The Precious Pearl

By 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jami
Translated by Nicholas Heer

Subjects: Islam
Paperback : 9780791414903, 237 pages, August 1992
Hardcover : 9780873953795, 237 pages, June 1979

Table of contents



1. The Author of al-Durrah al-Fakhirah
2. Al-Jami's Works
3. Al-Durrah al-Fakhirah
4. 'Abd al-Ghafur al-Lari, the Author of the Commentary on al-Durrah al-Fakhirah
5. Other Commentaries on al-Durrah al-Fakhirah
6. The Arabic Texts
7. The Establishment of the Texts
8. Notes on the Signs and Symbols Used

Notes to the Introduction

The Translation of al-Jami's al-Durrah al-Fakhirah

Preface [on the Existence of the Necessary Existent]
Ramification [on the Sufi Doctrine of the Unity of Existence]
On His Unity
On His Attributes in General
On His Knowledge
Further Substantiation [of the Sufi Position]
That His Knowledge of His Essence is the Source of His Knowledge of All Other Things
On His Will
On His Power
On the Question of Whether an Eternal Effect Can Depend on a Free Agent or Not
On His Speech
That His Contingent Being has No Power
On the Emanation of Multiplicity from Unity

Notes to the Translation of al-Durrah al-Fakhirah

The Translation of al-Jami's Glosses on al-Durrah al-Fakhirah

Notes to the Translation of al-Jami's Glosses

The Translation of al-Lari's Commentary on al-Durrah al-Fakhirah

Notes to the Translation of al-Lari's Commentary

List of Works and Articles Cited

Glossary of Terms


In this book al-Jami examines questions that Islamic theologians, philosophers, and Sufis had long debated. On each question al-Jami first presents the views of the philosphers and theologians. He then presents the Sufi view as a clearly superior position, either because it reconciles the opposing views of the theologians and philosophers, or because it avoids problems that their doctrines entail.

Nur al-Din al-Rahn al-Jami was born in Kharjird, a town in the district of Jam in present-day Iran, in 1414 A.D. He died in Herab, in what is now Afghanistan, in 1492. Primarily a mystical poet, he also wrote many prose works in both Arabic and Persian. Nicholas L. Heer is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at the University of Washington, Seattle.