The recapture of Jerusalem, the siege of the Acre, the fall of Tripoli, the effect in Baghdad of events in Syria; these and other happening were faithfully recorded by Arab historians during the two centuries of the Crusades. For the first time contemporary accounts of the fighting between Muslim and Christian have been translated into English, and the Western reader can learn 'the other side' of the Holy War.
Seventeen authors are represented in the extracts in this work, which have been drawn from various types of historical writings. The excerpts are taken firstly from the general histories of the Muslim world, then from chronicles of cities, regions and their dynasties, and finally from biographies or records of the deeds of certain persons. The Arab histories of the Crusades compare favorably with their Christian counterparts in their rich accumulation of material and chronological information. Another of their merits is their faithful characterization, which they practiced in the brief but illuminating sketches of enemy leaders: Baldwin II's shrewdness, Richard Coeur de Lion's prowess in war, the indomitable energy of Conrad of Motferrat, Frederick II's diplomacy. The chronicles are generous, naturally, with their praises of the great champions of the Muslim resistance, especially of Saladin, who towers above all the other leaders in heroic stature. Although, this book gives a sweeping and stimulating view of the Crusades seen through Arab eyes.
Bahauddin, Rumi's father, was not only a major force in the development of Islamic spirituality, but also deeply influential in his son's life. This delightful and provocative collection reveals the depth of thirteenth-century Sufi mystical wisdom and its acute observations into nature, humanity, and the mysteries of life. Full of wit and insight, Bahauddin's notes bring to the reader a deeper understanding of his son Rumi's spiritual and intellectual heritage.
After his father's death in 1231, Rumi carried his father's spiritual notebook, known as the Maarif, everywhere. The writer Aflaki tells this story of the meeting of Rumi and Shams: Rumi is sitting by a fountain in Konya talking to his students with the Maarif open on the fountain's ledge. Suddenly, Shams interrupts the conversation and pushes the precious text into the water.
"Who are you and why are you doing this?" asks Rumi, protesting that this copy of his father's diary is the only one in existence.
Shams replies, "It is time for you to live what you have been reading of and talking about. But if you want, we can retrieve the book. It will be perfectly dry. See?" And he lifts Bahauddin's notebook out, "Dry."
Rumi set aside his father's book and joined Shams; but now, in this first-ever translation of the vital passages of the Maarif, renowned poet Coleman Barks and Persian scholar John Moyne open a window into the world of Rumi, the young man who became one of the world's best-loved poets and great spiritual teachers.
A unique and little-known religion, Sufism follows a mystical teaching and a way of life that has had an enormous though largely unrecognized impact on both the East and West for four thousand years.This authoritative book fills a colossal gap in Western documentation of Eastern subjects."
Rumi's masterpieces have inspired countless people throughout the centuries, and Coleman Barks's exquisite renderings of the thirteenth-century Persian mystic are widely considered the definitive versions for our time. Barks's translations capture the inward exploration and intensity that characterize Rumi's poetry, making this unique voice of mysticism and desire contemporary while remaining true to the original poems. In this volume readers will encounter the essence of Sufism's insights into the experience of divine love, wisdom, and the nature of both humanity and God.
While Barks's stamp on this collection is clear, it is Rumi's voice that leaps off these pages with a rapturous power that leaves readers breathless. These poems express our deepest yearning for the transcendent connection with the source of the divine: there are passionate outbursts about the torment of longing for the beloved and the sweet delight that comes from union; stories of sexual adventures and of loss; poems of love and fury, sadness and joy; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. For Rumi, soul and body and emotion are not separate but are rather part of the great mystery of mortal life, a riddle whose solution is love. Above all else, Rumi's poetry exposes us to the delight that comes from being fully alive, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk of discovering our core self:No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.
These fresh, original translations magnificently convey Rumi's insights into the human heart and its longings with his signature passion and daring, focusing on the ecstatic experience of the inseparability of human and divine love. The match between Rumi's sublime poetry and Coleman Barks's poetic art are unequaled, and here this artistic union is raised to new heights.--Jerry Stahl, in Shout N
In this wide-ranging anthology of Sufi writings, Idries Shah, who was one of Sufism's leading exponents, offers a broad selection of poetry, contemplations, letters, lectures, and teaching stories that together form an illuminating introduction to this unique body of thought.Sufism, the mystical aspect of Islam, has had a dynamic and lasting effect on the literature of that religion. Its teachings, often elusive and subtle, aim at the perfecting and completing of the human mind. In contrast to certain other beliefs and philosophies, Sufism is continually evolving and progressing and is consequently always relevant to the contemporary world. "His work is as exciting as a good novel"--The Times Literary Supplement
Although there are over one billion Muslims in the world, and over ten million in the West, most discussions of Islam are based on clich s or outright prejudice. This lively and compelling book sets out to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding. Islam, argues Akbar Ahmed, does not mean the subordination of women, contempt for other religions, opposition to the modern world, or barbaric punishments for petty crimes. One cannot fully come to terms with modern Islam without understanding its sources and traditions.
The Koran is the sacred scripture of Islam, a collection of revelations that Mohammed, the Prophet, said he had received from God (through the angel Gabriel) in seventh-century Arabia. Mohammed preached these revelations in rhymed verses that comprised suras, or chapters. Shortly after his death, his followers published the suras as the Koran (an adaptation of a word meaning "scripture lesson"), which today is considered one of the great sacred books of the world. Deeply moralistic, full of passion and fervor, the suras deal with such topics as the omniscience and majesty of God, death and judgment, the proper conduct of the faithful, stories of previous prophets, kindness to orphans, and much more.
The complete Koran consists of 11 suras -- arranged from longest to shortest -- plus an opening prayer and two closing charms. The selections in the present volume were carefully chose to give a cross-section of the whole and to illustrate Mohammed's teaching as it developed from the rhapsodic style of his early Meccan period to the workaday legislative material of the Medinan period. This excellent English translation replaces the original verse form with accurate, highly readable prose, making a treasury of eternal wisdom from the Koran accessible to both the novice and the serious student.
The Koran has constituted a remarkably resilient core of identity and continuity for a religious tradition that is now in its fifteenth century. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Cook provides a lucid and direct account of the significance of the Koran both in the modern world and in that of traditional Islam. He gives vivid accounts of its role in Muslim civilization, illustrates the diversity of interpretations championed by traditional and modern commentators, discusses the processes by which the book took shape, and compares it to other scriptures and classics of the historic cultures of Eurasia.