Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Nothing but the truth: the Sufi testament of 'Aziz Nasafi

By LLoyd Ridgeon


`Aziz Nasafi is among the most important Islamic mystics of the medieval period. His achievement was to integrate various ideas, including those of Ibn `Arabi and Najm\ud al-Din Kubrä into a coherent whole, providing Persian speaking Sufis with an introduction to the speculative and practical dimensions of Sufism.\ud \ud This thesis is an attempt to present Nasafi's main teachings. After introducing his life, times and works, the second chapter focuses upon ontology. This is the spine of\ud Nasafi's treatises and it is based upon the Sufi interpretation of God's incomparability and similarity (tanzih wa tashbih) and His infinite self-disclosure which occurs within a form processed by the imagination. The second chapter investigates the different forms\ud of knowledge available to Sufis, which includes sense perception, reason and mystical knowledge. Nasafi's presentation depicts all three in a hierarchical structure with Sufi knowledge at the pinnacle. Having discussed the theoretical nature of Sufism, chapter four deals with the practical element of Sufism and how it is able to contribute to felicity in this life. Having followed the Sufi path, it is possible that a wayfarer may experience\ud unity with God. This is examined in chapter five, and Nasafi's description is compared with that of other Sufis in an attempt to show his "orthodox" position within Sufism. It is also argued that modern models of mystical experience do not fit Nasafi's depiction of tashbih-tanzih, and that one also needs to re-think the idea of perennial philosophy. Finally, the perfection of man is considered through examining the relationship between Prophecy and Friendship of God. Sufis interpreted Friendship as the interior element of Prophecy and were able to offer new insights to Islamic doctrine

