Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization: The Mystics of al-Andalus: Ibn Barrajan and Islamic Thought in the Twelfth Century

Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization: The Mystics of al-Andalus: Ibn Barrajan and Islamic Thought in the Twelfth Century

By: Yousef Casewit (author)Hardback

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The twelfth century CE was a watershed moment for mysticism in the Muslim West. In al-Andalus, the pioneers of this mystical tradition, the Mu'tabirun or 'Contemplators', championed a synthesis between Muslim scriptural sources and Neoplatonic cosmology. Ibn Barrajan of Seville was most responsible for shaping this new intellectual approach, and is the focus of Yousef Casewit's book. Ibn Barrajan's extensive commentaries on the divine names and the Qur'an stress the significance of God's signs in nature, the Arabic bible as a means of interpreting the Qur'an, and the mystical crossing from the visible to the unseen. With an examination of the understudied writings of both Ibn Barrajan and his contemporaries, Ibn al-'Arif and Ibn Qasi, as well as the wider socio-political and scholarly context in al-Andalus, this book will appeal to researchers of the medieval Islamic world and the history of mysticism and Sufism in the Muslim West.

About Author

Yousef Casewit is Assistant Professor of Qur'anic Studies at the University of Chicago. He was formerly an Assistant Professor of Arabic Intellectual Heritage and Culture at the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, as well as a Humanities Research Fellow at New York University, Abu Dhabi. He is the co-editor of A Qur'an Commentary by Ibn Barrajan of Seville (with Gerhard Boewering, 2015).


1. The beginnings of a mystical discourse in al-Andalus: Ibn Masarra, Malikism, and the politics of an epistemological debate; 2. The rise of the Andalusi Mu'tabirun: the influence of Ghazali, markers of the Mu'tabirun tradition, and the onset of institutional Sufism; 3. The life of a contemplative: Ibn Barrajan's educational formation, spiritual practices, political views, and decease; 4. The works of Ibn Barrajan: chronological sequence, manuscript tradition, and central themes; 5. The divine descent: bridging the chasm between God and creation; 6. The hermeneutics of certainty: harmony, hierarchy, and hegemony of the Qur'an; 7. A Muslim scholar of the Bible: biblical proof-texts for Qur'anic teachings in the exegetical works of Ibn Barrajan; 8. The human ascent: I'tibar, cycles of time, and future predictions.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107184671
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 372
  • ID: 9781107184671
  • weight: 650
  • ISBN10: 1107184673

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