The Principles of Sufism

by ʿAʾishah al-Baʿuniyyah

ʿAʾishah al-Baʿuniyyah (d. 923 H/1517 AD) of Damascus was one of the great women scholars in Islamic history. A mystic and prolific poet and writer, ʿAʾishah composed more works in Arabic than any other woman before the 20th century. Yet despite her extraordinary literary and religious achievements, ʿAʾishah al-Baʿuniyyah remains largely unknown. For the first time her key work, The Principles of Sufism, is available in English translation.
The Principles of Sufism is a mystical guide book to help others on their spiritual path. She recounts the fundamental stages and states of the spiritual novice’s transformative journey, emphasizing the importance of embracing both human limitations and God’s limitless love. Drawing on lessons and readings from centuries-old Sufi tradition, ʿAʾishah advises the seeker to repent of selfishness and turn to a sincere life of love. In addition to his lucid translation, Th. Emil Homerin provides an insightful introduction, notes and a glossary to ʿAʾishah al-Baʿuniyyah’s remarkable account of the pursuit of mystical illumination.