Photo: Staged hunting scene with the son of Mass'oud Mirza Zell-e Soltan. Massud Mirza was a Persian prince of the Qajar Dynasty; he was known as the "Yamin-al-Dowleh" ("Right Hand of the Government"). He was posted as the governor of Isfahan for over 35 years, and the governor of the cities of Mazandaran, Fars, and Isfahan for a total of 40 years.
I have no power save to knock at Thy door
And if I be turned away, at what door shall I knock?
In full abandon I put my trust in Thee,
Stretching out my hand to Thee, a pleading beggar.
'In Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought'
By William C. Chittick (Author), Mohammed Rustom (Editor), Atif Khalil (Editor), Kazuyo Murata (Editor)
Renowned scholar William C. Chittick explores the worldview of Islam in a series of essays written over thirty-six years.
In Search of the Lost Heart brings together twenty-six essays by William C. Chittick, renowned scholar of Sufism and Islamic philosophy. Written between 1975 and 2011, most of these essays are not readily available in Chittick’s own books. Although this is a collection, its editors have crafted it to be a book “sufficient unto itself, which, when taken as a whole, can be said to explore the underlying worldview of Islam.”
Chittick draws upon the writings of towering figures such as Ibn al-‘Arabi, Rumi, and Mulla Sadra, as well as other important, but lesser-known thinkers, as he engages with a wide variety of topics, such as the nature of being and knowledge, the relationship between love and scriptural hermeneutics, the practical and theoretical dimensions of Islamic mysticism, the phenomenon of religious diversity, and the ecological crisis.
"The style adopted by the author is lucid and simple yet scholarly, and occasionally, purely philosophical. There is considerable diversity in the contents to appeal to readers both with intellectual curiosity and spiritual inclination ... This is a significant contribution to scholarship and research for those interested in Islamic philosophy and Sufism and Muslim intellectual history in general."
(Muslim World Book Review)
"For its author's breadth and depth of erudition, his humanity and his heart-awareness, In Search of the Lost Heart is a book to acquire and to read with seriousness and intent."
(Mawlana Rumi Review)
"...the chapters offer insight into particular aspects of Islamic thought; in selecting them from Chittick's enormous oeuvre, editors Mohammed Rustom, Atif Khalil, and Kazuyo Murata have shaped them into a work that exceeds their individual contributions as previously published texts. Moreover, the articles chosen for this edited volume are from writings that are not easily accessible in either print or digital form, and so it includes chapters that will be new to even those familiar with Chittick's corpus."
"What makes Chittick's work, and this collection of essays, stand out, is the author's unequalled scholarship and knowledge of the primary sources in their original languages (of which he is a master translator), combined with an acute awareness of the possible pitfalls of studying traditional materials from a modern scholarly point of view."
(Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations)
"Each essay has been thoughtfully placed to introduce and complement what follows. The editors have achieved their intention with great success ... The many studies offered here will be of exceptional benefit to students attempting to locate the unity that encompasses the many currents of Islamic discourse ... Without hesitation, we can suggest that this edited volume of Chittick's most important articles is essential reading for all those interested in exploring the heart of Islamic thought."
(Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society)
"Written in the style of scholarship for which William C. Chittick is well known, this text relates seemingly disparate concepts and presents complex metaphysical ideas in simple, accessible language. The diversity amongst the sources translated in this text, and the manner in which Chittick puts them into conversation with major philosophical debates will prove interesting to readers with a variety of intellectual interests. Needless to say, In Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought is a significant contribution to the scholarship on Islamic thought."
..".Chittick's authorial voice has proved an uncommonly effective vessel and teaching tool. Chittick is almost uniquely capable of immersing readers in a complex topic within the space of just a few short paragraphs or pages; the expressiveness and conviction of his prose style have no peer that I know of in the English language. It is therefore an especial delight to have collected a large selection of Chittick's shorter essays, many of which will entice a general reading audience and equally many of which will prove useful in a classroom setting to Islamic studies teachers of various stripes ... [a] lovely and profound set of essays."
(Taneli Kukkonen, Journal of Shiʻa Islamic Studies)