His Spiritual Heritage and Legacy Martin Lings One of the most thorough and intimately engaging books on Sufism; this masterly study is arguably the finest biography of a Sufi in the English language and almost a prerequisite for any serious study of Sufism in European languages. It serves as a key to understanding the phenomenon of sanctity in Islam as well as a deeper understanding of Islam as a whole. Martin Lings lets above all the sources speak for -themselves. But what he adds by way of commentary is ,of the greatest significance and may serve as a key to a deeper understanding of Islam as a whole. The author lets the Sufis speak for themselves and, in a series of unusual and absorbing texts mainly translated from the Arabic, he gives a vivid picture of life in a North African Sufi order. Against this background stands the unforgettable figure of the Algerian Shaykh whose sanctity recalled the golden age of medieval mystics. The last few chapters are mainly devoted to his writings, which include some remarkable mystic poems. In this well documented book Dr. Lings draws on many rare sources and has made some important original contributions like a most lucid and convincing interpretation of Ibn `Arabi’s whadat
Martin Lings (Abū Bakr Sirāj ad-Dīn) (1909-2005)
Martin Lings (1909-2005) was a British author, scholar, and philosopher, known for his writings on comparative religion, Sufism, and the works of William Shakespeare. He was born in London and educated at University College, Oxford. After a classical education, he read English at Oxford where he was a pupil and later a close friend of C. S. Lewis. In 1935, he went to Lithuania where he lectured on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English at the University of Kaunus. After four years, he went to Egypt and was given a lectureship in English Literature at Cairo University where he lectured mainly on Shakespeare. He later returned to England and took a degree in Arabic at London University and subsequently joined the staff of the British Museum where he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts until his retirement in 1973. He is the author of The Sacred Art of Shakespeare, Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions, The Eleventh Hour, Symbol & Archetype, The Book of Certainty (the Sufi Doctrines of Faith, Vision and Gnosis), A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, What is Sufism? and Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology. His Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources has been acclaimed as the best biography of the Prophet. He was also the author of several articles for the new Encyclopaedia of Islam, of the article on Sufism in the latest edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and participated in various Islamic conferences form time to time. He was a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and member of its council and also a member of the British Museum Society.