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CALA V: The Pure Pearl – ad-Durra an-naqiya and other texts by Muhammad Ibn Umail

Bilingual English and Arabic Edition

Theodor Abt Wilferd Madelung

272 pages
Daimon Verlag

Four texts by Muhammad Ibn Umail at-Tamimi are presented here: The Pure Pearl (ad-Durra an-naqiya), The Pure Conduct of Life (as-Sira an-naqiya), A Poem Rhyming on the Letter M (Mim; al-Qasida al-Mimiya) and The Seven Planting-lots (al-Mabaqil as-saba'a) are all an editio princeps. These texts are published together with an English translation.

The Pure Pearl and The Pure Conduct of Life are based on the same original text, representing however two different traditions or stemmas. For this reason, they are published separately. The next text, A Poem Rhyming on the Letter Mim is an explanation of these aforementioned two texts. By direct references to them, it further explains the theme of The Pure Pearl and The Pure Conduct of Life: the creation of a single pearl out of an egg. From the point of view of depth psychology this means the creation of the unified personality. Thus, these three texts belong together. The Seven Planting-Lots, the fourth treatise by the same author, focuses on the relationship of the seven planets to their corresponding metals on earth, all with regard to the alchemical work.

Repeatedly we read that the first three texts were written at the end of Ibn Umail's life. As A Poem Rhyming on the Letter Mim came after having written The Pure Pearl – respectively The Pure Conduct of Life – this al-Qasida al-Mimiya is therefore most probably the last text of our author, written before he passed away. Thus, we may consider these three texts to be the last words of this outstanding master of the Art. They seem to be Ibn Umail's summa.

Author Bio
Prof. Abt was born on January 16, 1947 and comes from Buenzen AG and Zurich. He earned his degree in agricultural engineering at the ETH Zurich in 1972. Following this, he was responsible for the project on the overall regional development concept for the canton of Uri. (1973-1976) and afterwards for Zurich's mountainous regions (1976-1979). During his ETH Zurich-studies in natural science and economics, he also studied at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, obtaining a diploma in analytical psychology in 1975. Abt's thesis entitled "Development planning without soul?" is an attempt to illustrate that the exterior and interior world are both aspects of one reality and to show that their relationship is interdependent. Some of the material for this work was provided by an analysis of the project leader's own dreams about this project. Prof. Abt has led this special area of rural sociology at the Institute of Rural Economics since 1979. In 1983 he published his habilitation thesis entitled "Development without loss of soul". Since 1987 his research and teaching have centered on the relationship between people and their environment and he gives regular lectures on the topic of archetypal dreams pertaining to environmental problems. From 1983-1989 Abt was a member of the curatorium of the C. G. Jung Institute and from 1982-1995 its teaching and control analyst. In 1994 he became co-founder of the Research and Teaching Centre for Depth Psychology according to C. G. Jung and M. L. von Franz and member of its first board of directors. He has been working on the Corpus Alchymicum Arabicum research project since 1987.

Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung (born 26 December 1930) is a German-American author and scholar of Islamic history.

Madelung was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where he completed his early education at Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium.

His family moved to the United States in 1947. He studied at Georgetown University.

In 1952, he went to Egypt and stayed there for a year. During his stay, the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, initiated by the Free Officers, occurred. He also met Ihsan Abbas, the famous scholar of Islamic history.

On leaving Egypt he went back to Germany and completed his Ph.D in 1957, working with Berthold Spuler.

In 1958 he was sent to Iraq by the German government to work at its embassy there. Shortly after his arrival in Baghdad, Brigadier Abd al-Karim Qasim overthrew the regime in the bloody military coup known as the 14 July Revolution. Madelung stayed in Iraq two more years.

Subsequently, he taught at the University of Chicago. Madelung was Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford from 1978 to 1998.

He has written extensively on the early history of Islam, as well as on Islamic sects such as the Shi'a and the Ismailis. He has also written a lot of academic journals and lectures about Ibadism. He has served on the editorial boards of several academic journals including the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. He is currently a senior research fellow at the Institute for Ismaili Studies in London.