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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which is an analysis of the teachings of the twelfth-century Iranian mystic Abū al-Maʿālī ʿAbdallāh ibn Abī Bakr Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī al-Miyānjī, known as ʿAyn al-Quḍāt al-Hamadhānī. The knowledge of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt's learning and influence is limited to what one can deduce from his treatises and personal letters. ʿAyn al-Quḍāt explains his mystical insights in terms of lights whose function, as he declares in the beginning of the Tamhīdāt, is to assert the existence of a hidden truth. He explains that the wayfarer understands the "reality" past "appearance" as he ventures through the gate of mysteries and goes beyond what lies therein: "If you set out, you arrive, and you see." The chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: ʿAyn al-Quḍāt al-Hamadhānī; Tamhīdāt; twelfth-century Iranian mystic



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