The very heart of the Islamic tradition is love; no other word adequately captures the quest for transformation that lies at this tradition’s center. So argues esteemed professor of medieval Islam William C. Chittick in this survey of the extensive Arabic and Persian literature on topics ranging from the Qur’an up through the twelfth century. Bringing to light extensive foundational Persian sources never before presented, Chittick draws on more than a thousand pages of newly translated material to depict the rich prose literature at the center of Islamic thought.
“Chittick is arguably the best scholar and translator of Classical Islamic Mysticism (Sufism) the Western World has ever produced. His books are sheer gold. But this latest work is a masterwork studded with unique spiritual gems on love.”—H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, author of Love in the Holy Qur’an~H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad
“This masterpiece is the finest scholarly study of love in Islam ever produced. Chittick’s brilliant theo-philosophical analysis encompasses all the great Islamic thinkers and offers an urgent message not just for historians of religion, but for all Muslims and for those of every faith tradition.”—Stephen G. Post, Stony Brook University~Stephen G. Post
“Rendering a vast Arabic and Persian repertoire into lucid English allows William Chittick to display how central love is in the Islamic tradition. Persian masters Maybudi and Sam’ânî open worlds of poetic theological reflection, detailing the origin of love, a life of love, and the goal of love.”—David Burrell, University of Notre Dame~David Burrell
“A profound addition to our understanding of Sufism. It will be yet another long-standing contribution in the magnificent career of William Chittick, and another confirmation of his status as one of the very leading scholars of Sufism today.”—Omid Safi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill~Omid Safi
“The classic Sufi poets of divine and human love—Rumi, Hafez, Attar and others—are by now familiar figures. William Chittick’s book beautifully introduces the earlier Persian (and Arabic) prose writers on love who provide the background for that love-poetry, and whose “theology of love” shaped the popular understanding of Islam through the centuries.”—James W. Morris, Boston College~James W. Morris
Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 in the Religion Category.~Outstanding Academic Title, Choice