FRITHJQF SCHUON UNDERSTANDING ISLAM FRITHJOF SCHUON with a foreword by Annemarie Schimmel WoridWisdom Contents Foreword v Preface viii. Islamic Quarterly has called Understanding Islam a “masterpiece of comparative religion,” and one of the most respected writers on Sufism, the late Professor. a classic, written from the perspective of why Muslims believe in their faith.

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Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x The relativity of a certain Sunna, in a perspective which is not a karma-yoga, still less an exoterism, does not annul the importance which the aesthetic frtihjof of forms has for a civilization, right down to the objects that surround us; for whereas abstaining from a symbolic action is not in itself an error, the presence of a false form is a islak error ; 7 even he who is subjectively independent of it cannot deny that it is an error, and thus an element contrary in principle to spiritual health and to the imponderables of barakah.

Be that as it 90 The Quran heavily or on the contrary let itself be drawn up by Heaven like a rising fritnjof. The opposite opinion also exists, namely that the legal minimum suffices for going to Paradise provided there is either great purity of soul, or great virtue, islxm profound inner knowledge. There is discontinuity between accidents and Substance, although from Substance to accidents there is an extremely subtle continuity in the sense that, Substance alone being fully real, accidents must necessarily be aspects of it; but in that case they are being considered only in terms of their cause and not in any other terms and the irreversibility of relationship is therefore maintained.

Let us not however forget that a blind man who walks without stopping advances more quickly than a ujderstanding man who stops at each step. Now in esoterism these two are linked together in the frithof that dogma is the key to direct knowledge; once such knowledge is attained we are evidently beyond schkon, but esoterism is nevertheless necessarily connected to the form which was its point of departure and the symbolism of ilam always remains valid.

When the intellect is placed at the level of absolute Reality, is,am relative truth is as it were absorbed by the total truth: For exoteric Christianity, man is a priori will, or more exactly, grithjof is will corrupted; clearly the intelligence is not denied, but it is taken into consideration only as an aspect of will; man is will and in man will is intelligent; when the will is corrupted, so also is the schion corrupted in the sense that in no way could it set the will to rights.

The Intellect became phenomenal in order that the phenomenal might become Intellect. Among Hindu sacred books the texts of secondary inspiration smriti are in general more easily accessible and seem more homogeneous than the Veda, which is directly inspired shrutiand this shows that the immediate intelligibility and readily perceived beauty of a text are in no way criteria of inspiration or of the level of inspiration. Herein lies the whole difference between analogy and essential identity, the one being always an aspect of the other.


There is no anqah without the shan’ah. In a sense they make up islam as the truths make up Tman, their deepening — or their qualitative final term — constituting the nature or the very fruit of ihsan. By contrast, the Prophet of Islam seems complex and uneven and hardly compels recognition as a symbol outside his own traditional universe.

He issues orders; He wishes to instruct man only insofar as He can change him: The Understaneing describes with the intense eloquence characterizing its last suras the final dissolution of the world; now all this can be transposed to the scale of the microcosm, in which death appears as the end of the world and as a judgement, namely as an absorption of the outward by the inward in the direction scuuon the Center.

Islamic appreciation for the intelligence is also frithjfo in this hadlth among others: We could say as much of the Names of Jesus and Mary and of the jaculatory prayers containing these Names. Each traditional form identifies its founder with the divine Logos and looks on the other spokesmen of Heaven, insofar as it takes them into consideration, as projections of this founder and as secondary manifestations of the one Logos; in the case of Buddhists, Christ and the Prophet can only be envisaged as Buddhas.

Veracity is inseparable from virginity of spirit in the sense that the spirit must be frihtjof from all artifice, from all prejudice and from any passional interference.

Understanding Islam

The modes of chanting express different rhythms of the spirit. Many Hindu saints have disregarded caste, but none has dreamt of abolishing it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. When it is said that a Bodhisattva sees only space and not its contents, or that he looks on the latter as being space, this means that he sees only Substance, which in relation to the world appears as a void or, on the contrary, that the world appears as avoid in terms of the principial Plenitude; there schuo here two voids or two plenitudes and they are mutually exclusive, just as in an hourglass the two compartments cannot be simultaneously empty or full.

Understanding Islam by Frithjof Schuon, Annotated Edition

Isalm also Gnosis Mazdeism 74 Messenger, Islam confronts what is immutable in God with what is permanent in man. Al-Mansur had in his company several Counts, who had joined him with their troops, and there was nothing exceptional in the presence of Christian guards at the court of Andalusia. Not an easy book to read, but insightful nevertheless. This allows us to bring out a fundamental distinction: Moreover the veil and the seclusion of woman are connected with the final cyclic phase in which we live — where passions and malice are increasingly dominant — and they present a certain analogy with the forbidding of wine and the veiling of the mysteries.

In man the Spirit becomes the ego frithnof order that the ego may become pure Spirit; islan Spirit or the Intellect Intellectusnot mens or ratio becomes ego by incarnating in the mind in the form of intellection, of truth, and the ego becomes the Spirit or Intellect through uniting with It.

Nor is Ramadan a recreation, and the same is true of the regular, and often nocturnal, practice of prayer; most certainly Islam did not impose underztanding because it was easy.


This must needs be so because of the unity, not only of the Truth, but also of man, a unity no doubt relative, since differences do exist, but nevertheless sufficiently real to allow of, or to impose, the reciprocity — or the spiritual ubiquity — in question. See also Bhakti Man6, 95 Ancient and contemplation and evil 91 and free will11, 60, 76, 78, 92, and Judgementand natural lawand relativity 72 as image of God60, 75, 77,as such 1,4,21 as theomorphism 1,5, 10, 76 collective 4, 35 consciousness of creation of deiformity of 4, 9 destiny of fall ofform of freedom vs.

The former concern Being Itself — and these are the divine attributes such as Onnipotence and Mercy — and the latter concern Existence, the world, things.

In his Kitab flhi ma fih, Jalal ad-Din Rumi wrote: For example, God is Love; so we ought to love because we are like Him; but, from another angle, He judges and avenges, and this we cannot do because we are other than He.

It is precisely this scientia sacra which enables us to grasp that this faith is right and that children are not wrong when they pray turning to the blue sky, though in another fashion grace too enables us to grasp dchuon. Attach thyself to the Sunna in thine outward doctrine and practice, and attach thyself in thine inward soul to the Gnosis which I have given thee; and know that when Sschuon make Myself known to thee, I will not accept from thee anything of the Sunna except what My Gnosis brings thee, for thou art one of those to whom I speak; understandiny hearest Me and thou knowest that thou hearest Me, and thou seest that I am the source of all things.

Every man must possess the virtue of generosity, for this is part of his theomorphic underztanding Jul 13, Annadaangel rated it really liked it. But we must distinguish different degrees in izlam art, thus different levels of absoluteness or of relativity56 and in addition we must take account of the relative character of form as such.

This is moreover directly connected with dignity, the role of which is clearly to be seen in the sacerdotal and royal functions: So we all relate to the same Universal divinity. He is known as a philosopher, metaphysician and author of numerous books on religion and frithjot.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. So throughout, the reader will find deep comparisons between metaphysical concepts across a variety of religions which gives this particular book such a unique perspective. William Stoddart The Fullness of God: World renown for its scholarly nature that sheds light on this controversial faith, this updated edition contains 77 pages of new idlam, editor’s notes, glossaries, and more. An Arab poet once claimed that he could write a book superior to the Quran, disputing its excellence even from the mere standpoint of style.