic Belief.



Jean-Louis Michon

(b. 1924)

Jean-Louis Michon is a traditionalist French scholar, translator, and writer who specializes in Islam in North Africa, Islamic art and Sufism. He was associated with both René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon, and lived and worked in several Muslim countries, both as a teacher and as a consultant on the reestablishment of traditional arts and crafts, including architecture. He has written many articles that have appeared in journals and collections on Islam and Sufism, including a number of articles in the Encyclopaedia of Islam (by Brill Academic Publishers). His books include the much-respected area study, Autobiography of a Moroccan Sufi: Ahmad Ibn ‘Ajiba.



Roger Gaetani

Roger Gaetani is an editor and educator who lives in Bloomington, Indiana. He has lived and traveled in Muslim countries for a number of years and has a deep interest in Sufism, Islam, and other world religions. He has contributed articles and poetry to several journals and books.




John Walbridge

John Walbridge, originally from the upper peninsula of Michigan, has a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Near Eastern languages and is presently Associate Professor of Near Eastern languages and of philosophy at Indiana University. He is the author of The Science of Mystic Lights: Qutb al-Dīn Shirāzī and the Illuminationist Tradition in Islamic Philosophy (1992) and The Leaven of the Ancients: Suhrawardi and the Heritage of the Greeks (2000). He has also authored two works on the Baha’i religion and two volumes of translations of the Arabic short stories and poems of Khalil Gibran.




Hossein Ziai


Hossein Ziai received his B.S. from Yale in 1967 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1976. He was director of Iranian studies at University of California, Los Angele, where he had been teaching Iranian and Islamic studies since 1988. Dr. Ziai published several books on Islamic philosophy, especially the Iranian Illuminationist tradition. These include Knowledge and Illumination: A Study of Suhrawardi’s Hikmat al-Ishrāq (1990), The Book of Radiance (1998; translation of Suhrawardī’s Partow Nameh); and The Ball and Polo Stick, or the Book of Ecstasy, with W M. Thackston (1999; translation of ‘Arifi’s Halnamah). He also authored numerous articles and contributed many chapters to edited volumes.




James Winston Morris

(b. 1949)

James Winston Morris received his education in the US. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. Professor Morris is presently Professor at Department of Theology, Boston College, MA, United States. He has taught previously at Princeton University, Oberlin College, Temple University, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in Paris and London and held the Sharjah Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter from 1999 to 2006. Prof. Morris serves on numerous international editorial, consulting, and examining boards in his fields, and he is currently president of the Rumi Institute’s international advisory council and honorary Life Fellow of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabī Society. He has published a large number of articles and translations as well as numerous books, among them, The Wisdom of the Throne: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mulla Sadra; The Meccan Illuminations; Ibn ‘Arabi: The Meccan Revelations; The Reflective Heart– Discovering Spiritual Intelligence in Ibn ‘Arabi’s Meccan Illuminations  and Orientations–  Islamic Thought in a World Civilization.




Dr. Jeffrey Lang

(b. 1954)

Dr. Jeffrey Lang is Professor of Mathematics at The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. He is the author of best selling works: Struggling to Surrender and Even Angels Ask: A Journey to Islam in America and Losing My Religion: A Call for Help. His books have also been translated into other languages. He converted to Islam in the early 1980s.




John Herlihy

(Yahyā Ahmed)

(b. 1945)

John Herlihy was born into an Irish-American family in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon completion of his studies at a Paulist seminary, he went in search of adventure as a traveler and teacher and has since worked as a lecturer in English in several Near and Far Eastern countries. In the early 1970s, he made the acquaintance of a Kashmiri Indian whom he now fondly remembers as “the laughing Sufi.” In his book, The Seeker and the Way, he explains that his conver­sion was a raw and unexpected awakening that pulled him back from the abyss and set for him a new direction in coming to terms with the purpose and meaning of his life. Twenty years after his con­version and with a life-long interest in writing, he began to explore through words the complex nature of his relationship with this and the “other” world. In addition to writing for such traditional jour­nals as Sacred Web and Sophia, his publications include In Search of the Truth, Veils and Keys to Enlightenment, Modern Man at the Crossroads, and Near and Distant Horizons, all of which reflect upon the disparity between modernity and tradition and the pursuit of spirituality in today’s anti-spiritual world.




John Renard

(b. 1944)

John Renard received a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 1978, specializing in medieval Arabic and Persian religious texts, art and architecture, and the history of Sufism. Since then, he has been teaching courses in Islam, history of religion, comparative theology, religious art, and medieval studies at Saint Louis University, Missouri, United States, where he is Professor of Theological Studies. He is the author of In the Footsteps of Muhammad: Understanding the Islamic Experience and Islam and the Heroic Image: Themes in Literature and the Visual Arts.




Joseph E. B. Lumbard

Joseph E. B. Lumbard, an Assistant Professor of Classical Islam at Brandeis University, received an M. A. in Religious Studies from the George Washington University and a Ph. D. and M. Phil. in Islamic Studies from Yale University. In order to complement his Western university training, he studied Qur’ān, Hadith, Sufism and Islamic philosophy with traditional teachers in Morocco, Egypt, Yemen and Iran. An avid proponent of cross-cultural understanding, Dr. Lumbard has published several articles on comparative mysticism, Sufism, and Islamic philosophy, has lectured in academic arenas around the world, participated in inter-faith dialogue in Jewish and Christian forums, and appeared on several radio and television programs. He is the author of “No god but God is my Fortress...”: Ahmad al-Gahzzālī on Dhikr (forthcoming, Fons Vitae) and is currently working on Ahmad al-Gahzzālī and the Metaphysics of Love, the first extensive study of the life and work of the renowned Sufi in a European language.




Leonard Lewisohn

Leonard Lewisohn is a Senior Lecturer in Persian and Sufi Literature at Exeter University, UK and is Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Academic Research at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where he also teaches Persian. His specialist areas include Persian literature and poetry, Sufism, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies.



