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Document Details :
Title: Being Found While Seeking
Subtitle: In Search of a Basic Structure of Root Metaphors in Muslim Spirituality
Author(s): VALKENBERG, Pim
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 16 Date: 2006
The author of this article sketches a new approach to root metaphors in spirituality by considering systematic approaches to Muslim sources. In Abrahamic religions the notion of ‘the way’ is often used in descriptions of spiritual processes, but this notion has to be complemented by the metaphor of ‘participation’ because the spiritual wayfarer, while seeking God, finds that he or she is already found by God. In Sufi spirituality, this basic tension is expressed in the notions of ‘stations’ (manazil) and ‘states’ (ahwal). After a general introduction, the comparative research first engages in deconstructing the way in which Christian authors have interpreted the tension between ‘stations’ and ‘states’ by referring to Christian concepts of nature and grace, and finally engages in reconstructing the basic structure of root metaphors in Muslim spirituality with reference to the structure of al-Ghazali’s systematic approach to spirituality in his Ihya’ ‘ulum al-din.