Historical Reprints Religion Mystics and Saints of Islam

Mystics and Saints of Islam

Mystics and Saints of Islam
Catalog # SKU3263
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Claud Field
ISBN 10: 1610336224
ISBN 13: 9781610336222


Mystics & Saints
of Islam

Large Print

Claud Field

It is a custom in some quarters to represent Mohammadan mysticism as merely a late importation into Islam, and an altogether alien element in it. But however much later Islamic mysticism may have derived from Christian, Neo-platonic, and Buddhist sources, there is little doubt that the roots of mysticism are to be found in the Koran itself.

--New Edition, large 15 point font



The following verse is an instance: "God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. His light is like a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp encased in glass-the glass as it were a glistening star. From a blessed tree is it lighted, the olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would well nigh shine out even though fire touched it not! It is light upon light!" (Koran Sura 24).

Indeed it seems strange to accord the title of "a practical mystic" to Cromwell and to deny it to Mohammad, whose proclivity for religious meditation was so strong that the Arabs used to say "Muhammad is in love with his Maker," and whose sense of the "terror of the Lord" was so intense that it turned his hair prematurely white. Many of the reported sayings of the Early Companions of Muhammad show that they shared this terror. "Verily, you shall see hell, you shall see it with the eye of certainty" says the Koran, and they thought it very probable. Thus Ali exclaimed "Alas for the shortness of the provision and the terrors of the way!" Abu'l Darda said "If ye knew what ye shall see after death, ye would not eat nor drink, and I wish that I were a tree that is lopped and then devoured."

This "fear of the Lord" led naturally to an almost fierce asceticism. Abu Bekr and Ali both founded communities of ascetics, and during the first and second centuries of Islam there were many orthodox mystics. Professor Nicholson in the work just quoted, rightly says "I do not think that we need look beyond Islam for the origin of the Sufi doctrines.... The early Sufis are still on orthodox ground, their relation to Islam is not unlike that of the mediæval Spanish mystics to the Roman Catholic Church." **************************

The moral law proclaimed by Moses three thousand years ago agrees with that which governs men to-day, irrespective of their various stages of culture; the moral precepts of a Buddha and Confucius agree with those of the Gospel, and the sins for which, according to the Book of the Dead of the ancient Egyptians, men will answer to the judges of the other world are sins still after four thousand years. If the nature of the unknown First Cause is ever to be grasped at all, it can only be in the light of those unchanging moral principles which every man carries in his own breast.

The idea of God is therefore not an affair of the understanding, but of the feeling and conscience. Mysticism has always so taken it, and has therefore always had a strong attraction for the excitable and emotional portion of mankind whom it has comforted in trial and affliction. Every religion is accordingly rather intended for the emotions than for the understanding, and therefore they all contain mystical tendencies. The mysticism of Islam and Christendom have many points of contact, and by mysticism perhaps will be first bridged the wide gulf which separates Islam from Christendom, and thereby from modern civilisation. Just in proportion as the various religions express the ideals of goodness and truth they approximate to one another as manifestations of the unchanging moral principle. Inasmuch as they surmised this, the Motazilites (or free-thinkers in Islam), at a time when Europe lay in the profoundest intellectual and moral bewilderment, fought for one of those ideas which, although they are quickly submerged again in the stormy current of the times, continue to work in silence and finally emerge victorious. On that day when the Moslem no longer beholds in God simply omnipotence, but also righteousness, he will simultaneously re-enter the circle of the great civilised nations among whom he once before, though only for a short time, had won the first place.

It is not perhaps too fanciful to hail, as an omen of the triumph of moral mysticism over the dogmatic rigidity of Islam, the fact that the present Sultan Muhammad V. was girded with the sword of Osman by the head of the Mevlevi dervishes, a sect founded by the great mystic teacher Jalaluddin Rumi of Iconium.

276 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336224
ISBN-13: 9781610336222

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