Publisher: Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies (Leeds)
Year: 1996
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. 1lä alhä'im al-Khä'if min lawa lä 'im. Tehran: Sazman i intisharat-i kayhan,
  2. (1989). A Propos De Quelques Microfilms Du 'Fond Mole. '" doi
  3. (1910). al-Ghazäli: The Alchemy of Happiness.
  4. (1982). al-Ghazali's "The Niche for Lights: " Mishkät al-anwär.
  5. (1944). al-Ghazdli the mystic. London: Luzac, doi
  6. (1982). Algar: The path of God's bondsmen from origin to return. doi
  7. (1985). An introduction to Medieval Islamic Philosophy. Cambridge: doi
  8. (1985). An Introduction to Shi'i Islam. doi
  9. (1977). and Prophetic Word in Early Islam. The Hague: Mouton, doi
  10. (1973). Appended to Jämi's Ashi"at
  11. (1982). As through a veil. doi
  12. (1958). Ata al-Malik Juvaini, The History of the World Conqueror. Manchester: doi
  13. (1984). Averroes doctrine of immortality. doi
  14. (1992). Avicenna and Averroes on intellect. doi
  15. (1952). Avicenna's Psychology. London: doi
  16. (1996). Aziz Nasafi's six ontological faces, " Iran, doi
  17. (1994). Cambridge: doi
  18. (1984). Comprehensive Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in Pakistan, Vol II. Islamabad: Iran-Pakistan Institute of Persian Studies,
  19. (1994). Creation and the Timeless Order of Things: Essays in Islamic Mystical Philosophy.
  20. (1969). Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi. doi
  21. (1979). Crossroads of Civilization. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson,
  22. (1946). Das problem der natur im esoterischen Monismus des Islams, "
  23. (1962). De la philosophie prophetique en Islam Shi'ite, " Eranos Jahrbuch
  24. (1988). Death and the World of Imagination in Ibn 'Arabi's eschatology. " Muslim World 78,
  25. (1953). Die Schriften des 'Aziz-i Nasafi, " Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des
  26. Excerpta manuscripts cujusdam Turcici. Coloniae B randenburgicae:
  27. (1947). Fifty Poems of Häfiz. London: doi
  28. (1986). Ibn `Arabi and his interpreters, " doi
  29. (1963). Ibn `Arabi, "
  30. (1987). Ibn 'Arabi's theory of the Perfect Man and its place in the history of Islamic thought. Tokyo: Institute for the study of languages and cultures of Asia and Africa, doi
  31. (1980). Ibn al-'Arabi: The Bezels of Wisdom. doi
  32. (1994). Imam Ghazali's cosmology reconsidered with special reference to the concept of jabarut, " doi
  33. (1992). Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism. doi
  34. (1992). Islamic thought, doi
  35. Istanbul Veliyuddin no. 1767, folios 204-244. Kitäb-i tanzil.
  36. (1983). Justujü dar tasawwuf-i Iran.
  37. (1961). Les Kubrawiya Entre Sunnisme et Shiisme Aux Huitieme et Neuvieme Siecles de I'Hegire, " Revue des etudes islamiques 52
  38. (1985). Liste De Microfilms Des Manuscrits Arabes Et Persans Du Fond Mole, " doi
  39. (1978). Liste des manuscits Arabe et Persans microfilms (Fond Mole) de L'Insitut De Recherche Et D'Histoire Des Textes, " doi
  40. (1982). London: Allen and Unwin, doi
  41. (1915). London: Royal Asiatic Society, doi
  42. (1945). Makhzan al-asrär: Tehran, Matba'a Armaghän, 1313. For an English translation see Gholäm Hosein Däräb's The Treasury of Mysteries. London: Arthur Probsthain,
  43. (1983). Misbäh fi `I tasawwuf. Tehran: Intishärät Mawlä,
  44. (1992). Mystic Union. doi
  45. (1993). Mysticism and Religious Traditions. doi
  46. (1938). Oriental Mysticism: a Treatise on Sufiistic and Unitarian Theosophy of the Persians. London: 1867; second edition, doi
  47. (1990). Pädishah-i Islam: the Conversion of Sultan Mahmüd Ghazan Khan. " Pembroke Papers I: Persian and Islamic Studies in honour of
  48. (1965). Painting in Islam (New York: Dover Publications, doi
  49. (1978). Philosophical Analysis. London: doi
  50. (1994). Quest for the Red Sulphur, trans.
  51. (1928). Rcibi'a the Mystic. Cambridge:
  52. (1961). sacred and profane. London: doi
  53. (1991). Sacred Music and Dance" Islamic Spirituality: Manifestations,
  54. (1964). Sages, (Cambridge: doi
  55. (1974). Some observations on Religion in Safavid Persia, " doi
  56. (1978). SSufismus sive theosophia Persarum Pantheistica.
  57. (1995). Sufi: A Journal of Sufism. XXIV,
  58. (1992). Tao of Islam: a sourcebook on gender relationships in Islamic thought. doi
  59. (1966). Tehran: Department D'Iranologie de l'institute Franco-Iranien,
  60. (1954). The Doors of Perception. London: Chatto and Windus, doi
  61. The eclipse of the Kubraviyah in Central Asia, " doi
  62. (1953). The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazdli, (al-mungidh al-daläl),
  63. (1996). The Felicitous Life in Sufism, " Sufi:
  64. (1982). The Five Divine Presences, " doi
  65. (1971). The History of the Mongol Conquests. doi
  66. (1986). The Islamic Foundation,
  67. (1994). The Life and Times of `Aziz Nasafi, " Sufi:
  68. (1969). The Mongols.
  69. (1980). The mystical Vision of Existence in Classical Islam. doi
  70. (1914). The Mystics of Islam. doi
  71. (1991). The Naqshbandiyyah Order. " Islamic Spirituality: Manifestations,
  72. (1970). The Ninety Name of God in Islam. "
  73. (1987). The Orthodox Church. doi
  74. (1964). The Persian Sufis. London: Allen and Unwin Ltd,
  75. (1992). The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy. Harvard: doi
  76. (1968). The socio-economic conditions of Iran under the I1-Khans, "
  77. (1993). The Sufi Lords of Bahrabad: Sa'd al-Din and Sadr al-Din Hamuwayi, " Iranian Studies, volunme 27, numbers 1-4,1994, "A Kubrawi treatise on mystical visions: the Risäla-yi Nüriyya of 'A1ä' ad-Dawleh as-Simnäni, " doi
  78. (1971). The Sufi Orders in Islam. Oxford: doi
  79. (1989). The Sufi Path of Knowledge. doi
  80. (1978). The Theophanical Ego in Sufism, " Sophia Perennis. Tehran:
  81. (1995). The Throne Carrier of God: The Life and Thought of 'Ala addawla as-Simnani. doi
  82. (1974). The venture of Islam. Chicago: doi
  83. (1994). The Vision of Islam. doi
  84. (1928). Turkestan down to the Mongol invasion. doi
  85. (1985). Words of Ecstacy in Sufism.
  86. (1933). ýAmsterdam: Noord-Hollandsche UitgeversMaatschappij, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.