The Symbolism of the Letters of the Alphabet

Martin Lings

Chapter VII from A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century introduces, translates and comments a brief treatise by Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi, Al-Unmudhaj al-Farid (The Book of the Unique Archetype), “which signalleth the way unto the full realization of Oneness in considering what is meant by the envelopment of the Heavenly Scriptures in the Point of the Basmalah.”

It must be remembered that the purpose of a mystical treatise is always eminently “practical”… The Shaykh is here inviting his disciples to transpose this operation to the book of Nature in such a way as to see there the “letters” rather than the “words”.

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Originally published by the Islamic Texts Society, and reproduced here by kind permission.

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