Abū Ja'Far Ibn Yazdānyār's Rawá at al-Murīdīn: An Unknown Sufi Manual of the Fifth/Eleventh Century

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Rawá at al-murīdīn of Abū Jafar Muá1ammad Ibn al-áusayn Ibn Yazdānyar al-Hamadhāni is a distinguished Sufi manual of the early fifth/eleventh century. Though an early Sufi textbook, this work is relatively unknown when compared with other Sufi textbooks written prior to and after it. This article draws on Williams' edition from 1957 in addition to two manuscripts held in Princeton and Istanbul, in order to examine this early Sufi work and to appraise its contribution to the development of early Sufism. Rawá at al-murīdin presents us a unique formula of taa£awwuf that differs essentially from the famous manuals of the fourth/tenth and fifth/eleventh centuries which concerned themselves with Sufi rules of conduct. There is strong evidence to suggest that its author, if not formally a member of Karrāmiyya, was a pro-Karrāmi writer who operated in a historical context where the renunciatory-Karrāmi mode of piety was widely condemned. Unlike the early character of Abū Bakr Ibn Yazdānyār, who lived in the fourth/tenth century and was generally known as an opponent of ecstatic Sufism, the author of Rawá a seeks to present a comprehensive umbrella of Sufism under which the teachings of al-Junayd co-exist side by side with those of al-áallaj.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)541-560
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Abū Bakr Ibn Yazdānyār
  • Abū Jafar Ibn Yazdānyār al-Hamadhānī
  • Karrāmiyya
  • Rawáat al-murīdīn
  • Sufi manners
  • sheikh-novice relationship

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • General Arts and Humanities


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