Bibliography B: Speculative mysticism in the Andalus


de GAYANGOS, Pascual (tr.): AL-MAKKARĪ: The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain (London 1840-43) 2 vols.

This is an abridged translation of a 17th-century Arabic history of the Andalus.

LÉVI-PROVENÇAL, E.: L’Espagne musulmane au dixième siècle (Paris 1932).

Background study for understanding the Andalus.

ASÍN PALACIOS, Miguel : Ibn Masarra y su escuela: origenes de la filosofia hispanomusulmana;

IN : ASÍN PALACIOS, M.: Obras Escogidas (Madrid 1946) vol.1, pp.1-216.

He reconstructs what was meant by pseudo-Empedoclean philosophy at this time, and studies the work and influence of its exponent in the Andalus, Ibn Masarra.

CRUZ HERNANDEZ, Miguel : Historia de la filosofía española: Filosofía hispano-musulmana (Madrid 1957) 2 vols.

Vol.1 goes up to the mid-twelfth century and includes Ibn Masarra, Ibn al-‘Arīf, Ibn al-Sīd and Ibn Tufayl.  Vol.2 starts from Ibn Rushd (Averroes).

HOLE, E: Andalus : Spain under the Muslims (London 1958).

A social history of the Western Caliphate.

BARGEBUHR, Frederick P.: The Alhambra: a Cycle of Studies on the Eleventh Century in Moorish Spain (Berlin 1968).

Many of the studies involve Solomon ibn Gabirol.

GLICK, Thomas F.: Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages (Princeton 1979).

A comparative economic, social and cultural history from the Islamic conquest to the 13th century (with a bibliography).

GUICHARD, Pierre: The Social History of Muslim Spain;

IN : JAYYUSI, Salma Khadra (ed.): The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung 1, Band 12) (Leiden 1992) pp.679-708.

A good survey, packed with information.

CRUZ  HERNÁNDEZ, Miguel: Islamic Thought in the Iberian Peninsula;

IN : JAYYUSI, S.K. (ed.): The Legacy of Muslim Spain (see above) pp.777-803.

From Ibn Masarra to Ibn Khaldūn.

REILLY, Bernard F.: The Medieval Spains (Cambridge 1993).

A clear political, economic and cultural history of the Iberian peninsula from Roman times to 1474 (with maps and a critical bibliography).

FLETCHER, Richard : Moorish Spain (London 1994).

A readable general and political history (with maps and bibliography).



GAUTHIER, Léon : Ibn Thofaïl, sa vie, ses oeuvres (Paris 1909).

A study of Ibn Tufayl’s life and his version of the Hayy ibn Yaqzān story, its content, sources, structure, originality and meaning (with a bibliography).

OCKLEY, Simon (revised by FULTON, Alexander S.): ABU BAKR IBN TUFAIL: The History of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (London 1929).

Although this 18th-century English translation has been revised with regard to new Arabic editions, there are still omissions.  The French translation is superior.

GAUTHIER, Léon (éd. & tr.): Hayy ben Yaqdhān, roman philosophique d’Ibn Thofaïl (Publications de l’Institut d’Etudes orientales de la Faculté des Lettres d’Alger, no.3) (Beirut 1936).

The Arabic text with a French translation, introduction and bibliography.

ASÍN PALACIOS, Miguel : Ibn al-Sīd de Badajoz y su Libro de los cercos (Kitāb al-hadā’iq);

IN : Al-Andalus, vol.5 (Madrid 1940) pp.45-154.

The Arabic text with a Spanish translation and introduction.

DUNLOP, D.M.: Ibn Bājjah’s Tadbīru’l-Mutawahhid (Rule of the Solitary);

IN : Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, new series (London 1945) pp.61-81.

The Arabic text, with English translation, of the only extant Arabic fragment.

DUNLOP, D.M.: Philosophical Predecessors and Contemporaries of Ibn Bājjah;

IN : The Islamic Quarterly, vol.2 (London 1955) pp.100-116.

He is looking at figures, about whom there is little information.

GOODMAN, Lenn Evan (tr.): IBN TUFAYL’s Hayy Ibn Yaqzān, a philosophical tale (New York 1972).

A complete English translation, with a long, discursive introduction and notes.

BŰRGEL, J.C.: Ibn Tufayl and his Hayy ibn Yaqzān: A Turning Point in Arabic Philosophical Writing;

IN : JAYYUSI, Salma Khadra (ed.): The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung 1, Band 12) (Leiden 1992) pp.832-846.

