Reading is transformation


Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light

Sachiko Murata




Wang Tai-yu's Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chi's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm


Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light investigates, for the first time in a Western language, the manner in which the Muslim scholars of China adapted the Chinese tradition to their own needs during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The book surveys the 1400-year history of Islam in China and explores why the four books translated from Islamic languages into Chinese before the twentieth century were all Persian Sufi texts. The author also looks carefully at the two most important Muslim authors of books in the Chinese language, Wang Tai-yu and Liu Chih. Murata shows how they assimilated Confucian social teachings and Neo-Confucian metaphysics, as well as Buddhism and Taoism, into Islamic thought. She presents full translations of Wang's Great Learning of the Pure and Real--a text on the principles of Islam--and Liu Chih's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm, which in turn is a translation from Persian of Lawa'ih', a famous Sufi text by Jami. A new translation of Jami's Lawa'ih' from the Persian by William C. Chittick is juxtaposed with Liu Chih's work, revealing the latter's techniques in adapting the text to the Chinese language and Chinese thought. 




1. Chinese-Language Islam

The Essentials of Islam

The Chinese Language

Wang Tai-yu

Liu Chih

The Arabic Translation of Liu Chih’s Philosophy

Translations into Chinese

The Neo-Confucian Background


2. The Works of Wang Tai-yu

The True Answers

The Real Commentary on the True Teaching

Adam and Eve: From Chapter Two of the Real Commentary

The Real Solicitude


3. Wang Tai-yu’s Great Learning

The Chinese Background

The Islamic Concepts

The Text


4. The Great Learning of the Pure and Real



Synopsis: Comprehensive Statement

The Real One

The Numerical One

The Embodied One

General Discussion


5. Liu Chih’s Translation of Lawa’ih

The Oneness of Existence

Liu Chih’s Appropriation of Lawa’ih

The Translations


6. Gleams


7. Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm