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Islamic Texts Society

The Pure Intention: On Knowledge of the Unique Name

Shaykh Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari, Khalid Williams (tr.)





al-Qasd al-Mujarrad fi Ma‘rifat al-Ism al-Mufrad


In this work, Shaykh Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari presents us with a treatise on the doctrine of Divine Oneness or tawhid and the Unique Name 'Allah' which is the Name of the Divine Essence.


The treatise itself is divided into two parts. In Part One, Ibn Ata Allah discusses the Name 'Allah' from three perspectives: that of language, that of wisdom and that of gnosis; here, he also explains the differences between the Divine Names, Qualities and the Name 'Allah'. With Part Two, the author turns to the role of invocation, both in general and of the Name 'Allah' specifically. Ibn Ata Allah gives detailed arguments for how emulating the Qualities of God as expressed in His Names and invoking His Supreme Name with awareness of its meaning, can cleanse the heart and fill it with tawhid until it becomes a worthy abode for God. As the sacred tradition says: ‘Neither My Throne nor My Footstool can contain Me, but the heart of My servant can.’