A discussion of its literary, as well as philosophical and religious, interest.

CONRAD, Lawrence I. (ed.): The World of Ibn Tufayl: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Hayy ibn Yaqzān (Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science: Texts and Studies no.24) (Leiden 1996).

The editor has written the introduction on Ibn Tufayl’s biography and his possible sources, and he has provided the bibliography at the end.

CORNELL, Vincent J.: Hayy in the Land of Absāl: Ibn Tufayl and Sufism in the Western Maghrib during the Muwahhid Era;

IN : CONRAD, Lawrence I. (ed.): The World of Ibn Tufayl (see above) pp.133-164.

Ibn al-‘Arīf, Moroccan Sufism and Ibn Tufayl.

RADKE, Bernd: How can Man Read the Mystical union? Ibn Tufayl and the Divine Spark;

IN : CONRAD, Lawrence I. (ed.): The World of Ibn Tufayl (see above) pp.165-194.

 A survey of philosophers and mystics who were interested in mystical union before Ibn Tufayl.



BARGÈS, J.J.L.: Vie du célèbre marabout Cidi Abou Médien (Paris 1884).

The writer is sceptical about the stories that are told about Abū Madyan.

ASÍN PALACIOS, Miguel (tr. CAVALLERA, F.): IBN AL-‘ARĪF: Mahāsin al-Majālis (Collection de textes inédits relatifs à la mystique musulmane, no.2) (Paris 1933).

The Arabic text with a French translation and an explanatory introduction.

AFFIFI, A.E.: The Mystical Philosophy of Muhyid Dīn-Ibnul ‘Arabī (Cambridge 1939).

A full but difficult study of an admittedly complex thinker.

ASÍN PALACIOS, M.: Šādilīes y alumbrados. Parte 1: Los orígenes de la escuela šādilī y sus principales representantes;

IN : Al-Andalus, vol.10 (Madrid 1945) pp.1-52.

One of the movement’s precursors who is studied is Abū Madyan.

HUSAINI, Moulvi S.A.Q.: Ibn al-‘Arabī, the great Muslim mystic and thinker (Lahore 1949).

This is a tiny book on Ibn al-‘Arabī’s life, with some of the stories about him and a collection of his sayings on religious matters.

LANDAU, R.: The Philosophy of Ibn ‘Arabī (London / New York 1959).

This manages to clarify and simplify much of what is usually obscure.

CORBIN, H. (tr. MANHEIM, R.): Creative Imagination in the Sūfism of Ibn ‘Arabī (London 1969).

This study is full of interest, but it is sometimes plated in impenetrable and sesquipedalian erudition (with bibliography).

AUSTIN, R.W.J.: Sufis of Andalusia: The Rūh al-quds and al-Durrat al-fākhirah of Ibn ‘Arabī (London 1971).

 This English translation, of Ibn al-‘Arabī’s biographies of contemporary Western Sufis, has a long introduction on the life of the author and a bibliography.

ELLIOTT, William & ABDULLA, Adnan K. (transl.): IBN AL- ‘ARĪF: Mahāsin al-Majālis: the attractions of mystical sessions (Avebury 1980).

The Arabic text and English translation are interleaved.  The latter does not always read as easily as does the French version of F. Cavallera.  The introduction summarises M. Asín Palacios’ study of the author and his work.

ADDAS, Claude: Andalusī Mysticism and the Rise of Ibn ‘Arabī;

IN : JAYYUSI, Salma Khadra (ed.): The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung 1, Band 12) (Leiden 1992) pp.909-933.

A notable corrective to the usual views of Ibn Masarra as a pseudo-Empedoclean philosopher, and of an Almería group in which Ibn al-‘Arīf plays the leading role.

CHODKIEWICZ, Michel (tr. SHERRARD, L.): Seal of the Saints: Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn ‘Arabī (Cambridge 1993).

He makes a careful analysis of Ibn al-‘Arabī’s writings about sainthood in general, and about the possibility of being the seal of that rank, in particular.

HIRTENSTEIN, Stephen : The Unlimited Mercifier: the spiritual life and thought of Ibn ‘Arabī (Oxford 1999).

He elucidates Ibn al-‘Arabī’s ideas in chapters of theology which alternate with chapters of biography, – a helpful way to spread the intellectual load (+ bibliog.).



