A Treatise on Mystical Love
Co-translator Joseph Norment Bell, Ph.D. 1971.
Translation of ‘Aṭf al-alif al-ma‘lūf.
The earliest major Islamic treatise on mystical love, this work reflects a moderate version of the ecstatic mysticism of the Sufi martyr al-Hallaj. Writing around 1000 C.E., the author summarizes the views of lexicographers, belletrists, philosophers, physicians, theologians, and mystics on love, providing much information that would otherwise have been lost. In setting forth his own opinions he relies heavily on erotic poetry with accompanying frame stories from the Umayyad and early Abbasid periods, Sufi biography, the lives of the prophets, and personal information.