Bewilderment (hayra) when caused by letting the eye wander in different directions, is pernicious; but praiseworthy, when it is the result of gazing concentratedly on the beauty of the Beloved. The latter is characteristic of one who has lost himself in Divine contemplation. "O Lord, increase my bewilderment!" was a famous Sufi's prayer.
This is a study of three early Sufi figures: Abu Sa'id (b. 967, d. 1049), al-Jili (b. 1365-9, d. 1406-1417), and Ibnu 'l-Farid (b. 1182, d. 1235). The text includes historical and legendary narratives of these Sufi masters, and detailed discussion of their philosophy and theology. The book concludes with an extended critical translation of the Odes of Ibnu 'l-Farid.
Reynold Nicholson also wrote The Mystics of Islam, and translated Iqbal's The Secrets of the Self. His translation of Rumi's Masnavi between 1925 and 1940 (which for copyright reasons can't be posted at this site) is considered his life's masterpiece, and the basis of much of the contemporary interest in Rumi.Title Page
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