Cloth $39.95 ISBN: 9780934893701 Published October 2002

The Elixir of the Gnostics

A parallel English-Arabic text

Mulla Sadra

The Elixir of the Gnostics
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Mulla Sadra

Distributed for Brigham Young University

Translated by William Chittick
192 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2003
Cloth $39.95 ISBN: 9780934893701 Published October 2002
Sadr al-Din Muhammad Shirazi (1572-1640), more commonly called Mulla Sadra, was one of the grand scholars of later-period Islamic philosophy and has grown to become one of the best-known Muslim philosophers. Iksir al-'arifin, or Elixir of the Gnostics, is unique among Sadra's writings in that it reworks and amplifies an earlier Persian work, the Jawidan-nama (Book of the Everlasting) by Afdal al-Din Kashani, or Baba Afdal.

The underlying theme of Sadra's amplification is emblematic of Muslim philosophy: the importance of self-knowledge in an individual's journey of "Origin and Return," the soul's origins with God and its eventual return to Him. Everything, Sadra says, is on such a path, gradually disengaging from the material world and returning to a transcendent essence—all leading to a final fruition in which everything in the universe returns to God and finds permanent happiness. Philosophy, Sadra argues, is the most direct means to self-knowledge—and thus the best tool for navigating this journey.
Contents
Foreword to the Series
Notes on References and Spelling
Preface
Translator’s Introduction
[Author’s Introduction]
Part One
Chapter One
On the division of the sciences
Chapter Two
On the science of words
Chapter Three
On the science of practices
Chapter Four
On the science of thoughts
Chapter Five
On the science of the afterworld
Part Two
On the Knowledge of the Soul, which is a Receptacle for the Sciences
Chapter One
On the cause of her being impeded
Chapter Two
On the knowledge that is individually incumbent on man
Chapter Three
On the attainment of the afterworld’s felicity
Chapter Four
On knowledge of horizons and souls
Chapter Five
[On the Adamic tablet]
Chapter Six
On the divine vicegerency
Chapter Seven
On another human world
Chapter Eight
On the book of the soul
Chapter Nine
On the world of Sovereignty
Chapter Ten
On the consolidation of the discussion
Part Three
On the States of the Beginnings
Chapter One
On the sorts of beginning
Chapter Two
On the quiddity of location
Chapter Three
On the quiddity of time
Chapter Four
On beginning and end
Chapter Five
On the beginning of human existence
Chapter Six
On the angels' prostration to Adam
Chapter Seven
On the quiddity of Iblis and the satans
Chapter Eight
On the angel’s inspiration and the satan’s disquietening
Chapter Nine
On the wisdom in the creation of the satans
Chapter Ten
On what was obtained in these chapters
Part Four
On the Knowledge of the Ends
Chapter One
[On the highest knowledge]
Chapter Two
On the quiddity of the final end
Chapter Three
On the soul’s imprisonment
Chapter Four
On divine solicitude
Chapter Five
On the signs of the horizons and the souls
Chapter Six
On the root of felicity and wretchedness
Chapter Seven
On the quiddity of death
Chapter Eight
On the meaning of forgiveness
Chapter Nine
On the soul’s subsistence
Chapter Ten
On the interrelation of these three parts
Notes to the English Text
Bibliography
Index of Qur'anic Verses
Index of Hadiths and Sayings
Index of Names and Terms
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