Explore the very rich tradition of what are known as 'divine sayings' (hadith qudsi) in Islamic spirituality and Sufism: these are special communications 'spoken' by God to the Prophet Muhammad or to another prophet or even to the angels, which were then reported by Muhammad, and are one of the major sources for Islamic tradition. They emphasise the utter dependence of the human upon God for guidance, sustenance and forgiveness. These sayings have been much used in Sufi teaching, as practical reminders of the centrality of love and mercy, and as the basis of various practices such as remembrance (dhikr) and blessing-prayers on the Prophet (salawat).
We will focus on themes that pervade the hadiths, forgiveness, remembrance, mercy and blessing, and show how these have been utilised by Sufi masters over times. In particular, we will examine the collection of 101 hadith qudsi (Mishkāt al-anwār) made by the 'greatest Master', Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240).
In this course we will approach the topic through original texts in translation, contemplation and group discussion, as well as readings from secondary literature and comparative studies with other traditions.