The Hereafter in the Context of 'Ala' al-Dawla al-Simnani's Understanding of Mystical Training

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Orhan K.

CUMHURIYET ILAHIYAT DERGISI-CUMHURIYET THEOLOGY JOURNAL, vol.23, no.1, pp.375-393, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier


The hereafter, one of the main pillars of Islam, has been discussed by both theologians and Sufis from various angles and interpreted in many different ways. Although there is consensus on the main subjects, there are a lot of controversies in details. One of the Sufis who authored on diverse problems over the hereafter is 'Ala' al-Dawla al-Simnani (d. 736/1336). He was a Kubrawi shaykh during the ilkhanid era. He inclined towards the Safi path after serving the Buddhist ruler Arghun (r. 1284-1291) for ten years, thanks to a spiritual experience he had. He met with Nur al-din `Abd al-Rahman al-Isfaraymi (d. 717/1317), a Kubrawi shaykh based in Baghdad, and became a disciple of him, granted Oza (a certificate of authority) from him. Upon his shaykh's order, he turned back to his hometown and spent his life until his death, in his Safi lodge raising disciples and writing works. He had contributed greatly both to his own order and to the literature of Sufism with his disciples and written works. As regards to the hereafter, his opinions on the reality of this world and its position against the next, death, the doomsday and its kinds, the existence of the paradise and the hell today and their present location are remarkable. In this article, his views over those problems are discussed in the context of his understanding of mystical training.