The Principles of Sufism

210 pages

March, 2016

ISBN: 9781479829248

$15

Paper

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Authors

ʿAʾishah al-Baʿuniyyah (d. 923 H/1517 AD) of Damascus was one of the great women scholars in Islamic history. A mystic and prolific poet and writer, ʿAʾishah composed more works in Arabic than any other woman before the 20th century.

All books by Aishah al-Bauniyyah

Th. Emil Homerin is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion & Classics at the University of Rochester, where he teaches courses on Islam, classical Arabic literature, and mysticism. Homerin completed his Ph.D. with honors at the University of Chicago ('87), and he has lived and worked in Egypt and Turkey for a number of years.

All books by Th. Emil Homerin

Ros Ballaster is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Oxford and professorial fellow in English at Mansfield College. Two monographs, Seductive Forms: Women’s Amatory Fiction 1684-1740 (Oxford University Press, 1992) and Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England 1662-1785 (Oxford University Press, 2005), investigate the importance of fantasy in the shaping of the eighteenth-century English novel.

All books by Ros Ballaster

Aishah al-Bauniyyah of Damascus was one of the great women scholars in Islamic history. Born into a prominent family of pious scholars and Sufi devotees, Aishah received a thorough religious education and memorized the Quran at age eight. A mystic and a prolific poet and writer, she composed more works in Arabic than any other woman before the 20th century. Yet despite her extraordinary literary and religious achievements, Aishah al-Bauniyyah remains largely unknown. For the first time, her key work, The Principles of Sufism, is available in English translation.
 
The Principles of Sufism is a mystical guide book to help others on their spiritual path. Outlining the four principles of Repentance, Sincerity, Remembrance, and Love, it traces the fundamental stages and states of the spiritual novice’s transformative journey, emphasizing the importance of embracing both human limitations and God’s limitless love. Drawing on lessons and readings from centuries-old Sufi tradition, Aishah advises the seeker to repent of selfishness and turn to a sincere life of love. In addition to his lucid translation, Th. Emil Homerin provides an insightful introduction, notes and a glossary to Aishah al-Bauniyyah’s remarkable account of the pursuit of mystical illumination.

Reviews

  • “With this masterful edition and translation of The Principles of Sufism, Homerin makes available to the English-reading public the most important work of Al-Ba'uniyyah, a 16th-century scholar and mystic who lived in Damascus for most of her life. […] Homerin's elegant and readable translation is made especially valuable by the side-by-side presentation of the Arabic and English texts. He offers a brief overview of Al-Ba'uniyyah's life and work, positioning her as one of the greatest women scholars in Muslim history.”

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