Bibliography B: Speculative mysticism in Islam


YAHYĀ, ‘Uthmān : Man and his Perfection in Muslim Theology;

IN : The Muslim World, vol.49 (Hartford, Connecticut 1959) pp.19-29.

The orthodox doctrine of salvation in Islam.

JEFFERY, Arthur : A Reader on Islam: Passages from standard Arabic writings illustrative of the beliefs and practices of Muslims (Columbia University Publications in Near and Middle East Studies, series A, no.2) (den Haag 1962).

English translations of pieces that give a balanced view of Islam, with a succinct introduction, and with glossaries, chronologies and bibliography.

KENNEDY, Hugh : The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East  from the Sixth to the Eleventh Century (2nd ed. Harlow, Essex 2004).

A full political history which includes Egypt (with maps, bibliography etc.).



NICHOLSON, R.A.: An Historical Enquiry concerning the Origin and Development of Sufiism, with a list of definitions of the terms “Sūfī ” and “Tasawwuf,” arranged chronologically;

IN : Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for 1906 (No vol. no.) (London 1906) pp.303-348.

It is all explained in the title.

NICHOLSON, R.A.: The Mystics of Islam (London 1914).

A survey of basic Sufi doctrine.

SMITH, Margaret : Studies in Early Mysticism in the Near and Middle East (London 1931).

The relationship between Sufism and earlier Christian mysticism (+ bibliog.).

ARBERRY, Arthur J.: An Introduction to the History of Sūfism (Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy Lectures for 1942 at the University of Calcutta) (London 1943 ?).

Historiography of Sufi studies in the West in modern times.

VALIUDDIN, Mir : What is Sūfism?

IN : Islamic Culture, vol.20 (Hyderabad 1946) pp.373-383.

The problem of reconciling God’s transcendence and immanence in Islam.

ARBERRY, Arthur J.: Sufism: an account of the mystics of Islam (London 1950).

A good short historical survey.

BURCKHARDT, Titus : Introduction aux doctrines ésotériques de l’Islam (Alger / Lyon 1955).

A general introduction to Sufism.

SIRĀJ, Abū Bakr : The Origins of Sufism;

IN : The Islamic Quarterly, vol.3 (London 1956-57) pp.53-64.

He argues that the revelation of the Prophet is alone a sufficient explanation.

ANAWATI, G.C. & GARDET, L.: Mystique musulmane: aspects et tendances; expériences et techniques (Etudes musulmanes, no.8) (Paris 1961).

The different themes and doctrines are analysed, and illustrated by French translations of extracts from Sufi writings (with bibliography).

NASR, Seyyed Hossein: The Rise and Development of Persian Sufism;

IN : LEWISOHN, Leonard (ed.): The Heritage of Sufism, vol.1: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi (700-1300) (Oxford / Boston, Mass. 1999) pp.1-18.

He emphasises the number of famous Sufis who came from Persian backgrounds, and the number of Sufi practices which grew from Persian origins.  There is a long bibliography at the end of the volume.

KARAMUSTAFA, Ahmet T.: Sufism: the formative period (Edinburgh 2007).

This useful book deals with the development, both of individual Sufis, and of Sufi practices in general, in different parts of Islam from the 9th-12th centuries C.E. (with a bibliography of works in many languages).



MASSIGNON, Louis : La passion d’al-Hosayn-ibn-Mansour al-Hallāj, martyr mystique de l’Islam (2e éd. Paris 1922) 2 vols.

Vol.1: his life, work and reputation; vol.2: a study of his writings and ideas, with French translations of his “Tawāsīn” and “Riwāyāt” and a huge bibliography.

SMITH, Margaret : Rābi‘a the Mystic and her Fellow-Saints in Islām (Cambridge 1928).

She puts in everything that is known about Rābi‘a, and gives an account of the position of women, and particularly women saints, in Islam (with bibliography).

SMITH, Margaret : An Early Mystic of Baghdad (London 1935).

A study of al-Muhāsibī (A.D.781-857) with a bibliography.

