BEDLĪSĪ, ŻĪĀʾ-AL-DĪN ʿAMMĀR B. YĀSER B. MOḤAMMAD B. ʿAMMĀR (B. YĀSER) B. MAṬAR B. SAḤĀB ŠAYBĀNĪ, Sufi shaikh, d. between 590/1194 and 604/1207-08 (see Meier, introd., p. 20). A native of Bedlīs, he was a pupil of Abu’l-Najīb Sohravardī (d. 563/1168); both were Sunnites (Badeen, pp. 1-3). His own most distinguished student was Najm-al-Dīn Kobrā (d. 618/1221, q.v.). Bedlīsī left two Arabic works, Bahjat al-ṭāʾefa biʾllāh al-ʿārefa (ms. Berlin Ahlwart no. 2842) and Ṣawm al-qalb (ms. Berlin no. 3133; Brockelmann, GAL2I, p. 567). In the former he treats various mystical topics individually, while in the latter he portrays the entire vita purgativa under the image of the fast of the heart given by the title.
Bedlīsī does not distinguish himself by any new concepts. Rather he seeks to present traditional Sufi thought anew in an almost dithyrambic form with rhyme and wordplay, to move the reader to profound contemplation with references drawn from the available Sufi thought and language. There emerges no focal point for his various lines of thought nor any comprehensive, underlying system. His influence was probably confined to his pupils and theirs as dissemination of his writings and thought would certainly have been hindered by their large share of rhetorical argumentation, which was bound to the original context and could not be converted into straightforward communication.
E. Badeen, Auszüge aus ʿAmmār al-Bidlīsīs Bahğat aṭ-ṭāʾifa und Ṣawm al-qalb, doctoral dissertation, Basel, 1978.
F. Meier, Die Fawāʾiḥ al-ğamāl wa fawātiḥ al-ğalāl des Nağm ad-dīn al-Kubrā, Wiesbaden, 1957, pp. 18-20.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 1, pp. 77-78