(Abū Bakr Sirāj al-Dīn)
Martin Lings in 2004
|Born||24 January 1909|
|Died||12 May 2005 96) (aged|
|Notable work(s)||Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources|
|Occupation||Islamic scholar, author; Shakespearean scholar,Historian|
|Spouse(s)||Lesley Smalley (1944–2013)|
Martin Lings (24 January 1909 – 12 May 2005), also known as Abū Bakr Sirāj ad-Dīn, was an English writer, scholar, and philosopher. A student of the Swiss metaphysician Frithjof Schuonand an authority on the work of William Shakespeare, he is best known as the author of Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources , first published in 1983 and still in print.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The Swiss are the citizens of Switzerland or people of Swiss ancestry.
Frithjof Schuon, also known as ʿĪsā Nūr ad-Dīn ʾAḥmad, was an author of German ancestry born in Basel, Switzerland. He was a spiritual master, philosopher, and metaphysician inspired by the Hindu philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and Sufism and the author of numerous books on religion and spirituality. He was also a poet and a painter.
Lings was born in Burnage, Manchester, in 1909 to a Protestant family.The young Lings gained an introduction to travelling at a young age, spending significant time in the United States because of his father's employment. Lings attended Clifton College and went on to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a BA in English Language and Literature. At Magdalen, he was a student and then a close friend of C. S. Lewis. After graduating from Oxford Lings went to Vytautas Magnus University, in Lithuania, where he taught Anglo-Saxon and Middle English.
Burnage is a suburb of the city of Manchester in North West England, about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Manchester city centre and bisected by the dual carriageway of Kingsway. The population of the Burnage Ward at the 2011 census was 15,227. It lies between Withington to the west, Levenshulme to the north, Heaton Chapel to the east and Didsbury and Heaton Mersey to the south.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
Clifton College is a co-educational independent school in the suburb of Clifton in the city of Bristol in South West England, founded in 1862. In its early years it was notable for emphasising science rather than classics in the curriculum, and for being less concerned with social elitism, e.g. by admitting day-boys on equal terms and providing a dedicated boarding house for Jewish boys, called Polacks. Having linked its General Studies classes with Badminton School, it admitted girls to the Sixth Form in 1987 and is now fully coeducational. Polacks house closed in 2005.
For Lings himself, however, the most important event whilst at Oxford was his discovery of the writings of the René Guénon, a French metaphysician and Muslim convert, and those of Frithjof Schuon, a German spiritual authority, metaphysician and Perennialist. In 1938, Lings went to Basle to make Schuon's acquaintance. This prompted his embracing Islam to embrace the branch of the Alawiyya tariqa led by Schuon. Thereafter, Lings remained Schuon's disciple and expositor for the rest of his life.
René-Jean-Marie-Joseph Guénon, also known as ʿAbd al-Wāḥid Yaḥyá, was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from sacred science and traditional studies, to symbolism and initiation.
Ahmad al-Alawi, , was an Algerian Sufi Sheikh who founded his own Sufi order, called the Alawiyya.
In 1939, Lings went to Cairo, Egypt, to visit a friend who was an assistant of René Guénon. Soon after arriving in Cairo, his friend died and Lings began studying Arabic. Cairo became his home for over a decade; he became an English language teacher at the University of Cairo and produced Shakespeare plays annually.Lings married Lesley Smalley in 1944 and lived with her in a village near the pyramids. Despite having settled comfortably in Egypt, Lings was forced to leave in 1952 after anti-British disturbances.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East and 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in the northeast corner of Africa, whose territory in the Sinai Peninsula extends beyond the continental boundary with Asia, as traditionally defined. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.
On returning to the United Kingdom he continued his education, earning a BA in Arabic and a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). His doctoral thesis became a well-received book on Algerian Sufi Ahmad al-Alawi.After completing his doctorate in 1959, Lings worked at the British Museum and later the British Library, overseeing eastern manuscripts and other textual works, rising to the position of Keeper of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts 1970–73. He was also a frequent contributor to the journal Studies in Comparative Religion .
Sufism, or Taṣawwuf, variously defined as "Islamic mysticism", "the inward dimension of Islam" or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam", is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions" which began very early in Islamic history and represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis".
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued. It is estimated to contain 170–200 million+ items from many countries. As a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
A writer throughout this period, Lings' output increased in the last quarter of his life. While his thesis work on Ahmad al-Alawi had been well regarded, his most famous work was a biography of Muhammad, written in 1983, which earned him acclaim in the Muslim world and prizes from the governments of Pakistan and Egypt.His work was hailed as the "best biography of the prophet in English" at the National Seerat Conference in Islamabad. He also continued travelling extensively, although he made his home in Kent. He died on 12 May 2005. Lings and a salafist scholar named Abu Bilal Mustafa al-Kanadi had a public debate about some accounts of Lings his biography of Muhammad. The exchange was published by Saudi Gazette.
Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is a 1983 biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad by Martin Lings.
Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometres. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, and is federally administered as part of the Islamabad Capital Territory. Built as a planned city in the 1960s to replace Karachi as Pakistan's capital, Islamabad is noted for its high standards of living, safety, and abundant greenery.
In addition to his writings on Sufism, Lings was a Shakespeare scholar. His contribution to Shakespeare scholarship was to point out the deeper esoteric meanings found in Shakespeare's plays, and the spirituality of Shakespeare himself. More recent editions of Lings's books on Shakespeare include a foreword by Charles, Prince of Wales.Just before his death he gave an interview on this topic, which was posthumously made into the film Shakespeare's Spirituality: A Perspective. An Interview With Dr. Martin Lings.
Hossein Nasr is an Iranian professor emeritus of Islamic studies at George Washington University, and an Islamic philosopher. He is the author of scholarly books and articles.
The Traditionalist School is a group of 20th and 21st century thinkers who believe in the existence of a perennial wisdom, or perennial philosophy, primordial and universal truths which form the source for, and are shared by, all the major world religions.
Mateus Soares de Azevedo is a Brazilian historian of religions, Islamologist, and esoterismologist, who has written several books on the Perennial Philosophy and the comparative study of religions, especially Christian and Islamic mysticisms. He is one of the best known writers on the Perennial philosophy in the Portuguese language. His most recent book in English is Men of a Single Book: Fundamentalism in Islam, Christianity, and Modern Thought, which won in the "Comparative Religion" category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards. He has translated into Portuguese, from the original French, several of the books of the perennialist master Frithjof Schuon (1907–1998).
The Shadhili Tariqa is a Sufi order of Sunni Islam founded by Abul Hasan Ali ash-Shadhili of Morocco in the 13th century. Followers of the Shadhiliya are known as Shadhilis.
William Stoddart is a Scottish physician, author and "spiritual traveller", who has written several books on the Perennial Philosophy and on comparative religion.
Titus Burckhardt, a German Swiss, was born in Florence, Italy in 1908 and died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1984. He devoted all his life to the study and exposition of the different aspects of Wisdom tradition.
Imam Sayyid Abd Allah ibn Alawi al-Haddad born in 1634 CE. He lived his entire life in the town of Tarim in Yemen’s Valley of Hadramawt and died there in 1720 CE. In Islamic history, he was considered one of the great Sufi sages. He was an adherent to the Ashari Sunni Creed of Faith (Aqeedah), while in Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), he was a Shafi'i.
Sufi studies is a particular branch of comparative studies that uses the technical lexicon of the Islamic mystics, the Sufis, to exemplify the nature of its ideas; hence the frequent reference to Sufi Orders. It may be divided into two main branches, the orientalist/academic and the spiritual.
Michel Valsan was a Muslim scholar and master of the Shadhiliyya tariqah in Paris under the name Shaykh Mustafa 'Abd al-'Aziz. As well, he was a Romanian diplomat and a prolific translator who specialized in translating and interpreting the works of the Sufi theoretician Ibn Arabi.
The Ba'Alawi tariqa, also known as the Tariqa Alawiyya is a Sufi order centered in Hadhramawt, Yemen, but now spread across the Indian Ocean rim along with the Hadhrami diaspora. The order is closely tied to the Ba'Alawi sadah family.
Kenneth "Harry" Oldmeadow is an Australian academic, author, editor and educator whose works focus on religion, tradition, traditionalist writers and philosophy.
Jean-Louis Michon was a French traditionalist scholar and translator who specialized in Islamic art and Sufism. He worked extensively with the United Nations to preserve the cultural heritage of Morocco.
Leo Schaya (1916–1985) was a Swiss author and scholar whose works focused on the Sufi tradition, the Kabbalah, and the Traditionalist School.
Whitall Nicholson Perry was born in Belmont, Massachusetts, on January 19, 1920. A quest for wisdom led him, as a young man, to travel out to the Far East. In Bali, in 1939, he found the echoes of a still authentic traditional world that sparked a lifelong encounter with ancient traditions, which he approached through the metaphysical perspectives of Platonism and Vedanta. He spent several decades abroad, living first in Giza, Egypt, where he met and frequented the French metaphysician René Guénon, and later in Lausanne, Switzerland where he became a close associate of the German metaphysician and mystic, Frithjof Schuon. In 1980, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana where he resided for the last 25 years of his life. He died on November 18, 2005.
Akbariyya is a branch of Sufi metaphysics based on the teachings of Ibn Arabi, an Andalusian Sufi who was a gnostic and philosopher. The word is derived from Ibn Arabi's nickname, "Shaykh al-Akbar," meaning "the greatest shaykh." Akbariyya has never been used to indicate a specific Sufi group or society. It is now used to refer to all historical or contemporary Sufi metaphysicians and Sufis influenced by Ibn Arabi's doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujud. It is not to be confused with Al Akbariyya, a secret Sufi society founded by Swedish Sufi 'Abdu l-Hadi Aguéli.
The Islamic Texts Society (ITS) is a peer-reviewed, British publishing house which concentrates on academic and general titles on Islam. It is registered as an educational charity in the UK.
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