From the Jacket
Fawa'id al-Fu'ad is a monumental work of spiritual and literary discourses of Shaikh Nizamuddin Awliya who lived in medieval India. The book is a didactic classic in the form of recorded conversations. Devoid of supernatural elements, it provides useful information about a large number of Sufi saints and 'ulama'. A living testimony to the accord between the Shari'ah and Tariqah, therein he spoke on the necessity of practicing values that could transform man into a true human being, full of love, tolerance, forgiveness, patience, forbearance, sincerity in devotion, adherence to truth and generosity.
Sufism or Islamic spiritualism that flourished in India with the advent of the Turkish rule in the 13the century forms the backdrop of this work. The moral teachings of his spiritual mentors, dwelt at length, in various majlises, constitute the bed-rock of this treatise which has great literary distinction. Written in fluent Persian prose style, it is embellished with apt verses to elucidate the points of discussion. The Sufi way of life and the teachings of the Chishtiyah order have been vindicated as a sharp contrast to the material prosperity, territorial conquest and the lust for power in the contemporary world.
The compiler Amir Hasan 'Ala' sijzi a great scholar of Persian language, has done a yeoman's service in giving a definite shape to this monumental work. The Shaikh's didactic intention and spiritual flavour have been well-preserved through the compiler's directness of style. Fawa'id al-Fu'ad rendered into English from the original Persian text based on an ably edited edition of the book represents a serious attempt to understand the nuances of the mystic mind of a great sufi saint of the sub-Continent. This academic venture of Prof. Faruqui will be of great use to lay readers as well as the scholars of Islamic mysticism.
About the Author
Professor Ziya-ul-Hasan Faruqi holds two master degrees from Allahabad and McGill Universities. He has held various positions in the Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, like, Principal, Jamia College; Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences; Professor of Islamic Studies; and Director, Zakir Husain Institute. With a good knowledge of Arabic and Persian, he has edited journals of scholarly height in Islamic Studies. Has been a member of the academic bodies of Aligarh Muslim University, Kashmir University, Hamdard Institute of Historical Studies and the Islam and Modern Age Society. Prof. Faruqi has visited many European and Middle-East countries besides the U.S.A. and Canada as a scholar. He has to his credit a number of books in Urdu and English, besides presenting papers at seminars of national and international repute and contributing widely to many journals.
One of the main features of Imam Ghazali's (d. AD 1111) religious intellectualism was his scholastically significant attempt that he successfully made at a rapprochement between the shari'ah and tariqah. But, at the time nobody knew that the latter or, in other words, tasawwuf (Islamic mysticism) would soon become, like the shari'ah with its different schools of fiqh, institutionalized with its own basic doctrines, well defined philosophy, elaborate principles of a disciplined life, terms and phraseology, books and different orders. It would, however, be wrong to presume that the 'ulma' supposed to be the only custodian of the shari'ah and the sufi-shaikhs considered to be the only watchguard of tariqah had perennially strained relations with each other as if they represented the two entirely different aspects of religious life. The great sufi-shaikhs were themselves recognized 'alim and there were a number of 'ulama' of deep erudition who enjoyed a distinguished place in the world of tasawwuf.
Yes, the sufi-shaikhs did not like the worldly 'ulama' and condemned such Sufis who did not care to follow the rules of the shari'ah Fawa'id al-Fu'ad, a collection of Shaikh Nizamuddin Awliya's discourses (malfuzat), besides offering many insights into the true sufi way of life and explaining, through symbolical utterances and anecdotes suited to the occasion, some of the basic principles of Islamic mysticism, refers to a number of situations that elucidate the point in discussion. Sheikh Nizamuddin Awliya, in many ways, represents the glory of the Islamic mysticism in India. Sheikh Fariduddin; his guide and spiritual mentor, appointed him as his khalifah and asked him to settle at Delhi where he lived for about sixty years as the undisputed spiritual leader of the community. His malfuzat as compiled by Hasan Sijzi was the first of the kind of sufi literature in India that set the standard and provided an important vehicle to spread mystical thought and sufi practices in the sub-continent.
In preparing this translation of Fawa'id al-Fu'ad I have enjoyed the help of many friends and colleagues in the Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. I have to express my gratitude especially to Professor M. Naziruddin Menai, Professor S. Naqu Husain Jafri, Professor Anisur Rahman, Professor I.H. Azad Faruqi and Mr. Shahabuddin Ansari, Librarian, Dr. Azkir Husain Library, Jamia Millia Islamia, for their continual help and valuable suggestions.
I would also like to acknowledge the devoted care of Mr. Muhammad Anas in preparing a neatly typed script of the translation. My thanks are also due to the publishers, D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd., New Delhi, for expeditious printing of the book.
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