Lord Northbourne


James Nuh Northbourne, the fourth Lord Northbourne was a man of exceptional vision. After serving in World War-I, he took an agricultural degree at Oxford, and taught there in the 1920s. In 1932, he took over management of the family seat near Deal, in Kent, implementing biodynamic farming methods throughout the estate and gardens. A highly cultured man who applied himself to painting and horti­culture, he was fully engaged with the agricultural issues of his day, serving after the Second World War as chairman both of the Kent Agricultural Exec­utive Committee and the Wye Agricultural College. His view that mankind mediates between God and Nature through the art of husbandry led Northbourne to write on the many wider social and economic implications of environmental damage in a unique way that has not been equalled in the intervening years. Lord Northbourne was a key figure in the so-called traditionalist school, including such figures as René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, S. H. Nasr, Huston Smith and the Tibetan Buddhist, Marco Pallis. It was Pallis, struck by Northbourne’s early agricultural writings, who first introduced him to the traditionalist writings. He published three books of his own; Religion in the Modern World, Looking Back on Progress and Look to the Land. A fourth volume of collected essays is in preparation. These later works present his wider reflections on the Divine and human society, but always with the sensibility of a man who has roots in the soil.




Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub

Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub was born in ‘Ayn Oana, South Lebanon. He was educated at the American University of Beirut and the University of Pennsylvania, and received his PhD in Comparative Religion from Harvard University in 1975. He has taught and lectured widely on Islam in North America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Ayoub is the author of a number of books and articles dealing with Islamic subjects and Muslim‑Christian relations. These include: Redemptive Suffering in Islam: A Study of the Devotional Aspects of ‘Ashura in Twelver Shi‘ism and The Qur’ān and Its Interpreters. This multi‑volume series presents the Qur’ān to Western and non Arabic speaking Muslims as Muslims have understood it through tafsir, or interpretation. Two volumes of this series have already appeared and the rest is well underway. Mahmoud Ayoub is professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religion, Temple University, Philadelphia, US.




Martin Lings

(Abū Bakr Sirāj ad-Dīn)


Martin Lings was born in Burnage, Lancashire. After a classical education, he read English at Oxford where he was a pupil and later a close friend of C. S. Lewis. In 1935, he went to Lithuania where he lectured on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English at the University of Kaunus. After four years, he went to Egypt and was given a lectureship in English Literature at Cairo University where he lectured mainly on Shakespeare. He later returned to England and took a degree in Arabic at London University and subsequently joined the staff of the British Museum where he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts until his retirement in 1973. He is the author of The Sacred Art of Shakespeare, Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions, The Eleventh Hour, Symbol & Archetype, The Book of Certainty (the Sufi Doctrines of Faith, Vision and Gnosis), A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, What is Sufism? and Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology. His Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources has been acclaimed as the best biography of the Prophet. He was also the author of several articles for the new Encyclopaedia of Islam, of the article on Sufism in the latest edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and participated in various Islamic conferences form time to time. He was a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and member of its council and also a member of the British Museum Society.




Dr. Mehdi Aminrazavi

(b. 1957)

Dr. Mehdi Aminrazavi is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. He is an expert in Islamic thought and medieval philosophy, and has edited or authored several books in these areas, including an Anthology of Philosophy in Persia (co-authored with S. H. Nasr). He is the recipient of numerous prizes and honours for both his research and his teaching, and is a member of the editorial board for several journals.

Dr. Aminrazavi’s preoccupation with the legacy of Umar Khayyām dates from his childhood visits to Nayshabur, where he heard for the first time the powerful message in the poetry being recited around the poet’s tomb; simple words which have proved inspirational to thousands.




Mehdi Ha’iri Yazdi


Mehdi Ha’iri Yazdi, a professor at Tehran University, was one of the leading Muslim philosophers. He had a deep wide understanding of medieval Islamic philosophy and profound knowledge of modern analytical techniques and methods. He was the author of Kavush ha-eh ‘Aql-i-Nazari, Hiram-i-Hasti and Hekmat va Hokumat.




Michael A. Sells

(b. 1949)

Michael A. Sells is John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature in the Divinity School, University of Chicago. He has served in the Peace Corps in Tunisia and has studied Arabic language and literature in Egypt. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1982. His research interests are Arabic poetry, the Qur’an, Islamic spirituality and Western mysticism.

Among his published writings are Mystical Languages of Unsaying (University of Chicago Press, 1994), a study of the mystical language of Plotinus, Eriugena, Ibn ‘Arabi, Meister Eckhart and Marguerite Porete; Desert Tracings: Six Classic Arabian Odes (Wesleyan University Press, 1989); “Sound and Meaning in Surat al-Qari‘a” (Arabica 40.3, 1993); “Bewildered Tongue: the Semantics of Mystical Union in Islam,” in Moshe Idel and Bernard McGinn, eds., Mystical Union and Monotheistic Faith (1989) and numerous articles on Arabic poetry, Qur’anic language, and the mystical writings of Ibn ‘Arabi, Marguerite Porete and Meister Eckhart. He is co-editor and contributor to the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, Andalusia Volume.

Dr. Sells is founder and president of the Community of Bosnia Foundation, dedicated to supporting a multi-religious Bosnia-Herzegovina.



Michael E. Marmura


Michael E. Marmura was born in Jerusalem. He received his BA in 1953 from the University of Wisconsin and went on to obtain both an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He was Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he taught from 1959 to 1995 and where he twice chaired the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies.

Dr. Marmura published medieval Arabic phi­losophical texts and translations, as well as numer­ous articles on Islamic philosophy, many of them devoted to the thought of Avicenna and al-Gahzzālī. His publications include an edition of Ibn Sina’s Fi ithbāt al-nubuwwat (Proof of Prophecy); Refutation by Alexander of Aphrodisias of Galen’s Treatise on the Theory of Motion, with N. Rescher; and Islamic Theology and Philosophy: Studies in Honor of George E. Hourani, of which he was the editor. He also published a his­tory of Islamic philosophy incorporated in Der Islam II: Politische Entwicklungen und theologische Konzepte, coauthored with W. Montgomery Watt.



Michel Chodkiewicz

(b. 1929)

Michel Chodkiewicz has been the Director of Studies at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. For many years he was Director of the well-known Paris publishing house, Editions de Seuil. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Islamic spirituality, including a translation of Awhad al-Dīn Balyānī’s Risālah al-Ahdiyyah as Epitre sur l’ Unicite Absolute (1982), Spiritual Teachings of Amir ‘Abdul Qadir (1993) and two books on Ibn ‘Arabi– An Ocean Without Shore (1993) and Seal of the Saints.



