By Samer Akkach
During this specified examine a key determine within the Islamic enlightenment, Samer Akkach examines the lifestyles and works of 'Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi (1641-1731) of Damascus: a latest of many significant thinkers, scientists, poets, and philosophers of the eu Enlightenment. frequently characterised completely as a Sufi saint, his inspiration and teachings have been of a much broader remit. via a clean studying of his unpublished biographical resources and big physique of commonly unpublished works, Akkach examines early expressions of rationalism between Arab and Turkish students, and argues that 'Abd al-Ghani helped bring in the start of modernity within the Arab global.
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Additional info for Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi: Islam and the Enlightenment
Upon meeting ‘Abd al-Ghani, the Naqshbandi Sufi master spontaneously complimented him poetically in Persian. During his stay in Damascus, al-Balkhi selected ‘Abd al-Ghani for an exchange of homage according to the rituals of the Naqshbandiyya order, which took place at the ProphetYahya’s shrine,inside the Umayyad mosque. In the homage-paying ceremony, al-Balkhi gave ‘Abd al-Ghani his walking stick as well as a classical Persian text on the Naqshbandiyya and asked him to expound it, which he later did in a commentary titled The Key of Togetherness in Expounding the Naqshbandiyya (Ma‘iyya).
Abd al-Ghani’s affiliation with the Naqshbandiyya came through a similarly brief and incidental contact. During his visit to Damascus in 1676, the renowned Naqshbandi shaykh Sa‘id al-Din al-Balkhi met with ‘Abd al-Ghani and was said to have given him al-khirqa, a white cap that signifies the attainment of a high state of knowledge on the Sufi path. The meeting took place in the house of a friend. Upon meeting ‘Abd al-Ghani, the Naqshbandi Sufi master spontaneously complimented him poetically in Persian.
The family name al-Nabulusi, “the one from Nablus,” however, identifies the family with the Palestinian city of Nablus, a historic town of Roman origin located about sixty-three kilometres north of Jerusalem. The Jama‘a family is known to have originated from the Syrian town of Hama,which is located about 200 kilometres north of Damascus. In the twelfth century, an eminent member of the family moved to Damascus for study and toward the end of his life, he moved again to Jerusalem, where he wished to die and be buried.
Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi: Islam and the Enlightenment by Samer Akkach