Al-Bahr al-Madid fi Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Majeed : Arabic Only
Tafsir of ibn ‘Ajiba
By Al-Imam al-Allama Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Muhammad bin al-Huda Ibn 'Ajiba al-Husaini
Tahqiq by Umar Ahmad al-Rawi
Hardback 8 Volumes
Publisher : Dar ul Kotob il Ilmiyyah (DKI)
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About The Book
The 18th century Moroccan mystic and scholar, Ahmad ibn ‘Ajiba, virtually unknown in the west before the 1967 publication of Jean-Louis Michon’s Le Soufi Marocain Ibn ‘Ajiba et son Mi’raj, spent six year towards the end of his life working intermittently on his single greatest work, The Immense Ocean (al-Bahr al-Madid), a complete commentary on the Holy Quran.
The finished work would differ from all other previous Quranic commentaries (tafasir) by the fact that in addition to presenting the exoteric explanation for every verse, it also included esoteric commentary (ishara) which related each verse to the mystic path of Islam, Sufism.
To this latter dimension, Ibn ‘Ajiba adds insights arising from his own spiritual quest, that of a man who, in his early 40s, having lived the life of a scholar from a noble Tetouani family, turned away from all the rank and respect he had previously enjoyed in order to become the disciple of two of the greatest Sufic teachers of his day, Mulay al-‘Arabi al-Darqawi and Muhammad al-Buzidi, and immerse himself in the rigorous spiritual training and practice that characterized their way, al-Tariqa al-Shadhiliyya al-Darqawiyya.
This translation, then presents both an example of Islamic scholarship based on traditional formal sources as well as insight into Ibn ‘Ajiba’s own personal journey of discovery.
In the course of this work, the reader will find commentary, both exoteric and esoteric, on verses concerning the interrelation between Divine benevolence and human gratitude; the blessings of Heaven and the place of faithful men and women there; the relationship between practice, grace, and salvation; the role and meaning of the invocation and remembrance of God (dhikr Allah); the ephemeral nature of this world; the essential traits of Christians; the meaning of earthy tribulations; and the benefits of charity.
In addition the reader will discover the depths at which Quranic discourse has been understood by the mystics of Islam over the centuries (and up to the present day), a depth at which formal differences between traditions become less and less distinct and the similarities in the human quest for knowledge of the Divine ever more inspiring.
Al-Bahr al-Madid, is the only traditional Quranic commentary in existence which gives both exoteric exegesis and mystical “spiritual allusion” for each verse of the Sacred Book.
Only one other work by the prolific 13th/18th century Moroccan mystic and scholar, Ahmad ibn ‘Ajiba, has so far been translated into English.
About The Author
Ahmad ibn 'Ajiba (1747–1809) was an 18th-century Moroccan saint in the Darqawa Sufi Islamic lineage. He was born of a Hasani sharif family in the Anjra tribe that ranges from Tangiers to Tetuan along the Mediterranean coast of Morocco.
As a child he developed a love of knowledge, memorising the Qur'an and studying subjects ranging from Classical Arabic grammar, religious ethics, poetry, Qur'anic recitation and tafsir.
When he reached the age of eighteen he left home and undertook the study of exoteric knowledge in Qasr al-Kabir under the supervision of Sidi Muhammad al-Susi al-Samlali. It was here that he was introduced to studies in the sciences, art, philosophy, law and Qur'anic exegesis in depth.
He went to Fes to study with Ibn Souda, Bennani, and El-Warzazi, and joined the new Darqawiyya in 1208 AH (1793), of which he was the representative in the northern part of the Jbala region.
He spent his entire life in and around Tetuan, and died of the plague in 1224 AH (1809).
He is the author of a considerable number of works and a Fahrasa which provides interesting information concerning the intellectual center that Tetuan had become by the beginning of the 19th century.
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