Author: Margaret Smith
Publisher: Millat Book Centre
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: New
Description from the publisher: It was the development of mysticism (Sufism) within Islam, which gave women their great opportunity to attain the rank of sainthood. The goal of the Sufi quest was union with the Divine, and the Sufi seeker after God, having renounced this world and its attraction being purged of Self and its desires, inflamed with a passion of love of God, journeyed ever onward, looking toward the final purpose, through the life of illumination, with its ecstasies and raptures, and the higher life of contemplation, until at last he achieved the heavenly gnosis and attained to the Vision of God, in which the lover might become one with the Beloved, and abide in Him for ever.
Such a conception of the relations between the saint and his Lord leaves no room for the distinction of sex. In the spiritual life there can be 'neither male nor female'. All whom God had called to be saints could attain, by following the Path, to union with Himself, and all who attained, would have their royal rank, as spiritual beings, in the world to come.
The high position attained by the women Sufis is attested further by the fact that the Sufis themselves give to a woman the first place among the earliest Muhammadan mystics and have chosen her to be the representative of the first development of mysticism in Islam.
This was the saintly Rabi'a, a freedwoman of the Al-Atik, a tribe of Qays b. Adi, from which she was known as al-Adawiyya or al-Qaysiyya, and also as al-Basriyya, from her birth-place.