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Juyushi, Muhammed I. (1970) Al-Tirmidhi, his works and his opinions on Sufism. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis deals with the life and works of Hakim al-Tirmidhi, and his fundamental importance for the development of Sufism. It is divided into eight chapters, preceded by an introduction containing a survey of previous biographical and critical attempts. Chapter I discusses his cultural background and his relationships with his teachers and students, and endeavours to reconstruct the history of his life from such scant biographical data as are available. Special consideration is given to his formative years and the persecution he suffered. Chapter II is devoted to his works in the discussion of which the following procedure was observed throughout. First, reference was made to the libraries and collections which contain his extant works; secondly, a list of all his works, available or lost, published or unpublished, was provided; thirdly, extant work was reviewed, stressing the most salient points in its contents. Chapter III deals with his approach to (Tafir), Sadith, 'Ilm al-Kalam and Fiqh. Chapter IV concerns his theory of saints and sainthood. His characteristic division of saints, the intricate hierarchy and the ten qualities of sainthood form the hasis on which he discusses the saint's awareness of his sainthood and his ability to see the hidden, foresee the future and work miracles. This is followed by the analysis of the relationship between sainthood and prophethood, and al-Tirmidhi's own share of sainthood. The chapter ends with a discussion of the acceptance or rejection of al-Tirmidhi's theory by Ibn Taymyya and Ibn Arabi. Chapter V, entirely devoted to al-Tirmidhi's ideas on gnosis, begins with the elucidation of the connection between light and gnosis. Much space is accorded to al-Tirmidhi's disquisition on exoteric and esoteric knowledge, their respective aims and categories and the behaviour conducive to their achievement. Finally, his ideas are compared with those of otnei Sufis by means of quotations from Kashf al-Mahjub and 'Ilm al-Qulub. Chapter VI, on the areas of interiority, describes the localities of the interior of the human body, made to represent the stations of faith. Each of them is portrayed as a mountain with its own bird, symbolic of one aspect of the soul, and with its own light. The brightest of these is the light of unity. It is equated with the secret of life which generates all its forms. Chapter VII depicts the struggle between the heart and the soul, and advises on exemplary Muslim conduct. Chapter VIII inquires into al-Tirmidhi's influence on contemporary and later Sufi thought as observable in al-Malamatiyya and al-Hakimiyya, and traceable in the work of al-Ghazali, Ibn 'Arabi and Ibn al-Qayyim. It further quotes the opinions of Muslim biographers on al-Tirmidhi's role in the development of Islamic thought, giving special attention to his salient characteristics and methodological approach. A "Summary and Conclusion" follows.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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