Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship



philosophy, translation, self-knowledge


A parallel English-Arabic text of the Islamic philosophical work Iksir al-Arifin, or Elixir of the Gnostics, is the latest publication in the Islamic Translation Series, part of the Institute’s Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. The author, Sadr al-Din Muhammad Shirazi, better known as Mulla Íadrā (A.D. 1572–1640), is considered one of the greatest Islamic philosophers of the last 600 years and in recent years has become one of the most well known. Adept at finding flaws in the work of previous great thinkers, he was at the same time able to think independently of them, creating his own philosophical approach that he called “transcendent philosophy.” This approach combined reason, intellectual intuition, illumination, and revelation to arrive at truth.