Muhammad Asad

(Leopold Weiss)


Muhammad Asad was born a Jew in the city of Lvov (now in Poland, formerly a part of the Austrian Empire) and converted to Islam in 1926. Asad was a descendant of a long line of rabbis, except his father, who became a barrister. He received a thorough religious education and was proficient in Hebrew at an early age and was also familiar with Aramaic. He had studied the Old Testament in the original as well as the text and commentaries. He travelled to India where he met and worked alongside Muhammad Iqbal, the poet-philosopher. Asad was appointed the first Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations. Towards the end of his life he moved to Spain and lived there until his death. Asad wrote several books; some of the prominent ones are Road to Mecca; Islam at the Crossroads. He also wrote The Message of the Qur’ān, a translation and brief commentary and translated the Sahih Bukhari. In addition, he wrote This Law of Ours where he sums up his views on Islamic law and makes a plea for rationalism and plurality in Islamic law. In his book, Islam at the Crossroads, he outlines his view that the Muslim world must make a choice between living by its own values and morality or accepting those of the West, in which case, they would always lag behind the West, which had had more time to adjust to those values and mores, and would end up compromising their own religion and culture.



Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A‘zamī

Dr. Muhammad Mustafa al-A‘zamī was born in Azamgarh and received his education at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband. After graduating from there he studied at Al-Azhar and later, at Cambridge from where he received his Ph.D. in 1966. He joined the National Library of Qatar and worked there as a librarian till 1968 when he was appointed on the teaching faculty of Ummul Qura University, Makkah Mukarramah. In 1973, he joined the University of Riyadh (subsequently called King Saud University). He received the King Faisal Award for Islamic Studies for his contribution to Hadith Studies in 1979. He has also worked as a visiting Professor, University of Michigan and as King Faisal Professor at the Princeton University. His important contributions, apart from his articles in Arabic, include Studies in Early Hadith Literature; Hadith Methodology and Literature; On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence; Dirāsāt fi ’l-Hadīth al-Nabawī; Manhaj al-Naqd ‘ind al-Muhaddithīn;  and Kuttāb al-Nabi. Among his edited works are Al­-‘Ilal of Ibn al-Madīni, Kitāb al-Tamyīz of Imam Muslim, Maghāzī ‘Urvah ibn Zubair, Muwatta Imām Mālik, Sahīh ibn Khuzaimah, and Sunan ibn Mājah. Dr. Al-A‘zamī is one of the few modern Muslim scholars who have undertaken an in-depth research of Hadith literature and has successfully shown the weakness of the prevailing positions and arguments about the authenticity of Hadith literature based on the conclusions of the works of the Orientalists.



Muhammad Suheyl Umar

(b. 1954)

Dr. Muhammad Suheyl Umar is a notable scholar of Philosophy and Iqbal from Pakistan. He has studied at Government College (now Govt. College University), Lahore; Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad (M. Phil. in Iqbal Studies) and at University of Punjab, Lahore from where he earned his doctorate. His thesis topic for Ph.D. was “Ibn ‘Arabi and Iqbal - Comparative Study of Philosophic Issues”. He has also acquired education in Arabic, Persian and traditional Islamic Sciences (Arabic, Persian, Tajwid and Hifz). Since 1984, he has been working with the Iqbal Academy Pakistan, a government research institution for the works and teachings of Iqbal, where he is currently the Director of Academy. He has worked as the academic director of ‘Institute of Islamic Culture’ and as a visiting scholar to ‘International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.’ Dr. Suheyl Umar has worked as editor of  various reputed journals including Riwayat, Iqbal Review, Studies in Tradition and Al-Ma‘arif. He has also contributed numerous articles on Islamic and literary themes to the reputed academic journals apart from publishing works in English, Urdu and Persian on Iqbal, Islamic studies, literature and Sufism. He has also worked as a consultant to this organization (Suhail Academy).



Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi

Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi was Professor of Islamic Culture in the University of Calcutta, and author of a number of studies, including Studies in Arabic & Persian Medical Literature (1959).



Murad Hofmann

(b. 1931)

Murad Hofmann was born into a Catholic family in Aschaffenburg, Germany, where he spent the war years, experiencing strategic bombing and military occupation. His university studies began in 1950 at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He completed his studies of German law with a doctorate in jurisprudence at Munich University (1957) and his bar exam. His subsequent studies of American law led to a master’s degree at Harvard Law School (1960).

From 1961 to 1994, he was a member of the German Foreign Service and a specialist on issues of nuclear defense. He served as Director of Information for NATO at Brussels (1983-87), Ambassador to Algeria (1987-90), and Ambassador to Morocco (1990-94).

In 1980, the author embraced Islam, performing ‘umrah in 1982 and hajj in 1992. In 1985, he published the German version of his Diary of a German Muslim (2nd ed., Cologne: 1990), which is available in Arabic (Yawmiyat Muslim Almani (Cairo: al Ahram 1993), English (Diary of a German Muslim (Cologne: 1987). Upon retirement, he took up residence in Istanbul, home of his Turkish wife.



Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal

(b. 1954)

Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal is the founder-president of Centre for Islam and Science (CIS), Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada (1983) but most of his published work is related to Islam and Islamic intellectual tradition, including the Islamic scientific tradition. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, he came to Canada in 1979 and since then, he has held academic and research positions at University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984-85), McGill (1986) and University of Saskatchewan (1979-1984). During 1990-1999, he lived and worked in Pakistan. He is the founder-editor of Islam & Science, an international journal of Islamic perspectives on science, published twice a year in June and December. He was the Guest Editor for the Winter 2000 special issue on Islam and Science of Islamic Studies. He is also the author of two novels, Inkhilā‘ and Inqtā‘; a book on the history of the Independence Movement of Pakistan (1977), Melville: Life and Works, and several short stories and poems. His other publications include Divan al-Hallāj (Arabic-Urdu); Colours of Loneliness (anthology of Pakistani short stories); Islam and Science; God, Life and the Cosmos: Christian and Islamic Perspectives. Dr. Iqbal is the moderator of Kalam (, an edited and moderated listserv and news service on Islam and science and contributes his fortnightly column, “Quantum Note” to The News and monthly columns to the Impact International (London, UK) and Crescent International (Toronto, Canada).



