- Martin Lings
Martin Lings Born Martin Lings
24 January 1909
Died May 12, 2005(aged 96) Nationality British Other names Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din Education BA English Language and English
Alma mater Clifton College
Magdalen College, Oxford
School of Oriental and African Studies
Occupation Writer, scholar Influenced by Frithjof Schuon Religion Islam Spouse Lesley Smalley (1944-2005)
Martin Lings (also known as Abu Bakr Siraj Ad-Din) (January 24, 1909 – May 12, 2005) was an English Muslim writer and scholar, a student and follower of Frithjof Schuon, and Shakespearean scholar. He is best known as the author of a very popular and positively reviewed biography, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, first published in 1983 and still in print.
Lings was born in Burnage, Manchester in 1909 to a Protestant family. The young Lings gained an introduction to travelling at a young age, spending significant time in the United States due to his father's employment. Lings attended Clifton College and went on to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a BA in English Language and Literature. At Magdalen, he was a student and then a close friend of C. S. Lewis. After graduating from Oxford Lings went to Vytautas Magnus University, in Lithuania, where he taught Anglo-Saxon and Middle English.
For Lings himself, however, the most important event whilst at Oxford was his discovery of the writings of the René Guénon, a French metaphysician and Muslim convert, and those of Frithjof Schuon, a German spiritual authority, metaphysician and Perennialist. In 1938, Lings went to Basle to make Schuon's acquaintance and he remained Frithjof Schuon's disciple and expositor for the rest of his life.
In 1939, Lings went to Cairo, Egypt, in order to visit a friend who was an assistant of René Guénon. Not long after arriving in Cairo, his friend died and Lings began studying Arabic. Cairo became his home for over a decade; he became an English language teacher at the University of Cairo and produced Shakespeare plays annually. Lings married Lesley Smalley in 1944 and lived with her in a village near the pyramids. Despite having settled comfortably in Egypt, Lings was forced to leave in 1952 after anti-British disturbances.
Upon returning to the United Kingdom he continued his education, earning a BA in Arabic and a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). His doctoral thesis became a well-received book on Algerian Sufi Ahmad al-Alawi (see Sufi studies). After completing his doctorate, Lings worked at the British Museum and later British Library, overseeing eastern manuscripts and other textual works, rising to the position of Keeper of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts 1970-73. He was also a frequent contributor to the journal, Studies in Comparative Religion.
A writer throughout this period, Lings' output increased in the last quarter of his life. While his thesis work on Ahmad al-Alawi had been well regarded, his most famous work was a biography of Muhammad, written in 1983, which earned him acclaim in the Muslim world and prizes from the governments of Pakistan and Egypt. His work was hailed as the "best biography of the prophet in English" at the National Seerat Conference in Islamabad. He also continued travelling extensively, although he made his home in Kent. He died in 2005.
In addition to his writings on Sufism, Lings was a Shakespeare scholar. His contribution to Shakespeare scholarship was to point out the deeper esoteric meanings found in Shakespeare's plays, and the spirituality of Shakespeare himself. More recent editions of Lings's books on Shakespeare include a foreword by Charles, Prince of Wales. Just before his death he gave an interview on this topic, which was posthumously made into the film Shakespeare's Spirituality: A Perspective. An Interview With Dr. Martin Lings.
- The Underlying Religion (World Wisdom, 2007) ISBN 978-1-933316-43-7
- Splendors of Qur'an Calligraphy And Illumination (2005), Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation, Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0-500-97648-1
- A Return to the Spirit : Questions and Answers (2005), Fons Vitae, ISBN 1-887752-74-9
- Sufi Poems : A Mediaeval Anthology (2005), Islamic Texts Society, ISBN 1-903682-18-5
- Mecca: From Before Genesis Until Now (2004), Archetype, ISBN 1-901383-07-5
- The Eleventh Hour : the Spiritual Crisis of the Modern World in the Light of Tradition and Prophecy (2002), Archetype, ISBN 1-901383-01-6
- Collected Poems, revised and expanded (2002), Archetype, ISBN 1-901383-03-2
- Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions (2001), Archetype, ISBN 1-901383-02-4
- What is Sufism (Islamic Texts Society, 1999) ISBN 978-0-946621-41-5
- The Secret of Shakespeare : His Greatest Plays seen in the Light of Sacred Art (1998), Quinta Essentia, distributed by Archetype, (hb), ISBN 1-870196-15-5
- Sacred Art of Shakespeare : To Take Upon Us the Mystery of Things (Inner Traditions, 1998) 0892817178
- A Sufi saint of the twentieth century: Shaikh Ahmad al-°Alawi, his spiritual heritage and legacy (Islamic Texts Society, 1993) ISBN 0-946621-50-0
- Symbol & Archetype : A Study of the Meaning of Existence (1991, 2006), Fons Vitae Quinta Essentia series, ISBN 1-870196-05-8
- Muhammad : His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Islamic Texts Society, 1983) ISBN 0-04-297042-3
- The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination (World of Islam Festival Trust, 1976) ISBN 0-905035-01-1
- The Heralds, and other Poems 1970
- The Elements, and Other Poems (1967), Perennial Books
- The Book of Certainty: The Sufi Doctrine of Faith, Wisdom and Gnosis Abu Bakr Siraj al Din 1952, 1970, 1992.
