organizing knowledge - Islamic, Peripatetic and mystic - into a single method: affirmingits three constituent parts and placing mystic revelation in the form of Light, or
, asthe highest and most reliable means of attaining knowledge. He held his mastery of revelatory, as opposed to discursive, means to be a high achievement in his philosophicalmilieu:
I have heard the master (Al-Suhrawardi) was asked, "Which of you is more excellent [in philosophy], you or Avicenna?" He replied, "We may be on par, or I may be a little better than he is, in thediscursive, but I certainly exceed him in the revelatory and intuitive!
The fact that Al-Suhrawardi left little in the way of bibliographical informationwhen writing the works that were to become central to
and that divinerevelation is a system of knowledge that is decidedly unciteable has doubtlessly deterred previous efforts at reconstructing the works at al-Suhrawardi's disposal. Special recentfocus on attempts to recreate the libraries of Neoplatonists
from various traditions has breathed life into efforts at succeeding at such a goal.In efforts to continue this trend of modern scholarship into the systems of influence that exerted themselves in al-Suhrawardi's time, this paper aims to give ageneral reconstruction of prevailing attitudes and works available to al-Suhrawardi duringhis scholastic career through a biographical analysis. Through the examination of thosesystems of influence which al-Suhrawardi himself professed - Islamic, Peripatetic, andMystic in - their textual and societal forms we may be able to ascertain which
Nazhat al-arwah wa-rawdat al afrah
by Shamsuddin Muhammed ibn Mahmud al-Shahruzuri(fl. 680/1282); extract ed. Spies, Otto,
Three Treatises on Mysticism by Shihabuddin Suhrawerdi Maqtul
(Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1935), pp. 90-121, henceforth cited as
. English trans. Thackston,W.M. in
The Visionary Treatises: Al-Suhrawardi
. (Octagon) London, 1984, p. 4. Henceforth cited as
Cristina d'Ancona Costa has been at the forefront of this scholarly endeavor, particularly: D'AnconaCosta, Cristina.
The libraries of the Neoplatonists: Proceedings of the Meeting of the European Science Foundation Network "Late antiquity and Arabic thought : Patterns in the Constitution of EuropeanCulture", Strasbourg, March 12-14, 2004
. (Brill) Boston, Leiden, 2007.