Are false mystics and impious sophists a modern phenomenon? Not according to Mulla Sadra Shirazi, the famous seventeenth-century mystical philosopher who rebukes the pretentious by instructing the faithful on what it truly means to be pious. A brilliant synthesis of the Islamic philosophical, mystical, and theological traditions, this work deals with the most crucial issues of metaphysics, encompassing ontology, cosmology, epistemology, psychology, spiritual wayfaring, the attributes of the pious, and homiletic advice. Deeply grounded in Mulla Sadra’s metaphysical commentary on the Holy Qur’an, it stresses sincere virtues and spiritual exercises.
One of the greatest philosophers in Islamic history, Mulla Sadra (1571-1640) founded the transcendental school of philosophy (al-hikmat al-muta‘aliyah). Born in Shiraz, Iran, he taught philosophy for many years under the auspices of the Safavid government before retiring to the village of Kahak for a fifteen-year retreat. During this time, he formulated his signature approach to philosophy, theology, hadith, and Qur’anic exegesis – an approach which remains influential to the present day.