GARDET, Louis : Quelques textes sūfis concernant « l’extase » ;

IN : Revue Thomiste, vol.50 (Paris 1950) pp.172-179.

Kalābādhī and Hallāj on ecstatic religion.

MASSIGNON Louis : Essai sur les origines du lexique technique de la mystique musulmane (Etudes musulmanes, no.2) (2e éd. Paris 1954).

This study has three concerns: a) an analysis of Sufi terminology; b) a history of Sufi asceticism and mysticism in the first 3 Islamic centuries; c) a collection of Arabic texts about al-Hallāj.

ARBERRY, Arthur J.: The Divine Colloquy in Islam (Manchester 1956).

This study concentrates on al-Bīstāmī and al-Niffarī.

ARBERRY, A. J.(tr.): Muslim Saints and Mystics: Episodes from the Tadhkirat al-Auliya’ (Memorial of the Saints) by Farid al-Din Attar (London 1966).

These stories concern early Sufis, but ‘Attār is a later medieval writer, and so I have not felt able to make much use of them.  It has a bibliography.

MASSIGNON, Louis (tr. MASON, Herbert): The Passion of al-Hallāj, Mystic and Martyr of Islam (Princeton 1982). 4 vols.

English translation of his 1922 work, but each volume has been split in two.

MASON, Herbert W.: Al-Hallaj (Curzon Sufi Series) (Richmond, Surrey 1995).

An emotional introduction to his life and work, aimed at the general reader, largely devoid of references, but with a bibliography.

SCHIMMEL, Annemarie: Abū’l-Husayn al-Nūrī: ‘Qibla of the Lights’;

IN : LEWISOHN, Leonard (ed.): The Heritage of Sufism, vol.1: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi (700-1300) (Oxford / Boston, Mass. 1999) pp.59-64.

A sympathetic study of what little is known about al-Nūrī.



NICHOLSON, R.A.: The Oldest Persian Manual of Sufism;

IN : Transactions of the Third International Congress for the History of Religions, vol.1 (Oxford 1908) pp.293-597.

Introducing al-Hujwīrī’s Kashf al-Mahjūb.

de LÉBÉDEW, Olga (tr.): Traité sur le soufisme de l’imām érudit El-Kochāïrī (Que Dieu éclaire sa tombe et qu’il en rafraîchisse la terre !) (Roma 1911).

A French translation of part of al-Qushayrī’s work.

NICHOLSON, R.A. (ed.): ABŪ NASR AL-SARRĀJ: Kitāb al-Luma‘ fi l’-Tasawwuf (E.J.W.Gibb Memorial Series, no.22) (Leiden 1914).

Arabic text, with an English summary and introduction, of parts of an early Sufi treatise on Sufism.

MASSIGNON, Louis : Recueil de textes inédits concernant l’histoire de la mystique en pays d’Islām (Collection de textes inédits relatifs à la mystique musulmane, no.1) (Paris 1929).

Texts in Arabic with biographical notes in French.

ARBERRY, Arthur J. (tr.) : The Doctrine of the Sūfīs (Cambridge 1935).

English translation of the Kitāb al-Ta‘arruf of al-Kalābādhī.

ARBERRY, Arthur J.: Junayd;

IN : Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (London 1935) pp.499-507.

English translation of the letter from al-Junayd to Yūsuf ibn al-Husayn.

NICHOLSON, R.A. (tr.) : The Kashf al-Mahjūb, the oldest Persian treatise on Sufiism, by ‘Alī ibn ‘Uthmān al-Jullābī al-Hujwīrī ( 2nd ed. London 1936).

A slightly abridged English translation with an introduction.

ARBERRY, A.J.: The Book of the Cure of Souls;

IN : Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland ( London 1937) pp.219-231.

Arabic text and English translation of al-Junayd’s Kitāb Dawā’ al-arwāh.

ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.): Pages from the Kitāb al-Luma‘ of Abū Nasr al-Sarrāj (London 1947).

