Ruzbihan Baqli: Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism
Carl W. Ernst
Paperback, 208 pages
This is the first full-length study devoted to the life and mystical experiences of one of the outstanding figures in Persian Sufism. Although Ruzbihan Baqli (d. 1209) was long recognized within the Sufi tradition, it is only within the past few decades that his works have been rediscovered and printed. This study introduces and analyses the most important sources for the life of Ruzbihan, his own visionary diary (The Unveiling of Secrets), written in Arabic, and two Persian hagiographies written by his great-grandsons a century after his death; extensive excerpts from these works are presented here in translation. Ruzbihan's diary is filled with visions of astonishing intensity, and it contains remarkable encounters with God, the angels, the prophets and the Sufi saints. This book aims to articulate and describe the structure of mystical experience in Ruzbihan's writings through analysis of his rhetoric of sainthood. Ruzbihan's diary is contrasted with the two biographies devoted to him by his descendants.
1. The Tradition of Ruzbihan Baqli
2. The Inner Structure of Sainthood
3. Institutionalizing a Sufi Order