Nuri Bibliography

Abu ‘l-Husayn al-Nuri: A Bibliography

Nuri (d. 295/907) was a Baghdadi Sufi reknowned for his eloquence and sincerity of belief and practice. He was a close friend of Abu ‘l-Qasim al-Junayd (d. 298/910), but did not always share his preference for outwardly acceptable behaviour. Nuri’s declaration of his passionate love for God led to a series of trials and eventually to his exile from Baghdad.

The references listed here are based on the research I conducted between 2003 and 2008. I have not yet published my work on Nuri, but my MPhil dissertation is available for consultation at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Library at the University of Cambridge.

Additional publications may have appeared since then that I may have missed, so please email me with details and I will add them to this page.

Fundamental Studies

Gramlich, Richard. “Abu l-Husayn an-Nuri.” In Scheiche des Westens. Vol. 1 of Alte Vorbilder des Sufitums, 381-446. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1995.

The best study of Nuri is that of Richard Gramlich in the first volume of his Alte Vorbilder (381-446). Gramlich’s survey of Nuri’s life and sayings is meticulously referenced for both the Arabic and Persian sources. Gramlich also provides a German translation of Maqamat al-Qulub (Stations of the Heart), the short text attributed to Nuri.

Nwyia, Paul. “Textes Mystiques Inedits d’Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri (m. 295/907).” Melanges de l’Universite Saint-Joseph 44:9 (1968): 117-43.

Prior to the appearance of Gramlich’s study, Paul Nwyia published an Arabic edition of the text attributed to Nuri, Maqamat al-Qulub, with an introduction and notes. The edition was prepared from four manuscripts, all held in Istanbul, and Nwyia briefly discusses problems relating to the attribution of the text to Nuri. In two apendices, Nwyia lists quotations attributed to Nuri from Abu `Abd al-Rahman Sulami’s Haqa’iq al-Tafsir and a text attributed to Nuri by an anonymous commentator from the school of Ibn `Arabi.

Lopez-Baralt, Luce. Moradas de los corazones: Traduccion del Arabe, Introduccion y Notas. Madrid, Editorial Trotta, 1999.

The most recent translation of Maqamat al-Qulub has been into Spanish, by Lopez-Baralt, with accompanying introduction and notes.

Further Reading

These publications discuss Nuri directly.

Abdel-Kader, Ali Hassan. The Life, Personality and Writings of Al-Junayd. London: Luzac & Company Ltd., 1976.

Avery, Kenneth S.: A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama`: Listening and Altered States. Abingdon: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004.

Heer, Nicholas and Honerkamp, Kenneth L. Three Early Sufi Texts. Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2003.

Gramlich, Richard: Die Wunder der Freunde Gottes: Theologien und Erscheinungsformen des Islamischen Heiligenwunders. Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1987.

Karamustafa, Ahmet T. Sufism: The Formative Period. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Lings, Martin. Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 2004.

Losensky, Paul. “Words and Deeds: Message and Structure in `Attar’s Tadhkirat al-awliya’. In Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition, edited by Leonard Lewisohn and Christopher Schackle, 75-92. London: I.B. Tauris, 2006.

Massignon, Louis. Essai sur les origines du lexique technique de la mystique musulmane. Paris: Guethner, 1922.

Melchert, Christopher. “Religious Policies of the Caliphs from al-Mutawakkil to al-Muqtadir, AH 232-295/AD 847-908.” Islamic Law and Society 3:3 (1996): 316-42.

Melchert, Christopher. “The Transition from Asceticism to Mysticism at the Middle of the Ninth Century C.E.” Studia Islamica 83 (1996): 51-70.

Melchert, Christopher. “The Hanabila and the Early Sufis.” Arabica 48:3 (2001): 352-67.

Melchert, Christopher. “Basran Origins of Classical Sufism.” Der Islam 82:2 (2005): 221-40.

Nwyia, Paul. Exegese coranique et langage mystique. Beirut: Dar El-Machreq, 1986.

Renard, John. Knowledge of God in Classical Sufism. New York: Paulist Press, 2004.

Schimmel, Annemarie. “Abu’l-Husayn al-Nuri: ‘Qibla of the Lights’.” In The Heritage of Sufism: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi (700-1300), edited by Leonard Lewisohn, 59-64. Oxford: Oneworld, 1999.

Schimmel, Annemarie. “al-Nuri, Abu ‘l-Husayn or (Abu ‘l-Hasan) Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Baghawi.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam, edited by Gibbs et al. Second edition.

Schimmel, Annemarie. Mystical Dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Biographies of Nuri in Arabic

These works contain biographical entries or scattered quotations attributed to Nuri. For printed editions and references to Persian literature, consult Gramlich’s chapter on Nuri in Alte Vorbilder des Sufitums.

Al-Sarraj (d. 378/988), Kitab al-Luma` fi ‘l-Tasawwuf

Al-Kalabadi (d. 385/995), Kitab al-Ta`arruf li-Madhab Ahl al-Tasawwuf

Al-Makki (d. 386/996), `Ilm al-Qulub

Anonymous (4th/10th century), Adab al-Muluk

Al-Sulami (d. 412/1021), Tabaqat al-Sufiya

Al-Isfahani (d. 430/1038), Hilyat al-Awliya’ wa-Tabaqat al-Asfiya’

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 463/1071), Ta’rikh Baghdad

Al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072), al-Risala

Al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111), Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din

Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 579/1200), Kitab Sifat al-Safwa, al-Muntazam fi Ta’rikh al-Muluk wa’l-Umam, Talbis Iblis

Al-Dahabi (d. 748/1348), Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’

Al-Yafi`i (d. 768/1367), Nashr al-Mahasin al-Ghaliya fi Fadl al-Mashayik al-Sufiya

Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373), al-Bidaya wa’l-Nihaya

Ibn al-Mulaqqin (d. 804/1402), Tabaqat al-Awliya’

Al-Sha`rani (d. 973/1565), al-Tabaqat al-Kubra

Al-Munawi (d. 1031/1621), al-Kawakib al-Durriya fi Tarajim al-Sadat al-Sufiya

Al-Nabahani (d. 1350/1932), Jami` Karamat al-Awliya’

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