On Self-Knowledge, Divine Trial, and Discipleship

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines a key theme of Islamic thought and spirituality, namely, self-knowledge, which entails an awareness of how to discipline and transform the soul, thereby actualizing the higher human faculties of the heart and intellect. Because the soul is recalcitrant by nature, spiritual teachers have devised various stratagems to discipline and rectify it. There are two aspects to this training—one human and the other divine. On the human side, one exerts discipline in perfecting his intellectual powers through training by an expert recognized as a spiritual guide, mentor, and physician. On the divine side, God is the teacher who trains His servant through both bounties and trials. A divine trial, it will be argued, may extend beyond the individual plane (as in the case of a pandemic), often giving rise to a global awakening.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrom the Divine to the Human
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Islamic Thinkers on Evil, Suffering, and the Global Pandemic
EditorsMuhammad U Faruque, Mohammed Rustom
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003371670
ISBN (Print)9781032443409
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Islamic Philosophy


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