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Content And Significance

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Chapter Summary

The letters of the Wasāʾil al-Taḥqīq wa Rasāʾil al-Tawfīq vary in length and content but are similar in style. There are three lengthy letters that were written more as epistles, or treatises, and were given specific titles. The first of these, "Thubūt al-Qadamayn fī Suʾāl al-Malakayn" (letter 1), is on faith and belief; the second, "Lamḥat al-Alṭāf wa Ḥaḍrat al-Itḥāf" (letter 3), is on personal struggle and the symbolism of war; and third, "Taḥrīk Silsilat al-Widād fī Masʾilat Khalq Afʿāl al-ʿIbād" (letter 4), is on free will and God's role in natural causes and human actions. Letters 6 and 10 refer to the practice of solitude, shedding light on an important, yet often misrepresented, phase of ʿAbd al-Ghanī's life and spiritual experience, while letter 25 refers to smoking. Finally, overview of the common themes of the Wasāʾil: piety, spirituality, and religious ethics is presented.

Keywords: ʿAbd al-Ghanī; solitude; spiritual experience; Wasāʾil al-Taḥqīq wa Rasāʾil al-Tawfīq

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