Presence of god according to Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn, a seventeenth-century treatise by Shaykh Shams al-Dīn al-Sumatra'ī (d. 1630)

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Abstract

This paper investigates the concept of 'presence of God' according to Shams al-Dīn-al Sumatra'ī (d. 1630), a seventeenth-century Malay Sufi scholar and a member of the court of the illustrious Sultan Iskandar Muda of Acheh (d. 1636). He is known to have been a follower of Hamza Fansuri, but where Hamza was a master of utilizing poetry in his teachings, Shams al-Dīn utilized prose. The teachings of Shams al-Dīn discussed here aretaken from a newly discovered manuscript attributed to him, Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn fī aqīdat al-muhcombining dot belowaqqiqīn. The overall structure of this text is presented here for the first time in English. The content of this work are a mixture of theoretical and practical Sufism. This paper focuses on the theoretical part in which Shams al-Dīn expounds the views held by the verifiers (muhcombining dot belowaqqiqūn) in regard to the conception of God and God's relation to the world. How does God manifest Himself to the world? What is the meaning of the world ('ālam) to the verifiers? What is the difference between Shams al-Dīn's view of the presence of God and that of the main exponent of Ibn 'Arab', Scombining dot belowadr al-Dīn al-Qunawī? Was Shams al-Dīn a mere imitator of the writings of Muhcombining dot belowammad ibn Fadcombining dot belowl Allāh al-Burhānpūrī via the Tuhcombining dot belowfa almursala ilā rūhcombining dot belowal-Nabī as some have asserted? These are some of the questions raised in the article, which includes an annotated translation of the relevant chapter of Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn. What is found in the end is that, even though influence of Persian - Arabic mysticism permeated Malay mysticism, Shams al-Dīn managed to produce a fresh, original synthesis of metaphysical teachings and insights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-234
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Islamic Studies
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

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seventeenth century
god
mysticism
Teaching
follower
poetry
Presence of God
Treatise
Shaykh
Mysticism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Religious studies
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

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title = "Presence of god according to Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn, a seventeenth-century treatise by Shaykh Shams al-Dīn al-Sumatra'ī (d. 1630)",
abstract = "This paper investigates the concept of 'presence of God' according to Shams al-Dīn-al Sumatra'ī (d. 1630), a seventeenth-century Malay Sufi scholar and a member of the court of the illustrious Sultan Iskandar Muda of Acheh (d. 1636). He is known to have been a follower of Hamza Fansuri, but where Hamza was a master of utilizing poetry in his teachings, Shams al-Dīn utilized prose. The teachings of Shams al-Dīn discussed here aretaken from a newly discovered manuscript attributed to him, Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn fī aqīdat al-muhcombining dot belowaqqiqīn. The overall structure of this text is presented here for the first time in English. The content of this work are a mixture of theoretical and practical Sufism. This paper focuses on the theoretical part in which Shams al-Dīn expounds the views held by the verifiers (muhcombining dot belowaqqiqūn) in regard to the conception of God and God's relation to the world. How does God manifest Himself to the world? What is the meaning of the world ('ālam) to the verifiers? What is the difference between Shams al-Dīn's view of the presence of God and that of the main exponent of Ibn 'Arab', Scombining dot belowadr al-Dīn al-Qunawī? Was Shams al-Dīn a mere imitator of the writings of Muhcombining dot belowammad ibn Fadcombining dot belowl Allāh al-Burhānpūrī via the Tuhcombining dot belowfa almursala ilā rūhcombining dot belowal-Nabī as some have asserted? These are some of the questions raised in the article, which includes an annotated translation of the relevant chapter of Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn. What is found in the end is that, even though influence of Persian - Arabic mysticism permeated Malay mysticism, Shams al-Dīn managed to produce a fresh, original synthesis of metaphysical teachings and insights.",
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AB - This paper investigates the concept of 'presence of God' according to Shams al-Dīn-al Sumatra'ī (d. 1630), a seventeenth-century Malay Sufi scholar and a member of the court of the illustrious Sultan Iskandar Muda of Acheh (d. 1636). He is known to have been a follower of Hamza Fansuri, but where Hamza was a master of utilizing poetry in his teachings, Shams al-Dīn utilized prose. The teachings of Shams al-Dīn discussed here aretaken from a newly discovered manuscript attributed to him, Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn fī aqīdat al-muhcombining dot belowaqqiqīn. The overall structure of this text is presented here for the first time in English. The content of this work are a mixture of theoretical and practical Sufism. This paper focuses on the theoretical part in which Shams al-Dīn expounds the views held by the verifiers (muhcombining dot belowaqqiqūn) in regard to the conception of God and God's relation to the world. How does God manifest Himself to the world? What is the meaning of the world ('ālam) to the verifiers? What is the difference between Shams al-Dīn's view of the presence of God and that of the main exponent of Ibn 'Arab', Scombining dot belowadr al-Dīn al-Qunawī? Was Shams al-Dīn a mere imitator of the writings of Muhcombining dot belowammad ibn Fadcombining dot belowl Allāh al-Burhānpūrī via the Tuhcombining dot belowfa almursala ilā rūhcombining dot belowal-Nabī as some have asserted? These are some of the questions raised in the article, which includes an annotated translation of the relevant chapter of Hcombining dot belowaqq al-yaqīn. What is found in the end is that, even though influence of Persian - Arabic mysticism permeated Malay mysticism, Shams al-Dīn managed to produce a fresh, original synthesis of metaphysical teachings and insights.

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