Mishakat al-Anwar (Niche of Lights)
Background material, such as copies of
the work, copies of manuscripts (provided below), translations (there
are two now in English ) are provided below.
- Some issues that are worthy of
discussion on the question of the book's authenticity and its
attribution to Imam Ghazali.
- What was said by classical
scholars on the book. Ibn Taymiyah (d. 1328) has criticized the
book in his book al-Istiqamah (zipped
word file) and
- Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) (author of
Futhat al-makkiyah)(Meccan Revelations) considered it his
- Ibn Rushd (d. 1198) also
considered it his work.
- Dr. Pavlin has presented a
paper on Ibn Taymiyah's criticism of the Mishkat at 2003 AAR
meeting (word file).
- There are other scholars who
have contented that it is NOT written by al-Ghazali, chief among
them is Taj al-Din al-Subki (d. 1371) author of the tabaqat
al-Shifi'ia al-kubra [Grand biography of (eminent) Shafi'ite
- Did al-Ghazali believe in a dual
knowledge namely one of esoteric for the specialist and exoteric for
the General population?
- Did al-Ghazali hold to certain
believes that may be unorthodox and therefore was reluctant to teach
except to select few.
- Did al-Ghazali follow Ibn Sina's
Sufi and eclectic teachings?
Other issues include the detailed
analysis of the book's content and how it fits into the overall scheme
of the Ghazalian corpus.
- A manuscript from AUB: ms297.G41mA (link)
e-mail me and I'll send you a complete copy of it.
- Mishkat al-Anwar edition of Cairo 1322 edited/published by Farj
Allah Zaki al-Kurdi and Ahmad 'Azzat (PDF)
Mishkat al-anwar Edited by Abu al-'ala
'Afifi, Cairo: Dar al-Qawmiya lil-Tab'a wa al-Nashr, 1964. (PDF )
Thanks to Nur we now have it. see below perhaps an improvement on 'afifi's
al-Anwar edited by abdelaziz al-Sirawan, Beirut: alam al-kutub,
1986. Used many mss and print editions to prepare this one. (pdf)
al-Anwar fi tawhid al-Jabar, edited by Samih Dughim, Beirut: Dar al-fikr
al-lubnani,1994. 104p. paper. (pdf) Dughim used the afifi text and
Qusuar al-awali text with an additional manuscript (Escorial) that
Afifi did not use.
A version in Arabic word
file format. Not sure of the source as there are a few places that
have it online, waraq, tafsir.org (Jordan's ahl al-bayt) mishkat (wa
alahi thats the name of the website) all have copies. (word,
Translations & Studies:
- ENGLISH: Mishkat al-Anwar
(The Niche of Lights) Translated by W. H. T. Gairdner. 1924
reprinted many times (link)
Standard copy that is widely available on the net!
- ENGLISH: Buchman, David The
Niche of Lights (1998) BYU Press, Utah (A parallel English-Arabic
text translated, introduced and annotated). (PDF) Just kidding...
- FRENCH: Le tabernacle des lumières (Michkat al-anwar)
Translated by Roger Deladrière. Paris: Editions du seuil, 1981.
- GERMAN: Die Nische der Lichter: Miskat al-anwar.
Translated and edited by 'Abd-Elsamad 'Abd-Elhamid Elschazli.
Philosophische Bibliothek Band 390. Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag,
- Landolt, Hermann. "Ghazali and 'Religionswissenschaft': Some
Notes on the Mishkat al-Anwar for Professor Charles J. Adams"
Asiatische Studien (Etudes asiatiques) 45, no. 1(1991): 1-72. (PDF)
- Garidner, W. H. T. "Al-Ghazali's Mishkat al-Anwar and the
Ghazali Problem." Der Islam 5 (1914): 121-53. (PDF)
- Wensinck, A. J. "Ghazali's Mishkat al-Anwar (Niche of Lights)"
In Semietische Studien: Uitde Nalatenschap. Leiden: A. W.
Sijthoff's Uitgeversmaatschappij N. V., 1941. (PDF)
- Wensinck, A. J. "on the Relation between Ghazali's Cosmology and
His Mystiscism." Mededeelingen der koninklijke Akademie van
Wetenschappen, Afdeeling Letterkunde 75 (series A), no. 6 (1993):
- Watt, W. Montgomery. "A Forgery in al-Ghazali's Mishkat?,
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1949, pp. 5-22 (PDF).
Thanks to kg
- Treiger, Alexander. "Monism and Monotheism in al-Ghazali's
Mishkat al-anwar.", Journal of Quranic Studies, 2007, (9.1), pp.