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Love in Sufi Literature

Love in Sufi Literature

Ibn 'Ajiba's Understanding of the Divine Word

Focused on Aḥmad Ibn ‘Ajība – an eighteenth-century Moroccan Sufi scholar renowned for his contribution to Sufi Qur’ānic exegesis – this book engages critically with his theory of divine love to elucidate his impact on the wider field of Qur’ānic scholarship.

The principal source of analysis is Ibn ‘Ajība’s Oceanic Exegesis of the Qur’ān which connected theoretical works on the concept of divine love to their practical application, a breakthrough in Sufi literature. Close analysis of this text is supplemented by a comparative approach focusing on several other eminent Sufi commentaries, including those of Abū al-Qāsim al-Qushayrī and Rūzbihān Baqlī Shīrāzī. This comparative approach situates Ibn ‘Ajība’s thought in theological and historical perspective, engaging with his mystical approach which integrates his theory of divine love with other Sufi doctrines in an accessible manner. This approach, it is argued, left an indelible impact on future generations of Qur’ānic exegetes within North Africa and across the Islamic world.

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