Studies in Comparative Religion
The First English Journal on Traditional Studies - established 1963
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Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din
Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din was the traditional name of Dr. Martin Lings.

Martin Lings was an author, editor, translator, and specialist in Islamic art and esoterism. From 1970-74 he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books at the British Museum (in 1973 his Department became part of the British Library) where he had been in special charge of the Qur’an manuscripts, amongst other treasures, since 1955. His authoritative biography of the Prophet Muhammad, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, has become a classic and is widely read in both East and West as an unbiased, clear, and profound source on the prophet of Islam.


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According to Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din, the ideas of “progress” and “development” are misleading, for their meaning in the world is false, while their meaning within a spiritual context, such as the development of the soul, is more accurate. The author compares the idea of progress within different historical and cultural backdrops, such as the renaissance in Europe with Muslim civilization. Another topic discussed is how the clothing, movements, and architecture of a traditional civilization contribute to the welfare of man. He concludes with the statement that “All that I have mentioned is outward: but the outward acts upon the inward and a man’s clothes and his home are the nearest of all things to his soul…”
The Spiritual Function of CivilisationSiraj ad-Din, Abu Bakr Vol. 2, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1968) Islam
Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din rebuts the error in the article "Forgiveness in Religious Thought" by Professor Donald H. Bishop that Christianity alone is a religion of forgiveness and compassion whereas Islam is a religion of retribution. He shows through many examples from the life of the Prophet Muhammad that the Prophet was unsurpassed in his "multiple and unlimited forgiveness of enemies" and that the Qur’an abounds in such verses as, “Let them forgive and show indulgence. Do ye not long that God should forgive you? God is Forgiving, Merciful." Above all the writer shows that all religions conceive of God “as He is” having both Rigor and Mercy –but that as the Qur’an says "My Mercy taketh precedence over My Anger."
Correspsondence on Forgiveness in Religious ThoughtSiraj ad-Din, Abu Bakr Vol. 2, No. 2. ( Spring, 1968) Islam
The pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam, and thus is an important sign of an individual’s faith. In this article by Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din we find a firsthand account of this significant journey through the author’s eyes as he made it. Resembling a travel journal this article describes the journey to Mecca, what the people were like during the journey and at the Kaaba, as well as a description of the Kaaba itself. Siraj ad-Din provides the reader with some background history of Mecca as well as some explanation of why the pilgrimage is so important. By tracing his journey from beginning to end, and providing information on such things as the position of the sun, and how this relates to the daily prayers and activities around the Kaaba the author presents a comprehensive account of this significant pilgrimage.
Pilgrimage to MeccaSiraj ad-Din, Abu Bakr Vol. 1, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1967) Islam
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