Suhrawardi Translation Project


Suhrawardi wrote partly in his mothertongue Persian, partly in Arabic which was the scientist's language at his time. A little more than half of his surviving work is published, but not 'occult' works like the 'Waridat wa taqdisat', the 'Prayers and Invocations', which are passed down in the manuscript Ayasofya 2144. As John Walbridge shows in his article "The Devotional and Occult Works of Suhrawardi the Illuminationist", there seems to be no reason to doubt the authenticity of these prayers. They are written in an illuminationist language which is compatible with others of Suhrawardi's works. Walbridge: "In fact, he is doing theurgy, something with very deep and continuing roots in the Platonic tradition. His prayers are very similar to those of Proclus addressed to the celestial bodies."

When I was studying the work of Suhrawardi in 2007, I regretted that these prayers were not available for me. But exactly at this moment it happened that I got an issue of the magazine Elixir (Nr. 4/07), which was edited by Pir Zia Inayat Khan, head of The Inayati Order. There I found parts of Ayasofya 2144, nine prayers, translated into English. I contacted Jamal Atalla, the author of this translation, and Pir Zia, and got photographies of the Arabic manuscript. Then I encouraged Sonia Al-Dulayme, a native Iraqi who teaches Arabic at the University of Vienna, to translate this text from Arabic into German. This was not easy, because some passages of the manuscript were difficult to read and the meaning ambigious.

For the English version of my website I got the permission to use Jamal Atalla's English translation, as it was published in Elixir 4/07. But the Arabic transscription of the manuscript is Sonia's. So there might be some differences to Jamal's reading of the Arabic manuscript.