Nasrollah Pourjavady

Nasrollah Pourjavady received his education in Iran. He holds a PhD in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran. An Associate at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, he became the Editor of the Al-Ma‘arif, and Nashr i Danish, two of the most outstanding Persian journals of present day Iran. He presently holds the post of the Director of the Markaz i Nashr i Danishgahi and the Iran University Press. He has written extensively on the Persian Sufi masters and their special role in the development of Sufi metaphysics and epistemology. He has edited a large number of texts and has published numerous articles and books in Persian and English, among them, Sultān i Tarīqat; Ruyat i Māh dar Asmān; Bu i Jān; Shi‘r o Shar‘: ‘Ayn al-Qudāt wa Ustādān i u and Ishrāq wa ‘Irfān.



Neil Postman


Neil Postman was an American author, media theorist and cultural critic, best known for his 1985 book about television, Amusing Ourselves to Death. For more than forty years, he was associated with New York University. Postman was a humanist who believed that “new technology can never substitute for human values.”

Postman was born and spent most of his life in New York City. In 1953, he graduated from State University of New York at Fredonia. He received a master’s degree in 1955 and an Ed.D in 1958, both from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and started teaching at New York University (NYU) in 1959. In 1971, he founded a graduate program in media ecology at the Steinhardt School of Education of NYU. In 1993, he was appointed a University Professor, the only one in the School of Education, and was chairman of the Department of Culture and Communication till 2002.

Postman wrote 18 books and more than 200 magazine and newspaper articles for reputed periodicals. His books include; Television and the Teaching of English; Linguistics: A Revolution in Teaching; Teaching as a Subversive Activity; The Soft Revolution: A Student Handbook For Turning Schools Around; The School Book: For People Who Want to Know What All the Hollering is About; Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk: How We Defeat Ourselves By the Way We Talk and What to Do About It; Teaching as a Conserving Activity; The Disappearance of Childhood; Amusing Ourselves to Death; Technology and Education; How to Watch TV News; The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School ; Building a Bridge to the 18th Century: How the Past Can Improve Our Future.



Nicholas Heer    /    Kenneth L. Honerkamp

(b. 1928)      (Kenneth Abdel-Hadi Honerkamp)

Nicholas Heer, earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1955. From 1955 to 1957 he worked as a translation analyst for the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia. In 1958, he returned to the United States to become curator of the Middle East collections of the Hoover Institutions at Stanford University, to be appointed assistant professor of Arabic in the Department of Asian Languages at Stanford the following year. During 1962-63, he was a visiting lecturer at Yale University, and from 1963 to 1965 he was an assistant professor of Arabic at Harvard University. In 1965, he was appointed Assoc. Prof. of Arabic at the University of Washington and promoted to full professor in 1976. In 1982, he was named chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and served in that capacity till 1987 and retired in 1990. His publications include The Precious Pearl; Al-Jāmi’s al-Durrah al-Fākhirah together with his Glosses and the Commentary of ‘Abd al-Ghafūr al-Lārī.

Kenneth L. Honerkamp studied at the Quarawiyyine University of Morocco; University of Georgia at Athens and at the University of Aix-en-Provence, France from where he earned his doctorate. He has studied with Islamic scholars of Islamic Law, Qur’an commentary and Arabic grammar and has worked extensively in the manuscript libraries of Morocco which afforded him an understanding of Islamic faith and practice within the context of day to day life. Dr. Honerkamp presently holds the position of associate professor in the department of Religion at the University of Georgia at Athens. His research interests lie in the fields of teacher/disciple relationships in formative Sufism; Islamic law; Quranic sciences; and the study and translation of letters of spiritual guidance written by Moroccan Sufis. He has edited and translated several previously unpublished works of ‘Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (d. 412/1021). His critical edition of the Rasa’il al-Kubra of Ibn ‘Abbad of Ronda (d. 792/1390) was published in 2004.




Osman Bakar

(b. 1946)

Osman Bakar, a leading contemporary Malaysian philosopher, graduated with B.Sc (Hon’s) and M.Sc. degrees in Mathematics from the University of London. He also holds an MA in Religion and a PhD in Islamic Philosophy from Temple University. A Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Department of History of Science, Harvard University, Professor Bakar was the first and current holder of the Chair of Philosophy of Science at the University of Malaya where he is presently holding the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor. He has published numerous works in both English and Malay and numerous research papers, especially on Islamic Science, in various international journals. His works include Al‑Fārābī: Life, Works, and Significance; Critique of Evolutionary Theory (ed.); Islam dan Pemikiran Sains Masa Kini (ed.); Tawhīd and Science; Science and Other Forms of Knowledge (forthcoming); Persoalan‑Persoalan Keilmuan di Malaysia (forthcoming). He is a member of the Editorial Board of The Asian Journal of Philosophy based in Taipei and The Journal of Philosophy and The Future of Humanity based in Jakarta.



P. K. Koya

P. K. Koya is a trustee of Islamic Book Trust, Malaysia and the Managing Director of The Other Press, Malaysia.



P. W. Avery


P. W. Avery, an eminent British scholar of Persian and a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, was born in Derby and educated at Rock Ferry High School, Birkenhead and Liverpool University and the London School of Oriental and African Studies, graduating in 1949. In 1952, he published, with John Heath-Stubbs, his first translations of Hāfiz. In 1958, he was appointed Lecturer in Persian Language Literature and History at Cambridge University, becoming a Fellow of King’s College in 1964. He retired from the Lectureship in 1990 but continued researching and writing as a Fellow of King’s College and continued to lead an informal reading group in Persian poetry, despite ill health, until his last months.

One of Avery’s best known works is a translation (with poet John Heath-Stubbs) of the Persian text of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyām, first published in 1979. Other publications include; Modern Iran; The Cambridge History of Iran (ed.) His final work was The Collected Lyrics of Hafiz of Shiraz, published in 2007.



