Accueil English pages Articles written The Contemporary Sufi Heritage of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawī : The Seven Spiritual Stages of the Sufi Path - The History of the Development of the Spiritual Stages in Major Sufi Works
The Contemporary Sufi Heritage of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawī : The Seven Spiritual Stages of the Sufi Path - The History of the Development of the Spiritual Stages in Major Sufi Works
English - Articles written
Écrit par Omneya Nabil Muhammad Ayad   
Jeudi, 22 Mai 2014 00:00
Index de l'article
The Contemporary Sufi Heritage of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawī : The Seven Spiritual Stages of the Sufi Path
Chapter 1 : Introduction
Literature Review
Martin Lings'' Work on Shaykh al-‘Alawī
Thesis purpose
Primary Sources
Historical brief on the French Colonialism in Algeria (1830-1900) and the role of the Sufi orders in Algeria
Brief Biography on Shaykh al-‘Alawī
A comprehensive list of all the written books of Shaykh al-‘Alawī
History of the al-‘Alawī Sufi Order
Chapter Two : The Historical Background of the Sufi Spiritual Stages in Major Works
The History of the Development of the Spiritual Stages in Major Sufi Works
1- The Spiritual Stage of Fear and Vigilant Awareness of God (al-Khashya wa-l- Murāqaba):
2- The Spiritual Station of Satisfaction and Submission (al-Riḍa wa-l- Taslīm)
3- The Spiritual Station of Reliance on God (al-tawakkul)
4- The spiritual station of Poverty (al-Faqr):
5- The spiritual station of Sincerity (al-Ikhlās)
6- The Spiritual Station of Love (Hubb)
7- The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al-Tawhīd)
Chapter 3 : The Sufi Spiritual Stages in the Work of Shaykh al-‘Alawī
1- The Spiritual Stage of Fear and Vigilant Awareness of God (al-Khashya wa-l- Murāqaba)
2-The Spiritual Station of Satisfaction and Submission (al-Rida wa-l- Taslīm)
3-The Spiritual Station of Reliance on God (al-tawakkul)
4-The spiritual station of Poverty (al-Faqr)
5-The spiritual station of Sincerity (Ikhlās)
6-The Spiritual Station of Love (Hubb)
7-The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al Tawhīd)
Conclusion
Bibliography
Notes
Toutes les pages

The History of the Development of the Spiritual Stages in Major Sufi Works

The writing on the spiritual stages of the Sufi path started towards the end of the second Hijri century with the treatise of Shaqīq al-Balkhī (d.194 H.) entitled Adab al-''Ibādāt and he outlined four spiritual stages that the wayfarer has to go through and listed them in this order: al-Zuhd, al-khawf, al-Shawq, al-Maḥabba. During the same period another book on this subject entitled Maqāmāt al-Qulūb authored by Abū Hussein al-Nūrī (d. 295 H. 907 CE)72. He mentioned four spiritual stages for the heart to be illuminated with divine knowledge and he justified his choice of this number due to the fact that God in the Quran identified the heart with four different names which refer to four different stages. The four names are sadr, qalb, fu‘ād,lubb. On the same path, another book was written by al-Hakīm al-Tirmidhī (d. 320 H. 938 CE)73 entitled Manāzil al-''Ibād wa-l- ''Ibāda. Al-Niffarī (d. 354 H. 965 CE)74 wrote a book on the same subject entitled al-Mawāqif wa-l- Mukhāṭabāt. Al-Sirāj al-Tusī (d. 877 H. 1472 CE)75 as well dedicated a whole chapter to the issue of the spiritual stations and states in his book al-Luma‘. The same pattern was followed by Abū Tālib al-Makkī (d. 386 H. 998 CE)76 in his book entitled Qūt al-Qulūb. A big section was written on the same subject by al-Qushairī (d. 465) in his book entitled al-Risāla al-Qushayriyya. Al-Kalabādhī (d. 380H. 990 CE)77 wrote a chapter on the subject of the spiritual stages in his book al-Ta‘arruf. A treatise that was later praised by al-Harawī was written on the same subject by Abū Mansūr al-Asfahānī entitled Nahj al-Khās on which he divided the spiritual stages into forty chapters. Around the same time another treatise was written by ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Sulamī (d. 412 H.1021CE)78 entitled Manāhij al-‘Ārifīn in which he listed different spiritual stages that were briefly mentioned by earlier works.79

All these efforts were culminated with the book of al-Harawī entitled Manāzil al-Sarīn in which he categorized different spiritual stations that the wayfarer has to go through in his way to God and divided them into 69 stages. Al-Harawī commented on all the previous works written on the subject of the spiritual stages by saying that most of them lacked proper arrangements and suitable educational style in writing. He further elaborated that some of the earlier authors referred to abstract concepts without supplementing them with details. Other authors chose to narrate gnostic stories at full length without paying much effort to summarize them or to situate them under the right category. 80

Although most Sufi writers chose to identify the different spiritual stages of the wayfarer as "stations", Ibn ‘Arabī had another name for it and preferred to call them as asfār or journeys in his book entitled al-Futūhāt al-Makkiyya and the same term was widely used by Mulla Sadra (d. 1050 H. 1640 CE)81 in his work al-Asfār al-Arba‘a.82

In his commentary on the spiritual aphorisms of Shaykh Abu Madyan, Shaykh al-‘Alawī deducted from the 170 aphorisms seven spiritual stages that the wayfarer has to go through in his path to God. The rest of this chapter will be dedicated to examining these seven stages in earlier major Sufi works to trace the historical development of these stages in the Sufi writings along centuries.



 
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