TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY BY SHAYKH FADHLALLA HAERI
The Hikam, or Wisdom, of the great Sufi Master Ibn `Ata 'Allah al-Iskandari has long been acknowledged as an essential and classic masterwork of the Islamic science of enlightenment. Ibn `Ata 'Allah exemplified the ultimate model of a Sufi master possessed of a deep foundation in the sciences of the Qur'an, the way of the Prophet and the Universal Laws of the Islamic way of life, both outer and inner.
Short but immensely thought provoking, dense in their significance and insightfulness, crisp and sharp in their elucidation, the aphoristic Hikam are a true manifesto for those who are sincerely on the path of knowledge and awareness. This wisdom strips away our conventional responses to events, actions and phenomena, and encourage us to concentrate on the only true Reality.
With the publication of Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri's new translation and with the aid of his accompanying commentary, students and adepts alike can now gain a profounder understanding of these timeless teachings from the wellspring of the heart of Islam.
ABOUT SHAYKH FADHLALLA HAERI
Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri was born in Karbala, Iraq, a descendant of several generations of well-known and revered spiritual leaders. Educated in Europe and America, he founded a number of companies in the Middle East and worked as a consultant in the oil industry.
He travelled extensively on a spiritual quest which led to his eventual rediscovery of the pure and original Islamic heritage of his birth.
In 1980 he established the Zahra Trust, a charitable organization with centers in the USA, Britain and the Middle East, which makes traditional Islamic teachings more widely available through courses and publications, promotes the revival of traditional systems of healing and supports a variety of charitable programs.
Shaykh Fadhlalla is currently engaged in lecturing and writing books and commentaries on the Holy Qur’an and related subjects, with particular emphasis on ethics, self-development and gnosis (`irfan).
In 2004, he established the Academy of Self Knowledge, http://www.askonline.co.za, which offers teachings on self knowledge and the Prophetic revealed path.
Ibn `Ata 'Allah al-Iskandari was born in the middle of the 7th century AH/13th century CE and grew up in Alexandria during the Mamluk era. Although not much is known about his life, he had the best teachers in all branches of traditional sciences and became known as a great master of Islamic law of the Maliki school.
His lifetime witnessed the great flourishing of several Sufi brotherhoods, including the Shadhiliyya, the Mawlawiyya, the Chishtiyya and the Ahmadiyya. His father was a student of Imam al-Shadhili, though it is unlikely he himself ever met him.
Initially Ibn `Ata 'Allah was not so drawn to the Sufi path, preferring to concentrate his energies on jurisprudence. Yet, in spite of his early antipathies, he did become a disciple of Shaykh Abu 'l-`Abbas al-Mursi, (d. 686/1288).
As his most important and principal work, the Hikam, attests, he had become a Sufi master in his own right, and was already a shaykh when al-Mursi died. He became the third great master of the Shadhiliyya order which grew from Morocco and spread throughout North Africa and beyond.
With his career as a scholar in Cairo under the Mamluks in full flourish, he died at around 60 years of age in 709 AH/1309 CE and was buried there in the Qarafa cemetery.
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