New Titles from Fons Vitae

Book of Illumination Along with Sign of Success on the Spiritual Path, The
Kitab al-Tanwir fi Isqat al-Tadbir

Shaykh Ahmad Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah Al-Iskandari, Translated by Scott Kugle

Presenting a mystical and theological analysis of our human urge to create idols for ourselves and out of ourselves, this medieval author carefully recounts the enlightening counsels of his own masters. He is most attentive to the subtle psychological working of our human ego, marshaling resources for his Islamic tradition that can confront and overcome it. The result of desisting from claiming as our right and ability what is clearly beyond our control is illumination of the heart, clarity of the mind, and tranquility of the soul. This new translation masterfully illustrates the goal of Ibn Ata’ Allah’s discussion of achieving inner illumination of the heart, which is close to the sense of enlightenment that has become common in English language discussions of spirituality and gnosis.


Shaykh Ahmad Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah Al-Iskandari, one of the greatest spiritual masters of the thirteenth century, was both a Muhaddith and a Maliki jurist whose works became basic training manuals for aspirants across North Africa. A student of al-Mursi, he was the second to succeed Imam Abul-Hasan, the founder of the Shadhili Order, which continues to this day. His work made an inestimable contribution to elucidating the principles and practices of Sufism.

Scott Kugle is a professor at Swarthmore College.

Back Cover Blurbs:

[The Book of Illumination] is the epitome of all the books, long or short,
on Sufism.Ӕ Ibn ֑Abbad of Ronda

This superb translation of a classic work of Islamic spirituality is sure to transform hearts and shape intellects.  Scott Kugle has done a masterful job of rendering this text into a highly accurate and readable language.  Students of all spiritual traditions will find sustenance here.Ӕ
Omid Safi, Professor of Islamic Studies, Colgate

֓A unique, lucid, and at times lyrical translation of a long-awaited foundational work of Sufism.  Kugles non-gendered approach will stimulate an important and lively discussion of the place of theology in the understanding of Islamic texts.Ҕ
Vincent J. Cornell, Ph.D., Professor of History,
Director, King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies.
Chair of Religious Studies, University of Arkansas.

Regarding the methodology of overcoming self-preoccupation and fear for ones sustenance, it is hard to imagine that we, of today, could ֓literally sit as disciples in the presence of a spiritual giant though he lived nearly 1000 years ago, and hear a saint of such magnitude as Ibn ԑAta Allah carefully recount the enlightening counsels of his own masters (Abul Hasan al-Shadhili, the Axial SaintҔ of the 12th century and Shaykh al-Mursi who continued the lineage) as well as renown Sufis such as Abdul Qadir Jilani and Abu Madyan.

Quoting al-Jilani, the Shaykh says,  My brothers and sisters, I did not arrive in union with God by staying awake all night in worship, by staying aware all day fasting, or by staying engrossed learning knowledge   Rather, I arrived at union with God by generosity and humility and letting my breast be at peace.  He adds, a Sufi master has said, ԓHow do you expect to enter into God’s presence when something behind you is dragging you backŔ  Then Ibn Ataђ Allah goes on to present ways in which the whole heartӔ is realized fully in one’s life and how we shift our attention away from being overly self-preoccupied and endlessly absorbed in self-directed calculation into a state of utter trust.

 

Price: $22.95
Category: Religion, Spirituality, Islam, Sufism
Pages: 440
Book Type: Paper
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1887752625

Animals Lawsuit Against Humanity, The
An Illustrated 10th Century Iraqi Ecological Fable

Ikhwan al-Safa and Rabbi Kalonymus, Translated by Rabbi Anson Laytner, Illustrations by Umm Kulthum

In this fable, eloquent representatives of all members of the animal kingdomfrom horses to beesחcome before the respected Spirit King to complain of the dreadful treatment they have suffered at the hands of humankind. During the ensuing trial, where both humans and animals testify before the King, both sides argue their points ingeniously, deftly illustrating the validity of both sides of the ecology debate. The ancient antecedents of this tale are thought to have originated in India, with the first written version penned in Arabic sometime before the 10th century in what is now Iraq. Much later, this version of the story was translated into Hebrew in 14th century France and was popular in European Jewish communities into the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This English translation is useful in introducing young and old alike to environmental and animal rights issues.

How current this tenth century tale is for both the young and old of today It addresses environmental and animal rights issues with charming efficacy. A Muslim Sufi work of 10th century Iraq, translated by a rabbi into Hebrew, and rendered into Latin for a Christian king is now translated from the popular Hebrew version by Jews into English, edited by a Christian and illustrated exquisitely by a Muslim woman from India under the patronage of a Saudi princess. This is a true interfaith and multi-cultural title

In this fable, eloquent representatives of all members of the Animal Kingdomfrom horses to beesחcome before the respected Spirit King to complain of the dreadful treatment they have suffered at the hands of humankind. During the ensuing trial, where both humans and animals testify before the king, both sides argue their points ingeniously, deftly illustrating the validity of both sides of the ecology debate.

Fons Vitae is to be congratulated for making this work available in its current form . . . the cooperation of representatives from all the religions of the Abrahamic family in the preparation of the present bookӗreminds us of the basic truth that the most crucial problems of today are those which all authentic religious people face together . . . They have provided a book of value for experts on medieval thought as well as ordinary readers interested in reading a fascinating story of enduring spiritual worth and great current significance.
ԖSeyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University

Rabbi Anson Laytner translated the Hebrew version of this story found in Jerusalem into English. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is the author of over thirty books Islamic studies, comparative philosophy and religion, philosophy of art and the philosophical and religious dimensions of the environmental crisis.

