The Throne Carrier of God: The Life and Thought of ‘Ala’ ad-dawla as-Simnani

Jamal J. Elias


State University of New York Press

This book constitutes a comprehensive investigation of the life and teachings of one of the most famous Sufis of the Iranian world. Simnani spent his early life as a courtier at the Ilkhanid Mongol court and was a cherished companion of the emperor Arghun. After a mystical experience on the battlefield, he turned his back on a life of luxury and became a Sufi. He advanced rapidly in his spiritual quest and soon became one of the most influential Sufi masters in Iran.

Working primarily from the most reliable Arabic and Persian manuscripts of Simnani's writings, the author has analyzed Simnani's thinking to show the overall coherence of his world-view and to demonstrate the importance of his ideas to the development of Islamic mysticism. Along with this analysis, the author provides a detailed account of Simnani's life and times, as well as a systematic description of Simnani's instructions for Sufi practioners of all levels.

"It is an investigation of the life and teachings of one of the most famous and influential Sufis of Iran. The most interesting parts for me are the outlines of Simnani's cosmology and psychology, topics that have been only touched upon by earlier writers. The biographical sections are of great interest given the rare detail that is available in the sources." -- William C. Chittick, State University of New York at Stony Brook