FIFTEEN LETTERS (KHAMSATA 'ASHARA MAKTUBAN)
By Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
Translation and Commentary : Louay Fatoohi
Paperback 108 Pages
Publisher: Islamic Book Trust (IBT)
About The Book
"Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani is arguably the greatest figure in the history of Sufism. His teachings have attracted millions to Islam and helped countless Muslims understand the spiritual journey that this great religion represents. The current work consists of fifteen short letters in which the Shaikh describes spiritual experiences and knowledge that are attained through striving against one’s base desires and committed devotion to Allah.
They are written in a highly mystical language, using a peculiar style whereby each sentence or group of sentences is followed by a related Qur’anic text. In effect, the letters represent a Sufi experiential interpretation of the quoted Qur’anic verses. While small in size, this exceptionally charming and poetically beautiful work is immensely profound. This translation of the book is based on three manuscripts. The translator, who has previously co-translated into English Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir’s Purification of the Mind (Jila’ Al-Khatir), has also added a commentary."
They also contain allusions to the experiences [adhwaq] and spiritual states [halat] of the Sufis (may Allah's good pleasure be conferred upon them all).
About Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani In A.H. 488, at the age of eighteen, left his native province to become a student in the great capital city of Baghdaad, the hub of political, commercial and cultural activity, and the center of religious learning in the world of Islaam. After studying traditional sciences under such teachers as the prominent Hanbalii jurist [faqiih], Abuu Sa'd 'Alii al-Mukharrimii, he encountered a more spiritually oriented instructor in the saintly person of Abu'l-Khair Hammaad ad-Dabbaas.
Then, instead of embarking on his own professorial career, he abandoned the city and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions of 'Iraq. He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdaad, in A.H. 521/1127 C.E., and began to preach in public. His hearers were profoundly affected by the style and content of his lectures, and his reputation grew and spread through all sections of society. He moved into the school [madrasa] belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharrimii, but the premises eventually proved inadequate.
In the words of Shaikh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi: 'The venerable 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in A.H. 561/1166 C.E.
About The Translator
Louay Fatoohi is a British scholar who was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1961. He converted from Christianity to Islam in his early twenties. He obtained a BSc in Physics from the College of Sciences, University of Baghdad, in 1984. He received a PhD in Astronomy from the Physics Department, Durham University, in 1998.
The author of several books and over forty scientific and general articles in Arabic and English, Dr Fatoohi is particularly interested in studying historical characters and events that are mentioned in the Qur'an and comparing the Qur'anic account with the Biblical narratives, other Jewish and Christian writings, and historical sources.
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