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Main: Research Topics : On Mishkat al-anwar

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.


  1. 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 work.
    • 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 (Scholars)] (zipped word file).
  2. Did al-Ghazali believe in a dual knowledge namely one of esoteric for the specialist and exoteric for the General population?
  3. Did al-Ghazali hold to certain believes that may be unorthodox and therefore was reluctant to teach except to select few.
  4. 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.

Preliminary Bibliography:

Arabic Editions:

  1. A manuscript from AUB: ms297.G41mA (link) e-mail me and I'll send you a complete copy of it.
  2. Mishkat al-Anwar edition of Cairo 1322 edited/published by Farj Allah Zaki al-Kurdi and Ahmad 'Azzat (PDF)
  3. 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 editon.

  4. Mishkat al-Anwar edited by abdelaziz al-Sirawan, Beirut: alam al-kutub, 1986. Used many mss and print editions to prepare this one. (pdf) paper

  5. Mishkat 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.

  6. A version in Arabic word file format. Not sure of the source as there are a few places that have it online, waraq, (Jordan's ahl al-bayt) mishkat (wa alahi thats the name of the website) all have copies. (word, - rtf)

Translations & Studies:

  1. 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!
  2. ENGLISH: Buchman, David The Niche of Lights (1998) BYU Press, Utah (A parallel English-Arabic text translated, introduced and annotated).
  3. FRENCH: Le tabernacle des lumières (Michkat al-anwar) Translated by Roger Deladrière. Paris: Editions du seuil, 1981.
  4. 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, 1987.
  5. Italian: Le luci della sapienza, Massimo Campanini (Mondadori, Milano 2012). (ISBN: 9788804574255).


  1. 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)
  2. Garidner, W. H. T. "Al-Ghazali's Mishkat al-Anwar and the Ghazali Problem." Der Islam 5 (1914): 121-53. (PDF)
  3. 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)
  4. 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): 183-209. (PDF)
  5. Watt, W. Montgomery. "A Forgery in al-Ghazali's Mishkat?, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1949, pp. 5-22 (PDF). Thanks to kg
  6. Treiger, Alexander. "Monism and Monotheism in al-Ghazali's Mishkat al-anwar.", Journal of Quranic Studies, 2007, (9.1), pp. 1-27. (PDF)




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