The Subtle Blessings in The Saintly Lives Of Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi & His Master Abu Al-Hasan
Lata'if al-Minan fi Manaqib Abi 'l- abbas al-Mursi wa Shaykhihi Abi 'l-Hasan
by Ibn Ata Allah Al-Iskandari (D 709 AH)
Translated By Nancy Roberts
Paperback 455 Pages
Laţā'if al-Minan ('Subtle Graces') by Ibn 'Aţā' Allāh (d. 709 AH) might be described as a tribute by the author to the two great shaykhs who molded his spiritual life and vision, namely, Abū al-Ĥasan al-Shādhilī (d. 656 AH) and Abū al-'Abbās al-Mursī (d. 686 AH), the latter of whom Ibn 'Aţā' Allāh describes as
'our master and companion, the pole of gnostics, the signpost of the rightly guided, the supreme apologist for Sufism, the travelers' guide, the rescuer of the perishing…he who speaks by the light of his flawless spiritual insight into [people's] secret thoughts…he who unveils the suns of knowledge after they have set and the secrets of subtle intimations after they have departed, he who has arrived in God and who assists others in doing the same.
Filled with anecdotes illustrating the shaykhs' spiritual gifts and insights, Laţā'if al-Minan is Ibn 'Aţā' Allāh's attempt to convey to his readers not only the beauty and inspiration of these men's lives and their utter devotion to God, but to help his readers themselves to enter into this same life of devotion and to experience its inimitable blessings.
For anyone desiring a vivid, lively exposition of the Sufi path as embodied in the lives of God's friends, the saints, together with their expositions of the prophetic traditions and Qur'anic passages which stayed their feet along the path, explanations of the divine realities, mystical stations and related enigmas, as well as specific phrases of divine remembrance (dhikr) which Abū al-'Abbās used for himself and his disciples, Laţā'if al-Minan offers a delightful excursion through this inviting, albeit arduous, realm of body and spirit.
Translated from the Arabic,this deeply personal reminiscence of one man's growth in Islamic mysticism is a tribute to the two great shaykhs who molded his spiritual life and vision. Filled with anecdotes illustrating the shaykhs' spiritual gifts and insights, the text not only conveys the beauty and inspiration of these men's lives and their utter devotion to God, but also helps readers to enter this same life of devotion and experience its inimitable blessings. Sufi interpretations of Qur'anic passages and traditional Sufi spiritual litanies are included.
About Ata'Allah Iskandari
Taj ad-Din Abu’l-Fadl Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim b. Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari,
al-Judhami ash-Shadhili, known simply as Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah,
was born in Alexandria, Egypt, as his nisbah indicates, about the
middle of the seventh/thirteenth century. His family were renowned Maliki
scholars from the Banu Judham tribe, originally from Arabia. His grandfather,
Abd al-Karim (d. 612 AH/1216 AD) had distinguished himself as an expert in
fiqh, usul (principles of jurisprudence), and Arabic, having studied under
the famous Abu’l-Hasan al-Abyari. He had written several books, among which
were al-Bayin wa’t-Taqrib fi Sharh at-Tahdhib, Mukhtasar at-Tahdhib,
and Mukhtasar al-Mufassal, and had been very hostile to Suflism.
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