Presentation on theme: "English thinker Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din (Martin Lings). Martin Lings was one of the most eloquent and serene Western voices in the Islamic world. Through."— Presentation transcript:
English thinker Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din (Martin Lings). Martin Lings was one of the most eloquent and serene Western voices in the Islamic world. Through his rich and varied oeuvre, translated into more than a dozen languages, Lings transmitted a certain vision of the sacred as embodied in Sufism, the esoteric, spiritual dimension of Islam.
Lings was born in 1909 in Lancashire. After Clifton College in Bristol, he went to Magdalen College, Oxford, and read English under C.S. Lewis, who recognized his gifted student’s spiritual ardor. Young Martin was intensely pious and spent the hours he was not working in prayer, specifically to the Virgin Mary, requesting her guidance in finding his spiritual path. After Oxford he traveled in Europe, lecturing at various universities including Kaunas in Lithuania.
He traveled to Egypt in 1940, originally to visit a friend who was lecturing at Cairo University. During the visit, his friend died in a riding accident and Lings was offered the post. It was at about this time that he converted to Islam, and was soon imbued with the Sufi dimension of the religion. He found the critique of modern civilization by the French Muslim writer, René Guénon, particularly convincing and shared his “universalism”, within the context of Islam. Back in London in 1952, and without a job, Lings decided to study, while Lesley, a physiotherapist, went back to work. After taking a BA in Arabic studies, he received his doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) for a thesis on the great Algerian Sufi, Ahmad al-Alawi. This was the basis for one of his most influential books, A Sufi Saint Of The Twentieth Century, recognized as a unique view of Islamic spirituality seen from within.
In 1955, he joined the staff of the British Museum as assistant keeper of oriental printed books and manuscripts; he was keeper from 1970 to 1973, when he was seconded to the British Library. This work focused his interest in Qur’anic calligraphy and he published a classic work on the subject, The Qur’anic Art Of Calligraphy And Illumination, to coincide with the 1976 World of Islam Festival, with which he was closely involved.
He spent the last 30 years of his life writing books, and lecturing all over the world, to a growing following. Among his numerous books are the magisterial Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources (1983), Shakespeare in the Light of Sacred Art (1966, reissued as The Secret of Shakespeare, 1984, with an introduction by the Prince of Wales), in which the roots of Shakespeare’s oeuvre are traced to the Platonic and Scholastic traditions, and the splendid The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination (1976, republished as Splendors of Qur’an Calligraphy and Illumination, 2004). Ling's final work was Mecca, a history of the sacred city from pre-Abrahamic times to today, published last year.2.
At the time when so much nonsense is talked about “the clashes of civilizations” and Islam is under siege, the work of Martin Lings shines like a beacon. He lived in a modest cottage in the middle of woods in Kent. A keen and original gardener, he created a small but ravishing garden with a view over the undulating country all around. He was laid to rest among the flowers and plants he had lovingly cultivated. Refrence:  lings htmlhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/martin- lings html 
Text source : Islam story web site… Prepared by :- Translation Campaign Team 2012