Written in 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 dhikru’llah. Ibn 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. Ibn 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 translated religious tradition.
Mary Ann K. Danner-Fadae, currently Area Specialist for Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University Library, has already won two awards for this translation of Miftah al-falah. She 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 her Masters in Library Science from Indiana University and has taught Arabic and the history of Western civilization.