The Biographical Tradition in Sufism : New,
The tabaqat genre from al-Sulami to Jami,
*[A5+] Large Paperback - 239 pages,
by Jawid A. Mojaddedi,
Part of Curzon Studies in Asian Religion Series,
Published by Routledge T & F Group.
This book is the first in-depth study of the major works of Sufi historiography belonging to the tabaqat genre, one of the most productive genres of the Islamic literary tradition. It highlights the characteristics and conventions of the genre at each level of structure, and also demonstrates their functions and the concept of history which they express. Jawid Mojaddedi grounds his argument in the analysis of representative passages from Arabic and Persian sources, nearly all of which are translated here for the first time.
*** 'Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami's Tabaqat al-Suffiyya,
*** 'Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani's Hilyat al-Awliya,
*** 'Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri's Al-Risala,
*** 'Abu 'l-Hasan Ali b. Uthman al-Hijwiri's Kashf al-Mahjub,
*** 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jami's Nafahat al-Uns.
The six closely-related texts under examination include works which display a high degree of authorial control as well as those which appear to have reached their final form only after an extended period of growth beyond the death of the assumed author. The growth of individual biographical traditions is monitored through successive works of the genre, focusing on the biographies of Abu Yazid al-Bastami and Abu 'l-Qasim al-Junayd. The book also takes into consideration the popular Sufi manuals which contain substantial tabaqat
On the basis of the texts considered, Mojaddedi proposes a reconstruction of the historical value of this genre, from the direct sources of 'facts' about the past which they describe, to sources for the contexts in which they themselves were produced by the considerable efforts of their authors and compilers.
Table of Contents :
---Note on Presentation.
---Chapter . Al-Sulami's Tabaqat al-Sufiyya,
---Chapter . The Hilyat al-Awliya of Al-Isfahani;
---Chapter . The Persian Tabaqat al-Sufiyya of Herat.
---Chapter . Al-Qushayri's al-Risala;
---Chapter . Al-Hujwiri's Kashf al-Mahjub.
---Chapter . Jami's Nafahat al-Uns,
"This book is to be welcomed for the detailed analysis
it provides of several key works from a relatively neglected,
but important genre of Islamic literature."
- Annabel Keeler, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
*Dimensions : 23.5 x 15.5cm.