Advice for Callow Jurists and Gullible Mendicants on Befriending Emirs 'Abd al-Wahhab ibn Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Sha'rani, Andrew March, Adam Sabra

World Thought in Translation
Publication date:
07 Mar 2017
Yale University Press
256 pages: 210 x 140 x 22mm
Sales territories:

This mirror for princes sheds light on the relationship between spiritual and political authority in early modern Egypt

This guide to political behavior and expediency offers advice to Sufi shaykhs, or spiritual guides, on how to interact and negotiate with powerful secular officials, judges, and treasurers, or emirs. Translated into English for the first time, it is a unique account of the relationship between spiritual and political authority in late medieval / early modern Islamic society.

Adam Sabra is professor of history and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He lives in Goleta, CA.

"A welcome and important contribution to the field. Because the work is explicitly devoted to guiding the relations between Sufi master and political ruler, a subject for which there are very few exemplars, and because of al-Sha‘rani’s location in time and place, this book constitutes an indispensable resource for understanding how late medieval Sufis themselves theorized this relationship. Sabra has done an excellent job of faithfully rendering the Arabic into clear, lively English prose.” --Nathan Hofer, University of Missouri

"This book illuminates central problems, debates, and strategies regarding the relationship of religion to the state. The themes of religious authority in relation to political power and the proper practice of spiritual and ethical counsel will be of interest to students of cultural history. The Arabic text has recently been edited, and we are fortunate to now have this excellent English translation.” --Richard McGregor, Vanderbilt University