BÉDARRIDE, I : Les Juifs en France, en Italie et en Espagne (Paris 1859).

A general history, from Roman times onward.

NEUMAN, Abraham A.: The Jews in Spain, their social, political and cultural life during the Middle Ages (Philadelphia 1944) 2 vols.

Vol.1: legal, political and economic; vol.2: social, cultural and religious.  Most of the evidence comes from later medieval Christian Spain.

WAXMAN, Meyer : A History of Jewish Literature: vol.1: from the close of the Canon to the end of the twelfth century (New York / London 1960)

A comprehensive history, with bibliography.

BORCHSENIUS, P. (tr. HERON, M.): The Three Rings, the history of the Spanish Jews (London 1963).

This popular history makes an easy introduction to the subject.

MILLÁS VALLICROSA, J.M.: Literatura hebraicoespañola (Nueva colección labor no.35) (Barcelona 1967).

An introductory history of medieval Sephardic literature.

GOLDSTEIN, D.: The Jewish Poets of Spain 900-1250 (Harmondsworth, Middlesex 1971).

An English verse translation of a wide-ranging selection of poetry.



MÉZAN, Saül : De Gabirol à Abravanel, juifs espagnols promoteurs de la Renaissance (Paris 1936).

The influence of intellectual Sephardim on the Latin West.

VAJDA, Georges : Introduction à la pensée juive du moyen âge (Etudes de philosophie médiévale, no.35) (Paris 1947).

From the Sefer Yezirah to the late 15th century, with bibliography.

BOOKSTABER, Philip David: The Idea of Development of the Soul in Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Philadelphia 1950).

7 studies: Isaac Israeli, Saadia, Bahya ibn Paqūda, Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Saddīq, Judah ha-Levi, Ibn Daūd and Maimonides.

HUSIK, Isaac : A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy (New York 1958).

Although first published in 1916, this is still an excellent (comprehensive and comprehensible) study of all the interesting Jewish thinkers (bibliog. up to 1941).

GUTTMANN, Julius (tr. SILVERMAN, D.W.): Philosophies of Judaism: The History of Jewish Philosophy from Biblical times to Franz Rosenzweig (London / New York 1964).

He has a section for every medieval thinker (extensive bibliography).



GREENSTONE, J. H.: The Messiah Idea in Jewish History (Philadelphia 1906).

A succinct history of Jewish eschatological teaching and speculation.

ABELSON, J.: Jewish Mysticism (London 1913).

A useful introduction.

SARACHEK, Joseph : The Doctrine of the Messiah in Medieval Jewish Literature (New York 1932).

A lucid study of Messianic speculation from Saadia onwards (+ bibliog.).

SCHOLEM, Gershom G.: Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (3rd ed. London 1955).

A detailed analysis of the main schools of Jewish mysticism (+ bibliography).

VAJDA, Georges : L’amour de Dieu dans la théologie juive du moyen âge (Etudes de philosophie médiévale, no.46) (Paris 1957).

As this is a constant minor theme of all religious thinkers, the book is a long skewer of small and rather similar morsels to digest (with small bibliography).

ALTMANN, Alexander : Studies in Religious Philosophy and Mysticism (London 1969).

A very wide-ranging collection of studies on Hebrew and Arabic writers, from Saadia to modern times, who have affected the religious development of Jews.

COHEN, G.D.: Sefer ha-Qabbalah: a critical edition, with a translation and notes, of “The Book of Tradition” by Abraham ibn Daud (London 1969).

As well as the Hebrew text and English translation, there is a study of Ibn Daūd’s polemical purpose and his structured view of history (with bibliography).

SIRAT, Colette : Les théories des visions surnaturelles dans la pensée juive du moyen âge (Etudes sur le judaïsme médiéval, no.1) (Leiden 1969).

She considers every Jewish contribution, made between the 9th and 15th centuries, to the subject of the possibility of direct vision or experience of God.



MUNK, S.: Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe (Paris 1857-9).

This study incorporates: the texts of the Hebrew fragments of the Fons Vitae (with a French translation); a study of Ibn Gabirol’s life, philosophy, sources and influence; and short histories of medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy.

ZANGWILL, Israel (tr.) & DAVIDSON, Israel (ed.): Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol (Philadelphia 1923).

The Hebrew texts and English verse translations, with introduction and notes, of 50 devotional poems including The Royal Crown.

