This is the first ever translation into English of a treatise written by one of the most celebrated figures in the history of Sufism, the Egyptian Sufi master Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari. In Pure Intention: on Knowledge of the Unique Name (al-Qasd al-Mujarrad fi Ma‘rifat al-Ism al-Mufrad) the author presents us with a supreme essay on the doctrine of Divine Oneness or tawhid and the Unique Name Allah which is the Name of the Divine Essence.
The treatise itself is divided into two parts. In Part One, Ibn Ata Allah discusses the Name Allah from three perspectives: that of language, that of wisdom and that of gnosis; here, he also explains the differences between the Divine Names, Qualities and the Name Allah. With Part Two, the author turns to the role of invocation, both in general and of the Name Allah specifically. Ibn Ata Allah gives detailed arguments for how emulating the Qualities of God as expressed in His Names and invoking His Supreme Name with awareness of its meaning, can cleanse the heart and fill it with tawhid until it becomes a worthy abode for God. As the sacred tradition says: ‘Neither My Throne nor My Footstool can contain Me, but the heart of My servant can.’
Ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari (d. 709/1309) was a renowned Sufi master in the Shadhili order and one of the great authorities on Sufism in the thirteenth century.
The translator Khalid Williams was born in the UK in 1983. He graduated from Leeds University in 2006 with a BA in Arabic Studies, and moved to Morocco to teach and further his studies in the traditional Islamic disciplines. He began working in translation in 2009, with an emphasis on Islamic Studies and Sufism. He is also the author of The Qur’an and the Prophet in the Writings of Shaykh Ahmad Al-Alawi (Islamic Texts Society, 2014).