The Wine of Love and Life: Ibn al-Farid's al-Khamriyah and al-Qaysari's Quest for Meaning

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Illustrated with 3 plates.

Ibn al-Farid (d. 632/1235) has long been venerated as a Sufi saint and poet whose verse stands as a high point in Arabic poetry. Several of his poems became religious and literary classics, among them the al-Khamriyah or Wine Ode. Perhaps the first and certainly the most influential commentary on this poem was the Sharh Khamriyat Ibn al-Farid by Dawud al-Qaysari (d. ca. 748/1347). Al-Qaysari was a direct spiritual descendent of the great Sufi master Ibn al-`Arabi (d. 637/1240), whose disciples read and reflected on Ibn al-Farids verse as part of their mystical studies. Al-Qaysari prefaces his commentary with a thoughtful essay on love, its various types, and their effects within creation. He then turns to a verse by verse commentary of the Wine-Ode in order to reveal the subtle, mystical meanings of Ibn al-Farids celebrated poem. The Wine of Love & Life by Th. Emil Homerin makes available for the first time the full Arabic edition and English translation of al-Qaysaris master-work of Sufi theology.

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University of Chicago, Middle East Documentation Center
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