By Kenneth S Avery
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Extra info for A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama : Listening and Altered States (Routledgecurzon Sufi Series)
S. 1–2: Abe wAbd Allah also said that the most complete form of fear is that which takes on the characteristics of wajd, not from loss of something hoped for or desired. S. 322/934) is asked about listening to musical instruments. The questioner says that he considers it lawful, for he has reached a stage where differences in states of consciousness (aSwAl ) do not affect him. , but that place is Hell! S. 322/934) comments on the various types of samAW. For ordinary people, it is ‘following natural inclinations’; for initiates, it is desire and fear; for friends of God (awliyAX), it is a vision of beneﬁts and grace; for knowers 32 SAMFW IN EARLY SUFI LITERATURE 16 17 18 19 20 (al-WArifCn), it is direct witnessing; for the ‘people of Truth’ (ahl al-SaqCqa), it is revelation and witnessing; and each one of these has their own place and ranking.
This is particularly commendable when compared with anti-samAW writings such as Ibn Abc al-Dunya’s Dhamm al-MalAhC, where the lack of these reasoning qualities is conspicuous. It has been noted that Sarraj often uses hierarchies of evidence and argument, in a quasi-legal fashion, stating his case from the Qurxan, then from the Traditions, and ﬁnally from noted scholars or Suﬁs. Such triadic argumentation is a constant feature of the author’s work, lending an air of balance and order to his exposition.
In the chapter on samAW, the reader is brought into contact with a powerful intellect, not with a mere compiler of traditions. One of the most attractive aspects of the ISyAX is to watch this intellect at work, and to witness the creative way in which familiar materials are transformed by Ghazalc’s rationality and spirituality into something profound and original. In the following analysis, the chapter on samAW from the ISyAX is treated thematically, rather than in the order presented by Ghazalc.