He gives the Arabic text and an English summary of the part that was left out of R.A. Nicholson’s edition, and adds an appreciation of R.A. Nicholson and a bibliography of his works.

SMITH, Margaret : Readings from the Mystics of Islam (London 1950).

A little book of religious wisdom.

MASSIGNON, Louis (tr.) : HOCEÏN MANSŪR HALLĀJ: Dīwān (Cahiers du Sud: Documents spirituels, no.10) (Paris 1955).

A French translation of 83 of the poems of al-Hallāj, with an introduction, a biography and a review of his later reputation.

MASSIGNON, L.: Akhbār al-Hallāj: recueil d’oraisons et d’exhortations du martyr mystique de l’Islam, Husayn ibn Mansūr Hallāj (Etudes musulmanes, no.4) (3e éd. Paris 1957).

Arabic text and French translation of this collection of prayers, teachings and deeds attributed to al-Hallāj, with a long introduction.

ABDEL-KADER, Ali Hassan: The Life, Personality and Writings of al-Junayd: a Study of a Third/Ninth Century Mystic, with an Edition and Translation of his Writings (E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Series, new series no.22) (London 1962).

This is in 3 parts: his life and times; a study of his writings; the Arabic text and English translation of his letters.



NICHOLSON, R.A.: The Goal of Muhammadan Mysticism;

INJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for 1913 (No vol. no.) (London 1913) pp.55-68.

The doctrine of “fanā;” and thoughts on mysticism and heresy.

NICHOLSON, R.A.: Studies in Islamic Mysticism (Cambridge 1921).

His studies include Abū Sa‘īd ibn Abi’l-Khayr and Ibn al-Arabī.

NICHOLSON, R.A. : The Idea of Personality in Sūfism (Cambridge 1923).

His study of the problems of a personal relationship with the transcendent God of Islam includes al-Hallāj and al-Ghazālī.

AFFIFI, A.E.: The Story of the Prophet’s Ascent (mi‘rāj) in Sūfī Thought and Literature;

IN : The Islamic Quarterly, vol.2 (London 1955) pp.23-27.

Muhammad’s dream journey to Jerusalem as a symbol for mystical ascent.

de LAUGIER de BEAURECUEIL, S.: Pauvreté et vie spirituelle chez Abdallah Ansari;

IN : Les Mardis de Dar El-Salam, sommaire 1954, (Paris 1956) pp.63-81.

The theme of poverty in the writings on Sufism of this 11th century Persian.

VALIUDDIN, Mir : Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism (London 1980).

How Sufis have dealt with: purgation of the soul, concentration on God (dhikr) and illumination by the Spirit.  Much of the work is on the later Sufi orders.

GRAHAM, Terry: Abū Sa‘īd ibn Abī’l-Khayr and the School of Khurāsān;

IN : LEWISOHN, Leonard (ed.): The Heritage of Sufism, vol.1: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi (700-1300) (Oxford / Boston, Mass. 1999) pp.83-135.

He deals at length with Abū Sa‘īd’s life and influence, and with his – and other Sufis’ – relationship with the local rulers.  He also makes a more general study of the use made by Sufis of poetry and music in worship and of Sufi rules for institutional living, because both are areas in which Abū Sa‘īd had an influence.

CHITTICK, William C.: Sufism: a short introduction (Oxford 2000).

Islamic themes seen from a Sufi perspective (with bibliography).



de BOER, T.J. (tr. JONES, E.R.) : The History of Philosophy in Islam (London 1903).

A well ordered account (but without references) up to the 14th century.

QUADRI, G. (tr. HURET, R.): La philosophie arabe dans l’Europe médiévale des origines à Averroès (Paris 1947).

This has 2 parts: a history of Islamic philosophy up to Ibn Rushd, and a study of Ibn Rushd (or Averroes).

NASR, S.H.: Three Muslim Sages: Avicenna, Suhrawardī and Ibn ‘Arabī (Cambridge, Mass. 1964).

A good introduction, with bibliography.

FAKHRY, Majid : Islamic Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism : a short introduction (Oxford 1997).

