Study of Abū Tālib al-Makkī
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The aims of this thesis are to evaluate the present status of scholarship on Abū Tālib al-Makkī (d. 386/996) and to expand the basis of further research on him by analysing him in a multi-dimensional way. This study challenges the conventional view that al-Makkī’s Qūt al-qulūb (‘The Nourishment of Hearts’) is a Sufi work. Part 1 introduces modern scholarship on al-Makkī. It also demonstrates several issues which are tackled in this thesis. The present study focuses on a metaphorical image of the heart, which is also shared in various cultures. By looking at this common idea, Part 2 first attempts to explore the nature of the Qūt within the context of Sufism and religion in general. This part provides a summarised translation of part of the Qūt, where the author elucidates his view of the heart. The intention of this annotated translation is to provide easy access to the key thought of al-Makkī in the Qūt, for the first time in English, on the basis of a critical edition of this book. Lastly Part 2 discusses the authenticity of al-Makkī’s alleged work, Ilm al-qulūb (‘The Knowledge of Hearts’). Part 3 analyses the influence of al-Makkī within and beyond Islam. Considering the limited area of the study of al-Makkī , this part first examines numerous works in various fields from his time until the twelfth/eighteenth century. This is to evaluate how he was perceived in Muslim scholarship and to explore areas which have not been discussed thoroughly before. Finally this thesis looks at the Andalusian Jewish scholar, Ibn Bāqūdā(d. some time after 472/1080) and his book al-Hidāya ilā farā'id al-qulūb (‘The Right Guidance to the Religious Duties of Hearts’). A possible link between the two authors has been sometimes pointed out; however, it has not been studied exhaustively. Through exploring various aspects of al-Makkī and his writing, the present thesis attempts to open up the study of the Qūt beyond Sufism and to offer an opportunity to give further thought on the essential features of the mystical dimensions of Islam.