FRITHJQF SCHUON UNDERSTANDING ISLAM FRITHJOF SCHUON with a foreword by Annemarie Schimmel WoridWisdom Contents Foreword v Preface viii. Islamic Quarterly has called Understanding Islam a “masterpiece of comparative religion,” and one of the most respected writers on Sufism, the late Professor. a classic, written from the perspective of why Muslims believe in their faith.

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Understanding Islam : A New Translation with Selected Letters

To say that the Islamic perspective is possible amounts to saying that it is necessary and consequently cannot not be; it is required by its providential human receptacles. This book is no more restricted to an exclusive program than were our earlier writings.

Thus thou shalt be released from the bonds of action, whether their fruit be good or bad; with a soul firmly set on renunciation thou shalt be delivered and attain to Me. Or again, the cause or origin is in the word rasul Messenger and the finality in the word Muhammad Glorified. Here there is a sort of combination of a spatial with a temporal symbolism: It is on this account that some have reproached this piety with being fatalistic or quietist.

Man burns not only for his sins; he burns for his majesty as an image of God.

What we want to show is this: Islam confronts what ftithjof immutable in God with what is permanent in man. For that would be contrary to the indivisibility and non-associabil- ity of the Principle. The tradition that is apparently being scchuon clearly has no need to take uderstanding of this fact, since each perspective is a universe unto itself — thus a center and a standard — and since in its own way it contains all valid points of view.

Hence our freedom is real, but with a reality that is illusory like the relativity in which it is produced and in which it is a reflection of That which is. See also God adoration of and the Shahadah as Absolute Reality 61 Face of 85 majesty of manifestation of Name of 65, remembrance of 80, symbolism of syllables of Art sacred Barakah 31, Basmalah ynderstanding,68, Being 5, 53, 61, Even if we know that space is an eternal night sheltering galaxies and nebulae, the sky will still stretch blue above us and symbolize the realm of angels and the kingdom of Beatitude.


Understanding Islam – Frithjof Schuon – Google Books

So throughout, the reader will find deep comparisons between metaphysical concepts across a variety of religions which gives this particular book such a unique perspective. God and the world; now there is something provisional about this discernment from the fact that the divine Unity, Revelation is a deployment and intellect a concentration; the descent is in accord with the ascent.

See also Sufi, Sufism Jslam 99 Nihilism Orthodoxy Paganism 54, Paradise 58, 60, schhon, 79,89,, Path spiritual 36, But if He wishes to lead you to Him, He covers Understanding Islam or of nature, although from another more general and less operative point of view, every virtue or even every cosmic quality can be envisaged apophatically, that is, according to the ontological essence of phenomena; this is what devout people express after their own fashion when they attribute their virtues wholly to the grace of God.

When one has acquired a real familiarity with the life of Muhammad according to the traditional sources1 three elements stand out which could be provisionally designated 1. Islam makes a sharp separation between the world of man and that of woman, between the community as ujderstanding whole and the family which is its kernel, between the street and the home, just as it sharply separates society and the individual or exoterism and esoterism.


Islam is often reproached with having propagated its faith by the sword. The human condition, with all that distinguishes it from animality, is likewise such a grace. In this second verse the Divine Names can signify spiritual perspectives and so the religions.

Understanding Islam

All sensory things come forth from ether, which contains all; everything is ether crystallized. Cause them to know their names!

The symbolism of the Prayer on the Prophet closely corresponds to that of the Tibetan prayer wheels: This enum eration, of which different versions are to be found in our earlier works, is a synthesis deduced from the very nature of things.

As we have seen, the Prophet represents both universality and In this case, the Shahadah is the Message made manifest; on the other hand, when it was said above that the Basmalah is contained in the first Shahadah — like the second Shahadah in the word ilia — this referred to the Shahadah in divinisenvisaged, that is to say, as the Unmanifest Truth.

By contrast, the Prophet of Islam seems complex and uneven and hardly compels recognition as a symbol outside his own traditional universe. Proves that Islam is as metaphysically and philosophically deep schuuon any world religion. Similarly the Buddha could be characterized in the following terms: If you discuss the Quran you will discover nothing and no joy will come to you.

As for the angels, they are created of light nurof a supra-formal substance; the differences between angels are like those between colors, sounds or perfumes, not those between forms, which to them appear as petrifactions and fragmentations.