This useful synopsis makes a good introduction to most of the Muslim thinkers who figure in my book (with bibliography).



SPRENGER, A.: Notices of some copies of the Arabic work entitled Rasáyil Ikhwán al-Çafâ’;

IN : Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol.17 (Calcutta 1848) part 1, pp.501-507, & part 2, pp.183-202.

This lists the contents of most of the treatises in their encyclopaedia.  Part 2 also contains an English translation of part of the treatise on their way of life.

DIETERICI, F. : Sur les études philosophiques des Arabes au dixième siècle;

IN : Atti del IV Congresso Internazionale degli Orientalisti, settembre 1878 (Firenze 1880) vol.1, pp.385-394.

A summary of the main trends of their encyclopaedia (Rasā’il).

LANE-POOLE, Stanley : Studies in a Mosque (2nd ed. London 1893).

One of the studies deals with the Brethren of Purity.

TIBAWI, A.L.: Ikhwān as-Safā and their Rasā’il;

IN : The Islamic Quarterly, vol.2 (London 1955) pp.28-46.

Historiography of the Brethren.

NASR, S.H. : An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines: conceptions of nature, and methods used for its study, by the Ikhwān al-Safā’, al-Bīrūnī and Ibn Sīnā (Cambridge, Mass. 1964).

I found his study of the Brethren very clear and helpful (with bibliography).

NETTON, Ian R.: Muslim Neoplatonists: an introduction to the thought of the Brethren of Purity (Ikhwān al-Safā’) (2nd ed. Edinburgh 1991).

He considers their doctrines in relation to their many sources, Indian, Pythagorean, Platonist, Aristotelian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Ismā‘īlī etc.  This makes a comprehensible introduction to their ideas (with a bibliography).



PLATTS, John (tr.): Ikhwānu-s-safā, or Brothers of Purity (London 1869).

This English translation of the Urdu version of the Debate between Man and the Animals has been edited with reference to the Arabic original.  It is, among other things, a powerful satire denouncing man’s misuse of the world.

DIETERICI, Friedrich : Die Philosophie der Araber im X. Jahrhundert n.Chr.:

1. Einleitung und Makrokosmos (Leipzig 1876)

2. Mikrokosmos (Leipzig 1879)

3. Die Propaedeutik der Araber im zehnten Jahrhundert (Berlin 1865)

4. Die Logik und Psychologie der Araber im zehnten Jahrhundert n. Chr. (Leipzig 1868)

5. Die Naturanschauung und Naturphilosophie der Araber im zehnten Jahrhundert (Posen 1864)

6. Der Streit zwischen Mensch und Thier (Berlin 1858)

7. Die Anthropologie der Araber im zehnten Jahrhundert n. Chr. (Leipzig 1871)

8. Die Lehre von der Weltseele bei den Arabern im X. Jahrhundert (ibid. 1872).

A German translation or paraphrase of parts of their encyclopaedia: 1: the nine grades of being;  2: minerals, plants, animals and man;  3: maths, astronomy, geography and music;  4: logic, knowledge and character;  5: cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology;  6: the Debate between Man and the Animals;  7: man, body and soul, life and death;  8: the universe, its creation and God’s continuing work in it.

van REIJN, Eric : The Epistles of the Sincere Brethren (Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’): an annotated translation of Epistles 43-47 (London 1995).

Here, at last, is a translation, in English, of some of the key epistles, or treatises, from the section on religion.  The notes are instructive and detailed.



al-HAMDĀNĪ, Husain F.: Rasā’il Ikhwān as-Safā in the literature of the Ismā‘īlī Taiyibī Da‘wat;

IN : Der Islam, vol.20 (Berlin 1932) pp.281-300.

An Ismā‘īlī interpretation of the work.

FARMER, Henry George : Who was the Author of the Liber introductorius in Artem Logicae Demonstrationis?

IN : The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (London 1934) pp.553-556.

He shows that it is largely a translation of the Brethren’s treatise on logic.

