|Title:||The Key to Salvation|
lbn Ata' Allah.
This is the first English translation of Miftah al-falah, a thirteenth century Sufi text, written by lbn Ata' Allah, the noted jurist of the Maliki school of law, and the third of the great masters of the Shadhili Sufi order. Key to Salvation is considered to be one of his most important works because it contains the principles of actual Sufi mystical practices. It is unprecedented for the light it sheds on the central role of the dhikrullah, or sacred invocation, and associated practices, such as the spiritual retreat. Written in a clear, lucid style, it offers a glimpse into the Sufi world of the seventh Islamic century and allows us to see almost at first hand how the novice was guided by the Sufi Shaykh and, above all, the purpose and preparation involved in engaging in the dhikrullah.
lbn Ata' Allah sets out to define it, to explain its nature and power, to show its results and to prove that it is part of the Prophet's Sunnah, or practice. The author goes to great lengths to point out the many Qur'anic verses where it is mentioned and cites many noted authorities, lbn Ata' Allah was not the first to write about the importance of dhikr in Sufism, however he is the only one to devote an entire book to the subject and the first to put down in writing the mysteries connected with this orally transmitted religious tradition.
Mary Ann K. Danner-Fadae received her B.A. in ancient Near East history from the American University of Beirut and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Arabic language and literature from Indiana University, Bloomington. She has a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University and has taught Arabic and the history of Western civilization. She is currently Area Specialist for Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University Library. She has already won two translation awards for this translation of Miftah al-falah.
Cover calligraphy: Surat al-lkhlas with Allahu Akbar in the centre.