Author: William C. Chittick; Seyyed Hossein Nasr (foreword)
Publisher: World Wisdom Books (September 2005)
Pages: 120 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
120 pages with full-color illustrations.
This is a short, richly illustrated book on the thought behind the great Sufi poet's mystical words.
There are now countless books of Rumi’s poetry available in English translation, and he has become one of America’s favorite poets. There are, however, almost no authoritative books readily available for the general reader that provide in clear and accessible language an introduction to the underlying spiritual perspective illuminating Rumi’s magical poetry. In this beautifully illustrated work, William C. Chittick, a leading scholar of Sufism and Rumi, opens doors that give us access to the inner sanctum of Rumi’s esoteric, and Sufi, thought. The foreword is by Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
About the author --
William C. Chittick is a professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Among his publications are The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (1983), The Psalms of Islam (1988), The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-`Arabî's Cosmology (1998), Sufism: A Short Introduction (2000), and The Heart of Islamic Philosophy: The Quest for Self-Knowledge in the Teachings of Afdal al-Dîn Kâshânî (2001). He is also the author of The Sufi Doctrine of Rumi, which will be published by World Wisdom in October, 2005.
Professor Chittick is one the world’s leading translators and interpreters of the mystical poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi. He is also recognized for his translation and interpretation of the writings of the great Sufi theorist and poet, Ibn Arabi.
Table of Contents --
I. Sufism and Islam
II. God and the World: “The Infinitude of the
III. The Nature of Man
1. Universal Man
2. The Fall
3. The Trust
IV. Operative Sufism
1. Union with God
2. The Nafs
3. Knowledge and Method
4. The Limitations of Rational Knowledge
“…this peerless Sufi poet and sage is now well known in the English-speaking world. He is in fact one of the most popular poets these days in America. But most of the studies devoted to him in Western languages have been concerned with literary and historical aspects of his works and only occasionally with an analysis of the symbolism of his language or the inner meaning of his tales and narratives. Rarely has there been a study of his metaphysical teachings in a succinct and penetrating manner. It is true that Rûmî did not write direct metaphysical expositions as did an Ibn ‘Arabî or Sadr al-Dîn Qunyawî. But Jalâl al-Dîn was a metaphysician of the fi rst order and dealt with nearly every gnostic and metaphysical question, but often in the form of parables, narratives, or other forms of literary devices and poetic symbols. To understand his metaphysical doctrines, it is necessary to delve into the Mathnawî and the Dîwân as well as the Fîhi mâ fîhi in depth and to extract those passages which bear directly upon metaphysics."
—Seyyed Hossein Nasr, from the Foreword
"This study of Dr. Chittick has the great merit… of approaching the subject [of Rûmî’s metaphysical doctrines] from a strictly traditional point of view untainted by the modernistic fallacies which have colored most of the other studies devoted so far to this subject in Western languages.…[Rûmî ] remains to this day a strong living influence in Persian and Turkish cultures and is now becoming a source of spiritual nourishment for seekers the world over. May the message of Rûmî serve as a beacon of light to dispel the shadows which prevent modern man from seeing even his own image in its true form and from knowing who he really is."
- Seyyed Hossein Nasr (from the foreword), scholar, educator, and author of many books on Islam and Sufism, including The Heart of Islam : Enduring Values for Humanity and Rumi and the Sufi tradition
"The immense popularity of Rumi's poetry in 21st century America shows that his message is one which transcends both time and space. William Chittick addresses with admirable succinctness the fundamental themes of this message, both in its own terms, and with continuous reference to the school of sophia perennis. The result is a deeply satisfying discourse on Rumi's poetry from a point of view that is faithful to the universality of its essential content."
- Reza Shah-Kazemi, scholar and author on Islam and Sufism
"The Sufi Doctrine of Rumi represents…William Chittick’s lifelong scholarly and spiritual dedication to Rumi’s work. Given its concision, clarity and focus on the essentials, this little book can also be considered as a very good and widely accessible introduction to the Sufi worldview in general. In this precious volume, the beauty of Rumi’s path and teachings is skillfully suggested by a combination of limpid quotations, cogent commentaries and exquisite illustrations, including calligraphies and miniatures."
- Patrick Laude, scholar, and author of Singing the Way: Insights into Poetry & Spiritual Transformation and Frithjof Schuon: Life and Teachings (co-authored with Jean-Baptiste Aymard)