Patrick Laude

(b. 1958)

Patrick Laude was born in Lannemezan, France and has studied at University of Paris and at Indiana University, from where he earned his masters and the doctorate in French literature with a minor in philosophy (1983). He is presently Professor of French, Georgetown University and has taught in GU School of Foreign Service in Qatar; Georgetown University; Texas A&M University; Oklahoma State University and Indiana University. His primary areas of expertise and interest include comparative mysticism, poetry and mysticism, Islam and Eastern religions in Western literature; and thought and Francophone Asian Literatures. Dr. Patrick Laude has authored  numerous books and monographs including Pathways to an Inner Islam: Massignon, Corbin, Guénon and Schuon;  Divine Play, Sacred Laughter and Spiritual Understanding;  Singing the Way: Insights in Poetry and Contemplation; Frithjof Schuon: Life and Teachings (in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Aymard); The Way of Poetry: Essays on Poetics and Contemplative Transformation; Massignon intérieur; Pray Without Ceasing: The Way of the Invocation in World Religions and Music of the Sky: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry ( in collaboration with Barry McDonald).



Peter Coates

Peter Coates graduated from the University of Lacaster and researched at Keble College, University of Oxford. He is a retired academic, formerly Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Department of Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK. His academic teaching interests were the philosophy and psychology of the self and the philosophy of science.  He has been studying these works of Ibn ‘Arabi for over twenty years and has lectured at Symposia in the UK, Australia, Morocco and the USA on them.



Philip Novak

Philip Novak took his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A and Ph.D. degrees in Religion from Syracuse University. He joined the Dominican faculty in 1980 and is currently a Sarlo Distinguished Professor in the graduate Humanities and in the undergraduate Philosophy and Religion programs. He has published over thirty articles and reviews in scholarly and popular journals, and is the author of The World's Wisdom, an anthology of the sacred texts of the world's religions; The Vision of Nietzsche; Buddhism: A Concise Introduction and the editor of "The Inner Journey: Views from the Buddhist Tradition.



René Guénon

(‘Abdul Wāhid Yahyā)


René Guénon is, without doubt, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century whose fame only increases with the passing of days. He had ‘the central function of restoring the great principles of traditional metaphysics to Western awareness’ and he gave proof of a universality of understanding that for centuries had no parallel in the Western world. Guénon is one of the colossal figures of this century, probably the most significant concerning symbolism. His extraordinarily prescient critique of the modern world is attracting more and more attention among cultural commentators. He was born in Blois, France. After a strict Catholic childhood, he went to Paris when he was eighteen to take a degree in mathematics. Instead, he began to study Eastern religions, especially Hinduism, Taoism, and Islam. He converted to Islam in 1912. His metaphysical insight and his deep interest in religion led to an important series of books, which include The Symbolism of the Cross, Man and His Becoming According to the Vedanta, The Crisis of the Modern World, East and West, Introduction to the Study of Hindu Doctrines, The Reign of Quantity, Lord of the World, The Multiple States of Being, The Grand Triad, Fundamental Symbols and numerous French titles not yet translated into English. In 1930, Guénon visited Egypt, intending to remain there for three months but staying, in fact, for the rest of his life.



Reynold A. Nicholson


Reynold A. Nicholson was an English Orientalist who exercised a lasting influence on Islamic studies. Educated at Aberdeen University and Cambridge, Nicholson was a lecturer in Persian (1902-26) and Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic (1926-33) at Cambridge. He was a leading scholar in the fields of Islamic literature and mysticism. His Literary History of the Arabs (1907) remains the standard work on that subject in English, while his many text editions and translations of Sufi writings culminating in his eight-volume Mathnawi of Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1925-40), eminently advanced the study of Muslim mystics. He combined exact scholarship with notable literary gifts; some of his versions of Arabic and Persian poetry entitle him to be considered a poet in his own right. His deep understanding of Islam and of the Muslim peoples was all the more remarkable in that he never travelled outside Europe. A shy and retiring man, he proved himself an inspiring teacher and an original thinker.



R. W. J. Austin

(b. 1938)

Ralph W. J. Austin is a scholar, author, translator, editor, and educator specializing in Arabic and Islamic Mysticism. He was born in Willerby, England and received degrees in Classical Arabic and Islamic Mysticism (Ph.D.) from the University of London. Starting in 1963, Dr. Austin taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental Studies, University of Durham. He retired in 1988. In addition to other publications, Ralph Austin's work on Ibn ‘Arabi is often cited. His 1971 book, Sufis of Andalusia, is a translation of two works of the great Andalusian Sufi Shaykh. Dr. Austin has also been involved in inter-faith conferences and discussions related to mutual understanding between faiths.



Rkia Elaroui Cornell

Rkia Elaroui Cornell is a native of Morocco. She obtained degrees in Secondary Education and Foreign-Language Pedagogy at the Regional Normal School in Meknès, Morocco, before completing an eight-year contract as a tenured language teacher with the Moroccan Ministry of Education. After moving to the United States, she worked as an interpreter for the UCLA Medical Center and the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California. She served as Assistant Professor of the Practice of Arabic at Duke University from 1991 to 2000, and as Research Associate Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Arkansas from 2000 to 2006. She is completing her doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam. Professor Cornell has given numerous lectures and conference presentations on the subjects of Qur’anic exegesis, women in Islam, and language pedagogy. In 1999, she published Early Sufi Women, a translation of “Dhikr an-niswa al-muta‘abbidāt as-Sūfiyyāt” by the eleventh-century Persian mystic Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Sulami. She is currently preparing a book on the quintessential Muslim woman saint Rābi‘a al-‘Adawiyya, an advanced reader in pre-modern Arabic literature, and an Arabic edition of ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Sulami’s Quran commentary, Haqā’iq al-Tafsīr.




Roger Du Pasquier


Roger Du Pasquier was a Muslim Swiss journalist whose features on the Muslim world reflected a lifetime of experience and study. In 1988 he was awarded the coveted French Authors’ Association prize. He wrote three books, one translation and one co-authored work.



Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas

(b. 1931)

Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, on his return to Malaysia in 1966, being among the first few Malaysians to hold the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy and the first from the University of London, was appointed Head of the Division of Literature in the Department of Malay Studies at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. From 1968 to 1970, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts at that University where he reformed the academic structure of the Faculty. Prof. Al-Attas was also one of the senior founders of the National University of Malaysia founded in 1970. He was also responsible for the conceptualisation of the original philosophical basis of the University as well as the establishment of the Faculties of Science and Islamic studies. He occupies a position of intellectual eminence in his country as the first holder of the Chair of Malay Language and Literature at the National University of Malaysia (1972-84), as the first holder of the Tun Abdul Razzak Chair of South Asian Studies at Ohio University (1980-82), as the Fonder-Director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, Malaysia (1987) and as the first holder of the Al-Gahzzālī Chair of Islamic Studies (1993).

