'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah (d. 923 H/1517 AD) of Damascus was one of the great women scholars in Islamic history. A mystic and prolific poet and writer, 'A'ishah composed more works in Arabic than any other woman before the twentieth century. Yet despite her extraordinary literary and religious achievements, 'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah 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. She recounts 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, ?A?ishah 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 'A'ishah al-Ba'uniyyah’s remarkable account of the pursuit of mystical illumination.
Letter from the General Editor iii
A Note on the Text xx
Notes to the Introduction xx
The Principles of Sufism 1
The First Principle: Repentance (Tawbah) 6
The Second Principle: Sincerity (Ikhla?) 36
The Third Principle: Remembrance (Dhikr) 62
The Fourth Principle: Love (Ma?abbah) 96
Epilogue on Love 142
Glossary of Names and Terms 177
Further Reading 191
About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute 198
About the Typefaces 199
About the Editor-Translator 200
“Homerin’s work is an outstanding example of superb translation and editing. Homerin offers the original Arabic manuscript in addition to his translation, which brings to life and grants direct access into the subtleties of original language for non-Arab readership.”-Journal of Religion History
"Brings to-Journal of Sufi Studies
English-speaking audiences a fascinating piece written by one of the most
remarkable figures of post-classical Islam."
“This bi-lingual edition…brings to English readership a rare feast: a short treatise on four fundamentals of the Sufi path—Repentance, Sincerity, Remembrance, and Love—strung together with copious quotations from the works of great masters…”-Islamic Sciences
"An outstanding-Journal of Religious Studies
example of superb translation and editing."
“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-Baʿuniyyah, 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-Baʿuniyyah's life and work, positioning her as one of the greatest women scholars in Muslim history.”
“Th. Emil Homerin’s recent contribution to the field of Sufi studies and Islamic studies generally is his discovery of ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah—this truly remarkable mystical poetess whose mastery of Sufi poetic diction, intellectual tradition and imagery is fascinating.”-Der Islam