The Masnavi, Book One

OUP Oxford
23
Free sample

'The pen would smoothly write the things it knew But when it came to love it split in two, A donkey stuck in mud is logic's fate - Love's nature only love can demonstrate.' Rumi's Masnavi is widely recognized as the greatest Sufi poem ever written, and has been called 'the Koran in Persian'. The thirteenth-century Muslim mystic Rumi composed his work for the benefit of his disciples in the Sufi order named after him, better known as the whirling dervishes. In order to convey his message of divine love and unity he threaded together entertaining stories and penetrating homilies. Drawing from folk tales as well as sacred history, Rumi's poem is often funny as well as spiritually profound. Jawid Mojaddedi's sparkling new verse translation of Book One is consistent with the aims of the original work in presenting Rumi's most mature mystical teachings in simple and attractive rhyming couplets. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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About the author

Jawid Mojaddedi is a native of Afghanistan, and read Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Manchester. He has taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Universities of Manchester and Exeter, and served as an editor o fEncyclopaedia Iranica at the Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University. His most recent publication is Beyond Dogma: Rumi's Teachings on Friendship with God and Early Sufi Theories (OUP, 2012). Mr. Mojaddedi was also made a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellow for 2014-2015.
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4.6
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Nov 11, 2004
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780191604607
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / General
Religion / Islam / General
Religion / Islam / Sufi
Religion / Mysticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Major new translation of a unique and important Persian treatise on divine names in the Islamic tradition.


The Repose of the Spirits is a translation of one of the earliest and most comprehensive treatises on Sufism in the Persian language. Written by Aḥmad Sam‘ānī, an expert in Islamic law from a famous Central Asian scholarly family in about the year 1135, it is one of the handful of early Sufi texts available in English and is by far the most accessible. It also may well be the longest and the most accurately translated. Ostensibly a commentary on the divine names, it avoids the abstract discourse of theological nitpicking and explains the human significance of the names with a delightful mix of Quranic verses and sayings of the Prophet and various past teachers, interspersed with original interpretations of the received wisdom. Unlike the usual books on the divine names (such as that of al-Ghazali), The Repose of the Spirits reminds the reader of the later poetical tradition, especially the work of Rumi. The prose is richly embroidered with imagery and interspersed with a great variety of Arabic and Persian poetry. What is especially remarkable is the manner in which the author speaks to his readers about their own personal situations, explaining why they are driven by a love affair with God, a God who is full of compassion and good humor, whether they know it or not. William C. Chittick’s masterful new translation brings this work to an English-language audience for the first time.


“This is a wonderful introduction to the particular style, imagery, terminology, and worldview of Sufism, as well as to the ways in which the Persian cultural milieu added important elements to the Arabic intellectual and spiritual tradition in Islam.” — Maria Massi Dakake, author of The Charismatic Community: Shi‘ite Identity in Early Islam

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