Niyazi-yi Mısri on the Divine Names: Ottoman Theology and Sufism in the Light of the Arabic Commentary Tradition

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One of the most widely copied works of the prominent Halveti Sufi
master Niyazi-yi Mısri (1027–1105/1618–94), the theological treatise on the divine names known as Şerh-i Esma-yi Hüsna or Risale-yi Tevhid exhibits some of the key ideas that ground Ibn ʿArabī’s theology. This study introduces a Turkish edition and an annotated English translation of this work, and situates it into the genre of the commentary on the divine names. In order to compare and contrast Mısri’s epistle with the foundations of Akbari theology and the influential commentaries on the divine names, the study also translates, largely for the first time, relevant Arabic passages penned by al-Qushayrī, al-Ghazālī, Ibn Barrajān, and Ibn ʿArabī. This comparison aims to add the scholarship on pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Sufism to conversation, and approach Mısri’s Sufi theology from a wider intellectual perspective. Such a perspective
displays for us not only the enduring impact of Sufism in Muslim theologies,
but also the continuities and differences in the genre of commentary on divine names throughout the history, and in Arabic and Ottoman Turkish languages. It invites a broader understanding of theology, reminding the importance of the commentary on the divine names as an influential and experiential method of Muslim theological reflection. Finally, it suggests that the hermeneutical tradition of Ibn Barrajān was transmitted to Ottoman theology not only through Ibn ʿArabī but also through the genre of the commentary on the divine names.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-210
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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