BRUNNER, F. (tr.): Ibn GABIROL: La Source de Vie, livre III (Paris 1950).

French translation, with analysis and notes, of the Fons Vitae, book 3.

CHOURAQUI, André: “La Couronne du Royaume” de Salomon ibn Gabirol:

IN : Revue Thomiste, vol.52 (Paris 1952) pp.403-440.

A French translation, with a short introduction, of The Royal Crown.

BRUNNER, Fernand: Etudes sur le sens et la structure des systèmes réalistes : – Ibn Gabirol ;

IN : Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, Xe-XIIe siècles, vol.1 (Poitiers 1958) pp.295-308.

Philosophical difficulties in the Fons Vitae.

LEWIS, B. (tr.): Solomon ibn GABIROL: The Kingly Crown (London 1961).

An English translation with a biographical introduction (+ small bibliog.).

WEDECK, H.E. (tr.): Solomon ibn GABIROL: The Fountain of Life (Fons Vitae) (London 1963).

An English translation of the laborious book 3, with a brief but difficult introduction by Theodore E. James (with a small bibliography).

SCHLANGER, Jacques : La philosophie de Salomon ibn Gabirol, étude d’un néoplatonisme (Etudes sur le judaïsme médiéval, no.3) (Leiden 1968).

This is a definitive study of the Fountain of Life (Fons Vitae) and its sources, with a bibliography.

LOEWE, Raphael : Ibn Gabirol (London 1989).

This is a study of his poetry, both secular and religious, with English translations; it gives synopses of the Fountain of Life and the Improvement of the Moral Qualities; and ends with a new English translation of the Royal Crown, with the Hebrew text (small bibliography).

BRUNNER, Fernand : Sur l’hylémorphisme d’Ibn Gabirol;

IN : BRUNNER, F. (ed. SCHULTHESS, D.): Métaphysique d’Ibn Gabirol et de la tradition platonicienne (Aldershot, Hants. / Brookfield, Vermont 1997) article 2.

The relationship of matter to form in Ibn Gabirol’s system.

BRUNNER, Fernand : La doctrine de la matière chez Avicébron;

IN : BRUNNER, F. (ed. SCHULTHESS, D.) : see above : article 4.

The place of matter in the philosophies of Aristotle and Ibn Gabirol.



BROYDÉ, Isaac : Résumé des “Réflexions sur l’âme” de Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakouda (Paris 1896).

A summary of its philosophical content, and the argument for its attribution.

BRODY, Heinrich & SALAMAN, Nina : Selected Poems of Jehudah Halevi (Philadelphia 1925).

Hebrew texts and English translations of 80 fine poems on a variety of themes.

VAJDA, Georges : La théologie ascétique de Bahya ibn Paquda (Cahiers de la société asiatique, série 1, no.7) (Paris 1947).

He analyses the Duties of the Heart and points out its relationship to Islamic and Sufi themes (with a bibliography, and an appendix on the Muslim moralist, Rāghib al-Isfahānī).

VAJDA, G.: La philosophie et la théologie de Joseph ibn Çaddiq;

IN : A.H.D.L.M.A., vol.17 (Paris 1949) pp.93-181.

A long analysis of Ibn Saddīq’s Microcosm, and the ancestry of its themes.

CHOURAQUI, André (tr.): BAHYA IBN PAQŪDA: Introduction aux Devoirs des Coeurs (Paris n.d. 1950?).

This French translation of the introduction, all 10 treatises, and the poems, of the original Arabic version of the Duties of the Heart, includes a study of the work.

DUROCHER, Bruno: Jehuda Halevi (Les grandes silhouettes du judaïsme, no.1) (Paris 1970).

An introduction to Ha-Levi, with French translations of some of his poems.

MANSOOR, Menahem (tr.): Bahya ben Joseph IBN PAQUDA: The Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart (London 1973).

An English translation (from the original Arabic) with a full introduction and a bibliography.

LOBEL, Diana: A Sufi-Jewish Dialogue: Philosophy and Mysticism in Bahya ibn Paqūda’s Duties of the Heart (Philadelphia, Penn. 2007).

A very detailed study of the book and its relationship to other Islamic and Jewish books of philosophy and mystical religion (with a long bibliography).



BACHER, W.: Matériaux pour servir à l’histoire de l’exégèse biblique en Espagne dans la première moitié du 12e siècle: Jehuda ben Barzilaï de Barcelone ;

IN : Revue des études juives, vol.17 (Paris juillet-déc.1888) pp.272-284.

