THE INNER JOURNEY Views from the Islamic Tradition


THE INNER JOURNEY Views from the Islamic Tradition

THE INNER JOURNEY Views from the Islamic Tradition

THE INNER JOURNEY Views from the Islamic Tradition William C. Chittick Parabola has been practically unique among Western periodicals in recognizing that the inner aspirations of Muslims teach us far more about the nature of the Islamic tradition than the residual prejudices of the Christian heritage or the outward vagaries of political events and international relations. The central role of prophecy, a salient dimension of Islamic teachings, is the focus of the first chapter and elucidates the fact that the Qur’an and traditional Islam have always talked about the prophets in the plural and considered their role as an essential part of the cosmic drama, prophecy being coterminous with the human condition. Second chapter looks at the manner in which the spiritual life has been embodied in traditional Muslim life and society. Chapter three focuses on the importance that Islam has accorded to beauty in all domains of life, from architecture and calligraphy to gardens and personal comportment. Chapters four and five deal respectively with the cosmos and the soul, illustrating how discussion of each has never been cut off from consideration of the other. Those who want to accomplish the journey to God need to understand how the external realm reflects the internal realm. Chapter six provides a variety of answers reflecting the views of some of the diverse teachers. Seventh chapter turns to one of the better known sides of the Sufi tradition, that of the intoxicating joy that characterizes a number of its best known representatives, especially Rami.


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 Tabtki; Ibn Arabi— Heir to the Prophets; The Self Disclosures of God.


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