- Frithjof Schuon
- Jean-Louis Michon
- Perennial Philosophy
- Tage Lindbom
- Kurt Almqvist
- Ivan Aguéli
- René Guénon
- Seyyed Hossein Nasr
- Titus Burckhardt
- William Stoddart
- William Shakespeare
- Obituary from the Guardian (May 27, 2005)
- Obituary from the New York Times (May 29, 2005)
- Understanding Martin Lings
- Fons Vitae Publishing - Books by Martin Lings
- Titles by Martin Lings
- Works of Martin Lings in Hungarian
- Shakespeare's Spirituality: An Interview With Dr. Martin Lings
- Muhammad: His Life Based on Earliest Sources by Martin Lings
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Martin Lings — (Abu bakr Siraj Ad Din) (24 janvier, 1909 12 mai 2005) fut un étudiant disciple de Frithjof Schuon et un savant anglais du soufisme. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Ouvrages 3 Voir aussi … Wikipédia en Français
Martin Lings — (Abu Bakr Siraj Ad Din) (* 24. Januar 1909 in Burnage, Lancashire; † 11. Mai 2005 in Westerham, Kent) war ein britischer Anglist, Orientalist und Religionsphilosoph. Leben Der Protestant Lings studierte zunächst Englische Literatur in Oxford, u.a … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lings — Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj Ad Din) (* 24. Januar 1909 in Burnage, Lancashire; † 11. Mai 2005 in Westerham, Kent) war ein britischer Anglist, Orientalist und Religionsphilosoph. Leben Der Protestant Lings studierte zunächst Englische Literatur… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Martin Buber — Full name Martin Buber Born February 8, 1878 Vienna, Austria Died June 13, 1965(1965 06 13) (aged 87) Jerus … Wikipedia
Battle of Badr — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Badr partof=the Muslim Quraish Wars caption=Scene from Siyer i Nebi (The Life of the Prophet) depicting Muhammad at Badr. date= March 17, 624 AD/17 Ramadan, 2 AH place=Badr, convert|80|mi|km southwest… … Wikipedia
Muhammad's wives — Part of a series on Islam Umm al Momineen Wives of Muhammad Khadijah bint Khuwaylid Sawda bint Zamʿa Aisha bint Abi Bakr Hafsa bint Umar Zaynab bint Khuzayma Hind bint A … Wikipedia
Sufi studies — Sufi studies: a particular branch of comparative studies that uses a.o.the technical lexicon of the Islamic mystics, the Sufis, to exemplify the nature of its ideas; hence the frequent reference to Sufi Orders. It may be divided into two main… … Wikipedia
Shadhili — The Shadhili Tariqa is a Sufi order of Sunni Islam founded by Abul Hasan Ali ash Shadhili. Followers (Arabic murids, seekers ) of the Shadhiliya are known as Shadhilis. It has historically been of importance and influence in North Africa and… … Wikipedia
Traditionalist School — The Traditionalist School of thought, also known as Integral Traditionalism (in the sense of Integralism) or Perennialism (in the sense of perennial philosophy , or Sophia Perennis ) is an esoteric movement inspired by the interwar period… … Wikipedia
Pérennialisme — Le pérennialisme, encore appelé école traditionaliste (ou traditionisme ou encore traditionnisme) (à ne pas confondre avec le traditionalisme catholique) est une école de pensée qui a pris sa forme actuelle avec les œuvres de René Guénon mais… … Wikipédia en Français