Prof. Dr. Al-Attas has written twenty-five books and monographs in English and Malay and has delivered more than four-hundred lectures throughout Europe, the US, Japan, Far East and the Muslim world.



Sachiko Murata

(b. 1943)

Sachiko Murata graduated in Law from the Chiba University Japan and entered the Faculty of Letters, Tehran University in 1967 from where she obtained her PhD in Persian Language and Literature in 1971 and MA in Islamic Jurisprudence in 1975. She worked as a Research Associate at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy and as the Assistant Director, Japanese Institute for West Asian Studies, Tehran in 1977-79. Presently she is a Professor of Religious Studies and Asian Studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and has published numerous works, among them Chinese Gleams of Sufi Thought and The Vision of Islam.



Dr. Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi


Dr. Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi M. A., PhD., D. Litt. (Agra University), worked as a Reader in the department of Asian Civilizations at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. In 1969 he was elected as a fellow member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and was the only Indian member of this body. Before joining the ANU, he had worked as the Head of the History Department, Jammu and Kashmir University, and as Secretary of the History of the Freedom Movement, Government of UP. Dr. Rizvi was a Research Associate in the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, from 1962-63 and was a Fellow in the same institution in 1969. In 1972, he was a Visiting Professor to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Among Dr. Rizvi’s most important publications are the following: Source Book on Medieval Indian History; Freedom Struggle in U.P.; Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the 16th and 17th Centuries; Fatehpur Sikri,; Hindi translations of the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun; Haqaiq-i-Hindi; Alakh Bani and Religious and Intellectual History of the Muslims in Akbar’s Reign, with special reference to Abu’l Fazl 1556-1605; A History of Sufism in India, 2 Vols.; Shah Wali-Allah and his Times and Iran: Royalty, Religion and Revolution. He has also contributed chapters to The Cambridge History of Islam, The Cultural History of India, World of Islam; The Wonder that was India, Vol. II in collaboration with A. L. Basham; An Intellectual and Socio-cultural History of the Shi‘as in India. His research articles were published in various international Journals.



Seyyed Hossein Nasr

(b. 1933)

Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born in Tehran, where he received his early education. He studied in the West and gained his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MA and PhD from Harvard University, where he studied the History of Science and Learning with special concentration on Islamic science and philosophy. In 1958, he returned to Iran to teach at Tehran University, where he was Professor of the History of Science and Philosophy. In 1962 he was visiting lecturer at Harvard University, and he taught there during the summer of 1965. During 1964-65, he was the first holder of the Agha Khan Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. He also served as Vice Chancellor of Tehran University and Chancellor of the Arya-Mehr University of Technology in Iran. He was the founder and first President of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy and is presently University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D. C. and President of the Foundation for Traditional Studies. Professor Nasr has lectured in America, Europe, the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Japan, and Australia and was the first Muslim Scholar to deliver the Gifford Lectures. He is the author of over twenty-five books and five hundred articles in Persian, English, Arabic and French. His works have appeared in more than ten languages. His important contribution is three generations of scholars he has trained in the course of his fifty-year scholarly career in Iran and the West.



Dr. Shahzad Qaiser

(b. 1950)

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser received his education in Lahore, at the Government College where he received his BA in 1968 and, two years later, did his MA in Philosophy from the University of the Punjab, winning the prestigious Arnold Gold Medal. He then entered the Civil Service of Pakistan and after two decades of a distinguished career as a civil servant, Shahzad returned to the Academia to earn his PhD from Bahauddīn Zakariya University, Multan on his dissertation The Metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, a subject which has engaged him for all his mature years. He has served as the director general of the Punjab Institute of Languages and had been working as special secretary to the Prime Minister at the time of his retirement.

He has published numerous articles and books, among them, Quest for the Eternal, Of Intellect and Reason, Metaphysics and Tradition, Dimensions of Khawaja Farid’s Metaphysics, The Metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on Experiencing God. His collections of Light Essays in Urdu include, Clearance Sale; Saaf Chuptey Bhi Nahei; Aina Baney Hai Parhein and Lutf-e-Agahi. He is an accomplished poet of Punjabi language, publishing five volumes of Kafis; Asmana Dey Bohe Kho; Mein Nayein Sub Tun; Gal Wich Payum Prit Mohar; Talawat-e-Wajud; Ishq Faqr de Sang and Dooji Akh; His literary and academic achievements have earned him many awards, starting from the prestigious Arnold Gold Medal, Pitras Bokhari Award in English Literature, Pakistan Academy of Letters, Waris Shah Award in Punjabi Literature, Khawaja Ghulam Farid Gold Medal, Islamia University and President’s Award for Pride of Performance in Punjabi Literature (1998).



T. B. Irving

 (Al-Hajj Ta‘līm ‘Alī)


Professor Dr. Thomas Ballantine Irving was a prominent American Muslim. He held his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, and founded Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota. In 1969, he became Professor of Spanish and Arabic at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1980. A Fulbright Research Fellow in Baghdad, Iraq (1956-57), he travelled and lectured widely throughout the Arab world as well as Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa and Brazil. Professor Irving was a member of many learned societies, including the American Oriental Society, the Middle East Studies Association, and the Middle East Institute. His areas of special interest were the Arab Islamic period in Spanish History and the contemporary Islamic period in Spanish History and the contemporary Islamic world. His numerous articles were published both in the United States and abroad. Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Dean of Arts and Sciences at the American Islamic College, Chicago, Dr. Irving founded schools of Arabic or Near Eastern studies at three state Universities in the U.S.A. He was a dedicated American Muslim, Islamic scholar, and linguist. The author of Falcon of Spain, a biography of the 8th Century Arab ruler, ‘Abd ul-Rahman I, and Islam Resurgent, Dr. Irving has made the first American translation of the Qur’ān, a work of some twenty-five years of study and research.



