(Kashf al-Mahjūb by ‘Alī Al-Hujwīri)

(Kashf al-Mahjūb by ‘Alī Al-Hujwīri)

Al-Hujwiri was one of the greatest saints and writers of Sufism. He is most famous for his work Revelation of Mystery, or Kashf al-Mahjab which has been revered by students of Sufism for nine centuries. This seminal book began Sufism’s rich literary history in the Persian language. It is a distillation of the teachings and lore of the Sufism of Al-Hujwiri’s time, but its wisdom is eternal. This translation of the most ancient and celebrated Persian treatise on Sufism will be found useful not only by the small number of students familiar with the subject at first hand, but also for the general readers who are interested in the general history of mysticism. Its object is to set forth a complete system of Sufism, not to put together a great number of sayings by different Shaykhs, but to discuss and expound the doctrines and practices of the Sufis. Even the biographical section of the work is largely expository. Before stating his own view the author generally examines the current opinions on the same topic and refutes them if necessary. Hujwiri discusses various themes related to the spiritual path, including knowledge, union, purity, prayer and love and offers the spiritual seeker universal and timeless advice on such subjects as contemplation, generosity spiritual courtesy and false teachers from the real, a discernment just and important in our time.


Reynold A. Nicholson

Reynold A. Nicholson (1868-1945) 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 Ja15.1 al-Din Iturni (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.


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