In the Islamic Sufi tradition, it is said, “Qualify yourself with the qualities of God.” Compiled from classical Arabic and Turkish texts of Al-Ghazali, Ibn Arabi, Djili, and Abdul Qadir Jilani, among others, these are the divine attributes by which God manifests Himself in the world and by which He completes the spiritual life of man. In this volume, Tosun Bayrak, a shaykh of the Jerrahi order based in Istanbul, explains how to use these Names for the transformation of the soul–“to see that the human being is the microcosm of the macrocosm where God’s attributes are reflected.”
Sheikh Tosun describes the barrier, “they know the Name, but not the Named.” How can one come to love God–without knowing Him? The Sheikh answers that we do so through knowing His Divine Qualities in our own selves. “To assume the angelic character which is innate but hidden in the human being, we have to choose from Divine Attributes as we can, and try to live our daily lives according to them. Then, God willing, this effort will help our imitation become real.”
The Name and the Named presents these attributes which combine in various proportions to create the universe we see before us, but these names are all contained in the Name, or word Allah. Therefore, when one repeats this Name, one participates in stating the entire manifested creation. Also included are the 201 traditional names or qualities of the Prophet Muhammad.
Other interpreted and compiled works by Sheikh Tosun Bayrak include The Way of The Sufi Chivalry (Kitab al-Futtuwah by Ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami), Inner Traditions International; The Most Beautiful Names and Inspirations on the Path of Blame by Sheikh Badruddin of Simawna, Threshold Books; The Secret of Secrets: Hadrat ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, The Islamic Texts Society; Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom (At-Tadbirat al-ilahiyyah fi islah al-mamlakat al-insaniyyah by Ibn ‘Arabi) and The Shape of Light (Hayakal Al-Nur by Suhrawardi), both published by Fons Vitae.
William C. Chittick is Professor of Comparative Studies at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has published numerous books, among them, Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-‘Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity; Faith and Practice of Islam: Three Thirteenth Century Sufi Texts; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Metaphysics of Imagination; The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; and A Shi’ite Anthology, all published by SUNY Press.