Titus Burckhardt

(Ibrāhīm ‘Izz ud-Dīn)


Titus Burckhardt was the son of the Swiss sculptor, Carl Burckhardt, and a member of a patrician family of Basle. Although he first followed in his father’s footsteps as a sculptor and illustrator, he was since his childhood always strongly attracted to oriental art. This led him to a theoretical study of eastern doctrines and to repeated sojourns in the Islamic countries. After some years of studying the history of art and oriental languages, he became director of a publishing house, the Graf-Verlag, which specialised in facsimile editions of ancient manuscripts. In 1972, he was appointed to UNESCO for the preservation of the ancient city of Fez. He was himself an artist and a writer. Well known as the general editor of a magnificent series of art books on sacred cities, and the author of these that deal with Sienna, Chartres and Fez, he has also written such authoritative works as Moorish Culture in Spain; Sacred Art in East and West; An Introduction to the Sufi Doctrine; Letters of a Sufi Master and Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul, which is perhaps the best book on Alchemy to be written in the twentieth century. His collected essays have appeared in English under the title Mirror of the Intellect.



Toshihiko Izutsu


Toshihiko Izutsu was born in Tokyo. He graduated from Keio University, Tokyo. He taught at Keio University; Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and the Royal Institute of the Study of Philosophy (Iran). He was Professor Emeritus of Keio University and a member of Japan Academy. He also translated the Qur’ān into Japanese. His other works include: (in English) The Structure of the Ethical Terms in the Koran; The Concept of Belief in Islamic Theology; Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Qur’ān; Sufism and Taoism – A Comparative Study of the Key Philosophical Concepts; God and Man in the Koran; Toward a Philosophy of Zen Buddhism; The Metaphysics of Sabzavari and The Concept and Reality of Existence; (in Japanese) A Fountainhead of Islamic Philosophy; Consciousness and Essence: Searching for a Structural Coincidence of Oriental Philosophies; To the Depth of Meaning: Fathoming Oriental Philosophies; Bezels of Wisdom; Cosmos and Anti-Cosmos: For the Philosophy of the Orient, among others.

Toshihiko Izutsu was a leading figure in the fields of Islamic, Far Eastern and comparative philosophy. A linguistic genius fluent in over thirty languages, Izutsu’s unique comparative studies are based on a close reading of Arabic, Persian, Pali, Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Greek and European-language texts. His many publications and years of peripatetic research in the Middle East, India, Europe, North America and Asia illustrate a life spent in pursuit of a more rigorous concept of comparative philosophy with the goal of furthering better understandings between world cultures.



Victor Danner

(Victor Abdul Jabbar Danner)


Victor Abdul Jabbar Danner was born in Mexico.  As a young man he served in World War-II. After the war he attended Georgetown University where he received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1957.  Later that year, he traveled to Morocco to become an instructor and then Director of the American Language School in Rabat.  In 1964, he returned to the United States to pursue graduate studies at Harvard University where he received his Ph.D. in 1970.  He came to Indiana University in 1967 and had a joint appointment in both the Religious Studies Department and in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department, and served as chairman of the latter from 1980-1985. He was an educator, scholar, translator, and author. He specialized in, and taught Arabic, Arabic Literature, Islam, Sufism, Eastern Religions, and Comparative Mysticism at Indiana University. Professor Danner was a renowned teacher with the rare ability to captivate and motivate students, whether the subject was Arabic grammar or American Indian religion. Dr. Danner focused his writing and translating on the explication of the Islamic religious tradition and its esoterism, Sufism. Besides contributing essays to different journals including Studies in Comparative Religion, he authored Ibn ‘Ata ‘Allah’s Sufi Aphorisms (1973), Ibn ‘Ata ‘Allah: The Book of Wisdom (1978) and The Islamic Tradition: An Introduction (1988).



Vincent J. Cornell

Vincent J. Cornell is an Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at Emory University, Atlanta. From 2000-2006, he was Professor of History and Director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas.



Verginia Gray Henry-Blakemore

(‘Aisha Gouverneur)

Verginia Gray Henry-Blakemore was born in Kentucky, USA, and converted to Islam in 1968. She has studied at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York; Michigan University and Al-Azhar University, Cairo. She is the director of the interfaith publishing houses, Fons Vitae and Quinta Essentia. Mrs. Aisha is a writer, film producer, U.S. director of photography for children’s book publisher Dar Nun and co-founder and trustee of the Islamic Texts Society of Cambridge, England.




Omid Safi

Omid Safi is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the Chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. His book, The Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, deals with medieval Islamic history.



W. Wright


W. Wright was a famous British Orientalist and Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. Many of his works on Syriac literature are still in print and of considerable scholarly value, especially the catalogues of the holdings of the British Library and Cambridge University Library. A Grammar of the Arabic Language, often simply known as Wright’s Grammar, continues to be a popular book with students of Arabic. Wright is also remembered for the Short History of Syriac Literature. Wright was educated at St Andrew’s University, Halle and Leiden. He was Professor of Arabic at University College London from 1855 to 1856, and Professor of Arabic at Trinity College, Dublin from 1856 to 1861. From 1861 to 1869, he was an Assistant in the Department of Manuscripts at the British Museum and from 1869 to 1870, Assistant Keeper at the museum. In 1870, he was appointed Sir Thomas Adams’s Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University and he held the chair there until his death. He also translated and edited Caspari’s Grammar of the Arabic; collected and edited Opuscula Arabica (Leyden, 1859). His main achievement was as a cataloguer of manuscript collections. The rich Syriac holdings of the British Museum (now in the British Library) were mainly obtained in the 1840s from the monastery of Deir al-Syriani in the Nitrian desert in Egypt and contained a large number of previously unknown texts. A bibliography of his work can be found by R. L. Benaly, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, pp. 708ff. There is also an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 63. pp. 138-139



Whitall N. Perry


Whitall N. Perry had ties with authorities in Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Native American circles. In addition to his monumental A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom, he contributed articles on metaphysics, cosmology, and modern counterfeits of spirituality to various journals. The author is remembered as “the most authoritative traditionalist of Ameri­can background”, and “a latter-day transcendentalist in the tradition of Emerson and Thoreau”. Travels in his youth through Europe, the Near, Middle, and Far East sparked an interest in Platonism and Vedanta which brought him under the personal influence of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. He spent five years in Egypt in close contact with René Guénon; after whose death, the author moved with his family to Switzerland where he became a close associate of Frithjof Schuon. When Schuon moved to the United States in 1980, Perry and his family relocated here to remain in contact with him.

Perry distinguished himself particularly as a critic of many current schools, trends, and fashions as demonstrated by two other books: Gurdjieff in the Light of Tradi­tion which provides a traditional criticism of Gurdjieff and his teach­ings as the title indicates and The Widening Breach, a cosmological criticism of the Darwinian theory of evolution, one of the pillars of the modem outlook.



