S.Z. Chowdhury, PhD is an examiner and school teacher in History, World Religions as well as Theory of Knowledge and his research areas include Metaphysics, Sufism, Qur’anic Studies and Islamic Law. He lives and works in London.
Table of Contents:
1. Reviewing the Literature on al- Sulami 2. Geography and Environment 3. Khurasanian Proteges: Examining al-Sulami’s Major Sources 4. Vita Sulamii 5. Textual Terrain and Taxonomy: The Oeuvre of Abu cAbd al-Rahman al-Sulami 6. Words along the Way’: Surveying al-Sulami’s Mystical Lexicon 7. “Mystical Interiority: al-Sulami’s Method of Self-Transformation” 8. Final Conclusions: An Apologetics for a Sufi Orthodoxy
Abu cAbd al-Rahman Muhammad b. al-Husayn al-Sulami (d.412/1021) lived in the 3rd and 4th century AH / 9th and 10th century CE. He was born in the city of Nishapur, one of the most renowned cities in the Islamic world. He was part of a line of earlier Sufi figures who attempted to defend the cardinal tenets of Sufism from accusations of heresy. However al-Sulami’s surpassed his predecessors by amassing a corpus of antecedent mystical dicta from the architects of Islamic mysticism and substantiating them with transmission channels (isnad) or grounding them in a core teaching of the Prophet Muhammad. This study demonstrates that al-Sulami was an accomplished mystic. It outlines his life and times and surveys in full all his works as far as they can be identified. Moreover, the important sources that shaped the development and impression of his thinking and modality of transforming the ego-self (nafs) are presented in detail bringing together earlier and current academic scholarship on him.