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  • Muḥibb Allāh Ilāhābādī and an Islamic Framework for Religious Diversity

    Shankar Nair

    Chapter from the book: Nair, S. 2020. Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia.


    This chapter takes up the Indian Muslim Sufi thinker, Muḥibb Allāh Ilāhābādī (d. 1648). Muḥibb Allāh was one of the foremost authorities of his day in the tradition of philosophical Sufism known as waḥdat al-wujūd (“unity of being”), a “school” of Sufi thought attributed to the Andalusian Sufi thinker, Ibn al-‘Arabī. Muḥibb Allāh achieved renown to the extent that Mughal elite repeatedly sought his audience and attendance at the imperial court. Accordingly, his formulations of Sufi metaphysics became the primary Islamic vocabulary to which the translation team would resort in order to render the Sanskrit Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha into Persian. This chapter thus surveys Muḥibb Allāh’s major writings, focusing in particular upon his metaphysics as well as his extended reflections on the phenomenon of religious diversity, this being the principal framework through which the translation team would interpret and categorize the “Indian religion” represented by the Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha.

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    Nair, S. 2020. Muḥibb Allāh Ilāhābādī and an Islamic Framework for Religious Diversity. In: Nair, S, Translating Wisdom. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.87.d

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    Published on April 28, 2020