Lumumba Shakur's Reviews > Illuminating Guidance on the Dropping of Self-Direction

Illuminating Guidance on the Dropping of Self-Direction by أحمد بن عطاء الله السكندري
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Jul 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: shadhili-literature
Read from July 24, 2011 to February 06, 2012

Due to the nature of this book and my relationship to the translator, I do not think that a review is fitting. However, I can state without hesitation that this is by far the superior translation of the Kitab al-Tanwir (of which three are apparently available in English). The baraka of this particular translation is palpable and I enjoyed it cover to cover. This is not a book that should be read in a single sitting. Rather, the reader should take their time and slowly let the mu'dhakara take root in their heart. And it is indeed a mu'dhakara: this is "practical" Sufism at its finest. I can testify to the fact that this book brought about a certain hal and I found something similar after reading it that I find after reciting making dhikr. In addition, I often found myself unable to read it unless I gave it the same respect that I would have given to the original author were I in his presence at the time of its initial exposition. The only translation I have read thus far that is analogous is Mukhtar Holland's translations of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani's works. Beyond that, I do not think there is a greater praise that I can give...

In addition to the translation, our good friend Dr. Ibrahim Hakim only did us a further service by sourcing all of the hadith that he was able to find. And even though I know the translator personally, I do not believe it has biased my opinion. The one criticism I have of the book is that it needs a professional editor, as some of the formatting is not standard. Be that as it may, I eagerly look forward to anything else that Sidi Ibrahim may be commissioned to translate in the future.
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07/24/2011 page 11
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Abdul Khafid Mastan Sidi, how is this translation compared to the one by Scott Kugle? I'm hoping it's a better one.


Lumumba Shakur I'm reading it now partially for that purpose. I actually haven't read Kugle's entire translation, but I was planning on reading both to compare. I'll be sure to let you know - in sha Allah.


Lumumba Shakur I posted a review/comparison on the Book of Illumination. This translation is far far superior.


Wayfarer I concur this translation is much better and full of 'Barakah'.


Lumumba Shakur @Abdul Khafid: I must admit that I tried to read the other translation just so I could compare them adequately, but I could not make it through the first chapter. After struggling through the introduction (which had a few things I benefited from), there was something that wasn't quite right about the translation. It was unbearable, so I quit and started reading this one instead. This translation is full of barakah as Wayfarer said. It is as though one put too much of himself in the text, while the other simply allowed Ibn Ata Illah speak. It is a shame that this translation perhaps will not get the wide circulation that it deserves... Hopefully, we can help change that a little.


Wayfarer @ Lumumba - I had a similar experience ... I was so happy that an alternative translation existed (to the Kugle one) that I went out of my way to track down and e-mail the translator, to personally thank him for his time and effort in translating the text which If I am not mistaken he did at the behest of his spiritual guide and in the hope an expanded and revised translation would be undertaken in the near future, insha'Allah.


Lumumba Shakur Dr. Ibrahim Hakim handed the book to me as a gift one day when we were at a (then) local gathering soon after it was completed. I am so glad he did. I perhaps would not have known that an alternative translation existed. It is good to hear that an expansion and revision will follow. I feel really sorry for everyone who gave the other translations 4 and 5 stars, not knowing what they actually missing. If only Sh. Nuh will complete and publish his translation and commentary on the Hikam, that other situation will be corrected as well.


Wayfarer Apologies ... I meant to say, I hope that an expanded and revised edition follows. Not sure if there is one in the pipeline or not.


Lumumba Shakur You got my hopes up :) He did do it because Shaykh Noorudeen requested that he do so, ironically because another previous translation of the Tanwir wasn't acceptable either.


Wayfarer It's better to live in hope! - an accurate scholarly translation and commentary on the Hikam, now that would be interesting.


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