FACKENHEIM, Emil L.: The Conception of Substance in the Philosophy of the Ikhwān as-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity);

IN : Mediaeval Studies, vol.5 (Toronto 1943) pp.115-122.

This was rather too abstruse for me.

STERN, M.: The Authorship of the Epistles of the Ikhwān as-Sufā;

IN : Islamic Culture, vol.20 (Hyderabad 1946) pp.367-372.

He brings forward corroborating, but not very good, evidence to support the accepted 10th-century dating of the Rasā’il.

CORBIN, Henry : Rituel sabéen et exégèse ismaélienne du rituel;

IN : Eranos-Jahrbuch, vol.19 (Mensch und Ritus) (Zűrich 1950) pp.181-246.

He connects rituals used by the Harranians, the Ikhwān and the Ismā‘īliyya.

al-FĀRŪQĪ, I.R.: On the Ethics of the Brethren of Purity;

IN : The Muslim World, vol.50 (Hartford, Connecticut 1960) pp.109-121, pp.193-198, + pp.252-258; & vol.51 (1961) pp.18-24.

The Brethren are here studied, in a fresh way, as Islamic humanists.

de CALLATAŸ, Godefroid :  Ikhwan al-Safa’ : a Brotherhood of Idealists on the Fringe of Orthodox Islam (Oxford 2005).

A study of their ideas with almost no references or notes, but with a short bibliography.



BLOCHET, E.: Le Messianisme dans l’hétérodoxie musulmane (Paris 1903).

Early heterodox, mainly Ismā‘īlī, movements.

LEWIS, Bernard : The Origins of Ismā‘īlism, a study of the historical background of the Fātimid Caliphate (Cambridge 1940).

The early history of a secretive movement is always problematic and all the difficulties are discussed here (with bibliography).

IVANOW, Wladimir : Brief Survey of the evolution of Ismailism (The Ismaili Society, series B, no.7) (Leiden 1952).

A good introduction to a difficult subject.

HODGSON, Marshall G.S.: The Order of Assassins, the Struggle of the early Nizārī Ismā‘īlīs against the Islamic world (den Haag 1955).

A political and doctrinal history, with maps and some translated sources.

LEWIS, Bernard : The Assassins: a Radical Sect in Islam (London 1967).

Another history of the Nizārī movement, which still leaves many questions unanswered.

DAFTARY, Farhad : The Ismā‘īlīs: their history and doctrines (Cambridge 1990).

This is a very full political history, and there are detailed studies of doctrines whenever there are surviving works to provide the information (with glossary and bibliography).



CASANOVA, Paul : La doctrine secrète des Fatimides d’Egypte ;

IN : Bulletin de l’institut français d’archéologie orientale, vol.18 (Cairo 1920-21) pp.121-165.

A French translation of the chapter on Ismā‘īlī doctrine in Maqdīsī’s Khittat, with an interesting introduction.

al-HAMDĀNĪ, Husain F.: Some Unknown Ismā‘īlī Authors and their Works;

IN : Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (London 1933) pp.359-378.

Some notes on Fātimid authors whose works have been preserved in the Yemen.

IVANOW, Wladimir : Studies in Early Persian Ismailism (The Ismaili Society, series A, no.8) (2nd ed. Bombay 1955).

This gives an English translation of the Kitāb al-Rushd wa’l-Hidāyat and full summaries of the Kitāb al-‘Ālim wa’l-Ghulām, the Kitāb al-Riyād of al-Kirmānī, and the Risāla of al-Mayhadhī, all written before the 11th century.

CORBIN, Henry : Cyclical Time in Mazdaism and Ismailism;

IN : CAMPBELL, J. (ed.): Man and Time (Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, no.3) (London 1958) pp.115-172.

Its foci are earlier and later than the Ismā‘īlī thinkers of Fātimid times who might be of interest to my studies.

DAFTARY, Farhad : Introduction: Isma‘ilis and Isma‘ili studies;

IN : DAFTARY, Farhad (ed.): Medieval Isma‘ili History and Thought (Cambridge 1996) pp.1-18.

