A Mine of Meaning: 'Ma'din ul-Ma'ani'

A Mine of Meaning, - Ma'din ul-Ma'ani,
[A5] Paperback - 319 pages,
Discourses of Sheikh Sharafuddin Maneri,
as Recorded by Zain Badr Arabi,
Translated and edited by Paul S. Jackson.

Description :

   Ma`din ul-Ma`ani [A Mine of Meaning] belongs to the malfuz genre of Sufi Literature. This genre was developed in India by the early Chishti Sufis. Indeed, it was Fawa'id ul-Fu'ad [Counsels for the Heart], an account of what transpired in the assemblies of the renowned Chishti Sufi, Shaykh Nizamuddin Auliya (d. 1325), between the years 1307-22, that popularised this form of literature. It was a direct result of the reluctance of the early Chishti Sufis to put pen to paper themselves. The compiler of the work was Amir Hasan Sijzi, a noted Delhi poet. It was a common practice for Chishti Sufis to hold assemblies in which the master would speak on various topics or answer questions. It was a sort of free-flowing tutorial. The compiler would obviously be a regular participant in the assemblies. The fact that Sijzi was a poet indicates his competence to undertake the task. He would write up an account of what transpired shortly after the assembly while it was still fresh in his memory.

    A word of explanation seems appropriate about the English rendition of the title. Although the work itself is in Persian, the title is in Arabic. There is nothing unusual about this. Many Persian works have Arabic titles. An author would not hesitate to choose an apt expression for a title to his work if it were in Arabic. A literal translation of the present work would be: The Mine of the Meanings. This is where there is a clash between the constraints of Arabic grammar, specifically in what is called "the construct state," and the English use of the definite and indefinite articles. A Mine of Meaning is meant to convey in English the sense of the original Arabic title. The singular 'meaning' has been preferred to the plural. Undoubtedly the sixty-three-chapter work is replete with 'meanings.' The work itself, however, is like a multi-coloured bed cover. Various coloured threads of wool have been carefully woven together to form a pattern. The whole purpose of the cover, however, is to keep a person warm. We might say that the whole purpose of this literary work is to enable the reader to remain 'warm' in the knowledge of the multiform relationship that exists between us human beings and God.

    A Mine of Meaning certainly broadens this 'knowledge.' Even more importantly, however, it leads us into a deeper sense of God. This is because Maneri, besides being a scholar, was a person who lived in the presence of God. It is this 'sense' that is conveyed in the work. It touches people deeply. It is this impact-laden dimension, rooted in Maneri's personal experience, that favours the use of the singular, 'Meaning.'

Reviews :

A Mine of Meaning is a treasure chest of gems of spiritual advice and inspiring teaching stories, which should be of great interest to both the scholar and the seeker, regardless of religious affiliation. Readers will be grateful to Father Jackson for transporting them back to the 14th century and allowing them access to the light emanating from the words of this great Bihari saint. This book invites the reader to take a place at the feet of Shaykh Sharafuddin Maneri, founder of the Firdausiya order, and to know the intimate discourse transmitted to his disciples. Drawing from a vast array of sources, from the Quran and hadith traditions, it also constitutes a compendium of essential teachings of many of the most important Sufi Masters known in the private circles of Remembrance during this vibrant period in the history of Sufism in India.---Barry McDonald, author and editor of The Eagle’s Flight.

A Mine of Meaning is a rendition of Ma’din ul-Ma’ani. It contains the teaching of Sharafuddin Maneri, a famous Indian Sufi who died in 1381. It belongs to the malfuz genre of Sufi literature, the form made popular by the early Chishti Sufis in India, as they themselves were reluctant to put pen to paper. It is an account of what was taught in assemblies presided over by Maneri himself. This highly esteemed malfuz of the Sultanate Period, 1206-1526, provides a privileged insight into the dynamics of the interaction between a Sufi Master and his disciples.---Paul Jackson, S.J.

A Mine of Meaning presents the collected discourses of the important fourteenth century Sufi master Shaykh Sharafuddin Maneri. Covering detailed aspects of theology, law, and the spiritual life, Shaykh Maneri brings together the function of scholar, teacher, and saint in communicating to his audience the goal of human perfection and the means for its attainment. This precious text is essential reading for students of Persianate Islam in general, and Indian Sufism in particular.— Mohammed Rustom, Assistant Professor, Carleton University.




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Dimensions : 23 X 15.5cm.


  • Shipping Weight: 0.475 kgs
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  • Written by: Sh. Sharafuddin Maneri

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 20 March, 2013.

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