A translation, with critical introduction, of Shaykh al-`Alāwī’s al-Risālah al-Qawl al-Ma`Rūf fī al-Radd `alā man Ankara al-Tasawwuf (a kind word in response to those who reject Sufism)
Hendricks, Mogamat Mahgadien
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The objective of this thesis is the translation of an original defence of Sufī practice titled al- Risālah al-Qawl al-Ma`rūf fī al-Radd `alā man Ankara al-Tasawwuf (A Kind Word in Response to those who Reject Sufism) by the Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Muṣṭafā al-`Alāwī. By translating this text it is hoped to affirm the principle that Sufism is the result of ijtihād (legal reasoning) rather than bid`ah (innovation) and that it therefore forms part of Sunnah. This chapter provides our introduction to the translated text. Section One reviews classical works in defence of the Sufis, as well as secondary sources relied upon by the translator. Section Two provides a description of the life and works of Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Muṣṭafā al- `Alāwī. Section three discusses the legacy of the Shaykh, including the contemporary state of the `Alawiyah Ṭarīqah. Section Four provides a short analysis of some of the written works of the Shaykh. Section Five evaluates the methodology of the Shaykh as a method of ijtihād. Section Six introduces the translated text that follows this chapter. Section Seven outlines the translation strategy that is followed. It also highlights unique problems encountered during translation, such as words with unique meanings and words with nuances and meanings different to that implied by the author.