William C. Chittick

William C. Chittick received his education in the US. He holds a PhD in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran. He taught comparative religion in the humanities department at Aryamehr Technical University in Tehran and, for a short period before the revolution, was assistant professor at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He has served as Assistant Editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica at the Columbia University for three years. He has been Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook from 1983 to 1991 where he presently holds the post of the Professor of Comparative Studies. A greatly respected scholar, he has studied Sufism in theory and practice, and has written and translated widely about its various manifestations.

He has published numerous articles and books, among them, A Shi‘ite Anthology; Imaginal Worlds; Faith and Practice of Islam; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Metaphysics of Imagination; The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; The Vision of Islam, The Heart of Islamic Philosophy and Me and Rumi– The Autobiography of Shams i Tabrizi; Ibn ‘Arabi– Heir to the Prophets; The Self Disclosures of God.



William Stoddart

(b. 1925)

William Stoddart is a Scottish physician, author and “spiritual traveller”, who has written several books on the philosophy of religions. He has been called a “master of synthesis” and is one of the important writers on the Perennial Philosophy in the present day. For many years he was assistant editor of the British journal Studies in Comparative Religion. He has translated into English, from the original French or German, several of the books of the perennialist masters Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998) and Titus Burckhardt (1908–1984). Stoddart has written several books: Remembering in a World of Forgetting; Hinduism and Its Spiritual Masters; The Essential Titus Burckhardt; Outline of Buddhism; Outline of Hinduism; Religion of the Heart: Essays Presented to Frithjof Schuon; Sufism – The Mystical Doctrines and Methods of Islam. He is also the editor of the anthology on the Swiss Traditionalist, The Essential Titus Burckhardt.



Wolfgang Smith

(b. 1930)

Wolfgang Smith was born in Vienna. He graduated from Cornell University at age of eighteen with majors in physics, philosophy, and mathematics. After taking an M. S. in physics from Purdue University, he pursued research in aerodynamics, where his papers on diffusion fields have provided the theoretical key to the solution of the re-entry problem for space flight. After receiving a Ph. D. in mathematics from Columbia University, Dr. Smith held faculty positions at M.I.T, U.C.L.A., and Oregon State University, where he has served as Professor of Mathematics until his retirement.

From the start, Wolfgang Smith has been many-sided in his intellectual interests. He has pursued research and published extensively in the areas of partial differential equations, Lorentz geometry, relativistic cosmology, differential forms, foliations and other topics in algebraic and differential topology. Apart from his scientific pursuits, he started early to cultivate a special interest in Platonism and oriental metaphysics and later took up serious studies in the field of Christian theology. In recent years, he has published a number of articles dealing with various facets of scientific belief from a traditional metaphysical point of view in addition to his four books Cosmos and Transcendence, Teilhardism and the New Religion, The Quantum Enigma and The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology. He has been especially concerned to unmask conceptions of a scientistic kind widely accepted today as scientific truths.



 Dr. Abdullah al-Ahsan

Dr. Abdullah al-Ahsan was born in former East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and educated at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan; McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, from where he received his Ph. D. in History. He has worked at the Washington-based International Institute of Islamic Thought, and the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Currently he is Professor of History at the International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr. Ahsan has published articles in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, Iqbal Review and Tawhīd. Other books by this author include: OIC: Introduction to an Islamic Political Institution, published by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (U.S.A.), Ummah or Nation: Identity Crisis in Contemporary Muslim Society, published by the Islamic Foundation (U. K).




Elma Ruth Harder

Elma Ruth Harder was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She grew up on a prairie farm, picking berries and vegetables in the family garden, co1lecting eggs in the hen house and driving the grain truck during harvest. The first school she attended was a two-room schoolhouse, where she shared the same classroom with students from Grade I to V. Later, she went on to study in the fields of education, theology, home economics and adult education. She left Saskatchewan– the land of the living skies– to see what the skies looked like in other parts of the world. She has worked and lived in many parts of the world. She has taught elementary school, home economics, English as a second language and a variety of other subjects at several different levels in places as far distant as Islamabad in Pakistan, Fort Chipewyan in Northern Alberta, Miyazaki in Japan and Montreal and Saskatchewan in Canada. Now she and her family live under the wide blue Alberta sky.



Leila ‘Azzam

Leila ‘Azzam is the niece of the late Dr. Abdul Wahhab ‘Azzam, who was the Rector of Cairo University, founder and the first Rector of Riyadh University, and a prominent Muslim writer. She is also the daughter-in-law of the late Dr, Abdur Rahman ‘Azzam, founder of the Arab League and author of the Eternal Message of Muhammad. Mrs. ‘Azzam was born in Cairo and is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts and Literature, Cairo University. She has lived with her husband, Dr. Omar ‘Azzam, in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and France, and is now living in Cambridge, England, where her four children are receiving their education.



‘Aisha Gouverneur

(Verginia Gray Henry-Blakemore)

‘Aisha Gouverneur was born in Kentucky, USA, and converted to Islam in 1968. She has studied at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York; Michigan University and Al-Azhar University, Cairo. She is the director of the interfaith publishing houses, Fons Vitae and Quinta Essentia. Mrs. Aisha is a writer, film producer, U.S. director of photography for children’s book publisher Dar Nun and co-founder and trustee of the Islamic Texts Society of Cambridge, England.



Yahiya Emerick

Yahiya Emerick was born into an American Protestant Christian family, and he converted to Islam in 1989. He has since become a nationally recognized author, educator, and lecturer. He is the vice-principal of a full-time Islamic school in Westbury, New York, and former president of the Islamic Foundation of North America, an organization that produces textbooks and reading literature concerning Islam and Muslims. He is the author of over sixteen books, including What Islam Is All About, the standard textbook on Islamic studies in hundreds of parochial schools throughout the English-speaking world.

Yahiya lectures widely around the country and has been interviewed for numerous radio and television programs. His articles have appeared in dozens of secular and religious magazines. He is also a regular Imam, or preacher, during Muslim congregational services and has served on the national boards of several Islamic organizations. His taped commentaries on Islam are widely distributed and well received. One of his books was recently adopted into the curriculum of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, the world’s oldest and foremost Islamic college.