This acts both as a survey of European studies of the movement, and as an introduction to the articles that will follow.  (The collection has its own bibliography.)

HALM, Heinz : The Isma‘ili oath of allegiance (‘ahd) and the “sessions of wisdom” (majālis al-hikma) in Fatimid times;

IN : DAFTARY, F. (ed.) : see above, pp.91-115.

A study of certain aspects of Ismā‘īlī missionary activity.

NANJI, Azim A.: Portraits of self and others: Isma‘ili perspectives on the history of religions;

IN : DAFTARY, F. (ed.) : see above, pp.153-160.

This article gives examples of Ismā‘īlī pluralism; and includes a delightful snippet from the Brethren of Purity.



Millénaire d’Avicenne = Revue du Caire, vol.27, no.141 (Cairo June 1951).

The millenary (according to the Islamic lunar calendar) of his birth is celebrated with articles (somewhat general and superficial) on all aspects of his work.

WICKENS, G.M. (ed.): Avicenna, Scientist and Philosopher: a Millenary Symposium (London 1952).

Six lectures: one on his life; two on his philosophy; three on his influence.

SAFA, Z.: Le Livre du Millénaire d’Avicenne (Société Iranienne pour la Conservation des Monuments Nationaux, no.27) (Tehran 1953).

A biography with anecdotes.

AFNAN, S.M.: Avicenna, his Life and Works (London 1958).

His life, his historical and philosophical background, his writings and teachings on such a wide range of topics, and his influence (plus a bibliography).

WEINBERG, Julius R.: A Short History of Medieval Philosophy (Princeton 1964).

A useful introduction to some of the more difficult parts of the subject.  I have only used this for the study of Ibn Sīnā and his influence.



MEHREN, A.F.: Traités mystiques d’Avicenne (Leiden 1889-1899) 4 vols.

Arabic texts and French résumés of: vol.1: Hayy ibn Yaqzān; vol.2: Recital of the Bird, plus the Ishārāt, part 2, sections 8-10 on the contemplative life; vol.3: four treatises on love, prayer, holy places and fear of death; vol.4: the Treatise on Destiny.

FORGET, J.: Un chapitre inédit de la philosophie d’Avicenne;

IN : Revue néo-scolastique, vol.1 (Louvain / Paris 1894) pp.19-38.

A French translation of a part of the Ishārāt, dealing with the soul.

HOLMYARD, E.J. & MANDEVILLE, D.C.: Avicennae De Congelatione et Conglutinatione Lapidum, being sections of the Kitāb al-Shifā’ (Paris 1927).

Arabic text with English translation, introduction and notes, of Ibn Sīnā’s views on minerals, plus Alfred of Sareshel’s Latin translation (with bibliography).

GOICHON, Amélie M. : Introduction à Avicenne: son Epître des Définitions (Paris 1933).

French translation, with copious notes, of Ibn Sīnā’s own definitions of terms.  This would not, in my opinion, make a good place to start.

FACKENHEIM, Emil L.: A Treatise on Love by Ibn Sina, Translated;

IN : Mediaeval Studies, vol.7 (Toronto 1945) pp.208-228.

English translation, with introduction, of the Risalah fi’l-‘ishq.

ARBERRY, Arthur J.: Avicenna on Theology (London 1951).

Extracts translated into English, without references.

GOICHON, Amélie M. (tr.) : IBN SĪNĀ: Livre des Directives et Remarques (Beirut / Paris 1951).

French translation of the Ishārāt, with a long study of Ibn Sīnā’s thoughts on philosophy, mysticism and logic.

RAHMAN, F.: Avicenna’s Psychology (London 1952).

An English translation and commentary of his writings on the soul.

ACHENA, Mohammed & MASSÉ, Henri (tr.) : AVICENNE: Le Livre de Science (Paris 1955-58) 2 vols.

French translation, with notes, of the Dānesh-nāmē, on metaphysics, logic, physics, maths and music.