 

 

Price: $14.95
Category: Academic: Middle Eastern Studies, Academic: Literature & Lit Crit
Pages: 170
Book Type: Paper
Size: 7 1/2 x 10
ISBN: 1887752706

Alone with the Alone in the Name

 


This Canticle of the Divine Name is in the pure lineage of mystical poetry.  Each text provides a station in which one’s spirit may rest.Ӕ 
Jean Bies, philosopher and author.

According to Ibn Arabi, known as the greatest master among the Sufis, the station of Perfect Man, can only be realized by those ֓who focus themselves on the fullness of reality, which is nothing but the reality of God Himself. That reality is revealed to us only through God’s names, and focusing upon it can only take place through remembrance.
Ԗ William Chittick, State University of New York

The Divine Name must penetrate not only into our psyche, but even into our body.  The name is already inseparable from the Divine Spirit. To be in the Name is to be in the Spirit. If we can place ourselves in the Divine Name, we are already in the world of the spirit and in fact the Spirit.  The center of the heart is where the Divine Name resides, but it also penetrates into the soul as nothing else can and only It is able to transform the soul and bring about its wedding to the Spirit.Ӕ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University


The power of a sacred name can imbue the utterer with the sanctity of the Named, so the invocation of God’s name or one of His attributes has long served as an established methodology for spiritual realization.  A name of God, divinely revealed, legitimately bestowed by a proper spiritual authority and frequently invoked functions in a direct way to reanimate the Holy Spirit or latent Divine within.  When the finite and temporal human heart is rhythmically impressed with a divine name, which by its very nature participates in the infinite and the eternal, the heart cannot resist and invariably recalls its theomorphic essence. ֖ From Beads of Faith, Fons Vitae

Above the clouds of our day to day lives there shines the ever-constant Sun of the Immutable Spirit. It is a rare joy to be reminded of the truth by the aphorisms contained in this beautiful book.  Each of them is a ray of light that both illuminates and warms, and reveals the Path of Return.Ӕ
Barry McDonald, Managing Director, World Wisdom Books

Jean-Marie Tresflin


Jean-Marie Tresflin, who was raised in the Catholic faith, is well-versed in the contemplative traditions of both East and West. He has taught classical and modern languages for 27 years.

 

Price: $13.95
Category: Academic: Religion & Theology, Poetry
Pages: 180
Book Type: Paper
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1887752757


Sufi Sage of Arabia
Imam Abdallah ibn Alawi al-Haddad

Translated by Mostafa al-Badawi Dr.

This biography of the saint and Iman Abdallah al-Haddad takes readers into the fascinating world and spiritual life of 17th- and early 18th-century Yemen. The life of this renown spiritual master֗whose teachings and personal example continue to influence lives around the worldis examined, from his early attraction to Sufi poetry and visit to the tomb of the prophet Hud to his rise as a Sufi master, his Hajj journey to Mecca, and his death. The biographical facts of al-Haddad’s life are interspersed with ruminations on his spiritual teachings, including his take on the nine stages of certainty,  the five investitures of taqwa, the stages of gnosis, and karamat and super natural events. Sufi practitioners, historians, and anthropologists will come to a deeper understanding of this timeless and enduring tradition with this fascinating record of a seminal Sufi master.

 


Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi is a disciple in the Sufi order of Imam al-Haddad. He is the author of the Fons Vitae Imam al-Haddad Spiritual Masters series. Imam Abdallah al-Haddad was a Sufi master in Yemen in the 17th and early 18th centuries.

 

דTwo paths to God exist for the people of this world, the path to salvation and the path to sanctification. For those who seek more than the minimum, who desire more than the average man, who want and yearn for intimate knowledge of their source and ultimate destiny, sanctification allows them that possibility . . . This book, while a biography of one of the greatest saints in Islamic history, is more than that. It is a book of alchemy itself, filled from start to finish with the science of tasawwuf, which is and has always been the heart of Islamic tradition . . . Dr. Badawi was a student of a direct descendent of Shaykh Abdallah al-Haddad, Habib Ahmad Mashur al-Haddad. Those of us fortunate enough to have known him personally consider him a realized spiritual master and sanctified soul, and none can sanctify save God . . . This book is a compelling testimony to the spiritual power and influence of the sanctified soul on the world. It is perhaps more importantly for us a step toward re-introducing the desperately needed path of sanctification. Ԗ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

At a time when the Muslim world is suffering from false teachings being
spread by extremists, the message of al-Haddad offers a precious means of return to the high ethical and spiritual standards of classical Islam. The publication of this important book should prove a milestone on the way of furthering that blessed effort.Ӕ T. J. Winter

This unique biography of the saint Imam Abdallah al-Haddad takes readers into the fascinating world and spiritual life of 17th-and early 18th-century Yemen. The life of this great spiritual master֗whose teachings and personal example continue to influence lives around the worldis examined, from his early attraction to Sufi poetry and visit to the tomb of the prophet Hudחto his rise as a Sufi master. The biographical facts of al-Haddad’s life are interspersed with his spiritual teachings, including those on the nine stages of certainty, the five investitures of taqwa, the stages of gnosis, and supernatural events. Sufi practitioners, historians, and anthropologists will come to a deeper understanding of this timeless and enduring tradition with this fascinating record of a seminal Sufi masters life and death.
From the Fons Vitae Imam al-Haddad Spiritual Masters series, which includes The Book of Assistance (1872038018), Gifts for the Seeker (1887752579), and The Lives of Man (1887752145).

 

Price: $17.95
Category: Religion, Spiritual
Pages: 238
Book Type: Paper
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 188775265X

 


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