Spiritual Purification in Islam: The Life and Works of al-Muhasibi, by Gavin Picken

Josef van Ess

Abstract


https://doi.org/10.12730/13091719.2011.21.32


Spiritual Purification in Islam: The Life and Works of al-Muhasibi, by Gavin Picken, (Routledge Sufi Series, 11), (Abingdon, Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2011), xii + 248 pp., ISBN: 978-0-415-54822-9, £75.00 (hardback)

(First paragraph)
Ḥārith ibn Asad al-Muḥāsibī (d. 243/857) has not been the subject of a comprehensive study for half a century; the present book therefore arouses high expectations. The question of where to situate al-Muḥāsibī in the intellectual history of the third/ninth century is anything but settled; a new approach might be in order. But the reader is ultimately disappointed. The author has delved deeply into al-Muḥāsibī's works, but he presents the results of his investigation in a rather apodictic way and largely omits engaging in a dialogue with previous research.

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