BAKOŠ, Ján (éd. & tr.): Psychologie d’Ibn Sīnā (Avicenne) d’après son oeuvre Aš-Šifā’ (Praha 1956) 2 vols.

Vol.1: Arabic text of Bk.2, chap.6 of the Kitāb al-Shifā’.  Vol.2: French translation, notes and a bibliography.

GOICHON, Amélie M. : Le Récit de Hayy ibn Yaqzān commenté par des textes d’Avicenne (Paris 1959).

French translation, with a very heavy philosophical commentary.

CORBIN, Henry (tr. TRASK, W.R.): Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (London 1960).

The English translations of Hayy ibn Yaqzān and the commentary on it attributed to al-Jūzjānī, the Recital of the Bird, the tale of Salāmān and Absāl and the earlier Hermetic version of it, et al. are accompanied by commentaries, parallels, explanations and speculations in abundance, and a large bibliography.

GOICHON, Amélie M. : AVICENNE: Livre des Définitions (Mémorial Avicenne, no.6) (Cairo 1963).

Arabic text and revised French translation of Ibn Sīnā’s definition of terms.



MEHREN, A.F.: Vues théosophiques d’Avicenne;

IN : Le Muséon, vol.4 (Louvain 1885) pp.594-609 & vol.5 (1886) pp.52-67.

Part 1: on love, prayer and holiness; part 2: on illumination and ascent to God.

MEHREN, A.F.: L’allégorie mystique Hāy ben Yaqzān d’Avicenne;

IN : Le Muséon, vol.5 (Louvain 1886) pp.411-426.

A summary of the Tale of Hayy ibn Yaqzān, with a note on a Hebrew translation of it attributed to Ibn Ezra.

SALIBA, Djémil : Etude sur la métaphysique d’Avicenne (Paris 1926).

Ibn Sīnā’s ontology, cosmogony, metaphysics and psychology (+ bibliog.).

GARDET, Louis : Quelques aspects de la pensée avicennienne dans ses rapports avec l’orthodoxie musulmane ;

IN : Revue Thomiste, vol.45 (Paris 1939) pp.537-575 + pp.693-742.

The first part studies Ibn Sīnā’s doctrines of creation, emanation and God’s omniscience.  The second part considers his views on the resurrection of the body, the role of the prophet, prayer and mysticism.

GARDET, Louis : La pensée religieuse d’Avicenne (Ibn Sīnā) (Etudes de philosophie médiévale no.41) (Paris 1951).

A full and useful study of his religious philosophy.

GARDET, Louis : La connaissance mystique chez Ibn Sīnā et ses présupposés philosophiques (Mémorial Avicenne, no.2) (Cairo 1952).

He relates Ibn Sīnā’s mystical ideas to his metaphysics, his epistemology, and to the thought of Plotinus.

PINES, S.: La “Philosophie orientale” d’Avicenne et sa polémique contre les Bagdadiens;

IN : A.H.D.L.M.A., vol.19 (Paris 1952) pp.5-37.

A sensible study of what can be discovered of Ibn Sīnā’s oriental philosophy, and of what may be inferred about it.

CHAHINE, Osman : Ontologie et théologie chez Avicenne (Paris 1962).

This is a general study of Ibn Sīnā’s metaphysics, with a look at his relation to other Muslim thinkers, and a full bibliography.



GAIRDNER, W.H.T.: Al-Ghazzālī’s Mishkāt al-Anwār (The Niche for Lights) (Asiatic Society Monographs no.19) (London 1924).

An English translation and a study of the work.

SMITH, Margaret : Al-Ghazālī the Mystic (London 1944).

His life, works, mystical teachings and influence (with bibliography).

WATT, W. Montgomery: The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazālī (Ethical and Religious Classics of East and West, no.8) (London 1953).

English translations of the Munqidh and the Bidāyat al-Hidāyah.

WATT, W.M. : Muslim Intellectual: a Study of al-Ghazālī (Edinburgh 1963).

This is not only a good introduction to al-Ghazālī, but also to medieval Islam in general (with bibliography).


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