The Master and the Disciple: An Early Islamic Spiritual Dialogue on Conversion Kitab Al-'Alim Wa'l-Ghulam (Paperback)
I.B.Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili StudiesThis volume includes a fully annotated translation and Arabic critical edition of one of the earliest surviving Ismaili Shi'i writings, by the famous Yemeni author Ja'far Ibn Mansur al-Yaman (ca. 270-345 All). In addition to being a key source for pre-Fatimid Ismaili history, The Master and the Disciple is important for its unique role as the most elaborate example of the narrated dramatic dialogue form in Arabic literature. The work also vividly illustrates the processes by which early esoteric Shi'i ideas and institutions eventually contributed to the evolution of more familiar forms of Sufism in the Islamic West. Finally, Ja'far's reputation as a master of ta'wil (esoteric understanding of the Qur'an) is reflected in the complex integration and existential elaboration of Qur'anic themes illustrated throughout this dialogue - a distinctive feature which makes this book of wider interest to students of Islamic Studies and comparative religion.
James W. Morris is currently Professor and Chair of Islamic Studies and director of graduate studies at the University of Exeter. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and has published widely on many areas of Islamic religious thought and practice. His books include The Wisdom of the Throne: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mulla Sadra, Ibn 'Arabi: The Meccan Illuminations (co-author), Orientations: Islamic Thought in a World Civilisation and Spiritual Practice and Discernment: Ibn 'Arabi on Spirituality in Everyday Life.