A study of Abraham’s colleague, Judah ben Barzillai.

MILLÀS i VALLICROSA, J. (tr.): ABRAAM BAR HIIA: Llibre revelador: Meguillat Hamegallè (Biblioteca Hebraico-Catalana, no.1) (Barcelona 1929).

This incorporates a Catalan translation of the Scroll of the Revealer with a Catalan translation of Julius Guttmann’s study of the work, its author, sources etc.

VAJDA, G. : Les idées théologiques et philosophiques d’Abraham bar Hiyya;

IN : A.H.D.L.M.A., vol.15 (Paris 1946) pp.191-223.

His metaphysics, psychology and eschatology, as evidenced in the Meditation of the Sad Soul and the Scroll of the Revealer (with bibliography).

MILLÁS VALLICROSA, José M.: La obra enciclopédica “Yĕsodé ha-Tĕbuná u-Migdal ha-Ĕmuná” de R. Abraham bar Hiyya ha-Bargeloní (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto Arias Montano, ser. D, no.3) (Barcelona 1952).

The Hebrew text, with a Spanish translation, of the extant fragments (on maths and optics) of The Foundations of Understanding and Tower of Faith.

STITSKIN, Leon : Judaism as a Philosophy: The Philosophy of Abraham bar Hiyya (New York 1960).

His life, background, works, philosophy and influence.

VAJDA, Georges: Le système des sciences exposé par Abraham bar Hiyya et une page de Juda ben Barzillaï;

IN : Sefarad, vol.22 (Madrid / Barcelona 1962) pp.60-68.

A case of plagiarism, almost certainly by Judah from Abraham.

WIGODER, Geoffrey (tr.): ABRAHAM bar HAYYA: The Meditation of the Sad Soul (London 1969).

To this English translation of the Hegyon ha-Nefesh, is attached a study of Abraham’s life, works, sources and philosophy, with a bibliography.



FRIEDLÄNDER, M.: The Commentary of Ibn Ezra on Isaiah. Volume 1: Translation (London 1873).

This English translation also has some biographical information on Ibn Ezra.

MATHEWS, H.J. (ed. & tr.): Abraham ibn Ezra’s Commentary on the Canticles (London 1874).

The Hebrew text and an English translation.

FRIEDLÄNDER, M.: Essays on the Writings of Abraham ibn Ezra (=Friedländer Ibn Ezra Literature, vol.4) (London 1877).

As well as textual studies, there is an important essay on his philosophy.

BACHER, W.: Abraham ibn Ezra dans le nord de la France;

IN : Revue des études juives, vol.17 (Paris juillet-déc.1888) pp.300-304.

He shows that Abraham stayed at Dreux and not at Rodez.

FRIEDLÄNDER, M.: Ibn Ezra in England;

IN : Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, vol.2 (London 1894-95) pp.47-75.

English summaries of the Yesod Mora and the Letter of the Sabbath, and the Hebrew text of the latter.

LEVY, Raphael: The Astrological Works of Abraham ibn Ezra (The John Hopkins Studies in Romance Literatures and Languages, no.8 (Baltimore 1927).

He is mainly interested in Ibn Ezra’s The Beginning of Wisdom, its translations, sources and influence; but he also considers the other astrological books.

LÉVY, Louis-Germain : La philosophie d’Abraham ibn Ezra;

IN : Revue des études juives, vol.89 (Paris 1930) p.169-178.

This succinct summary of Abraham’s views on everything is sadly devoid of any references.

LEVY, R. & CANTERA, F.: The Beginning of Wisdom: an Astrological Treatise by Abraham ibn Ezra (The John Hopkins Studies in Romance Literatures and Languages, extra volume, no.14) (Baltimore 1939).

The Hebrew text, Old French translation and a new English translation.

CHAZAN, Robert : Medieval Jewry in Northern France: a political and social history (John Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, series 91, no.2) (Baltimore 1973).

Their history and geographical distribution from the 10th-13th centuries.

SARNA, Nahum M.: Abraham ibn Ezra as an Exegete;

IN : TWERSKY, I. & HARRIS, J.M.(ed.): Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra: Studies in the Writings of a Twelfth-Century Jewish Polymath (Cambridge, Mass. 1993) pp.1-27.

A detailed assessment of his importance and originality as a Biblical scholar.


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