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Translated Desires: Translation, Ibn al-ʿArabī, and the Multilingual Islamic Past

General Programming

dateOctober 20–21, 2023 location Jerome Greene Hall (Law School), Columbia University locationSt. Paul's ChapelLocation: Qawwali Concert locationColumbia UniversityRare Book & Manuscript Library - Featuring Exhibit "Light and Beauty" by New York Islamic Arts (Open to Columbia community only)
  • Center for the Study of Muslim Societies
  • Chaar Prahar
  • Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
  • Columbia Law School
  • Columbia Music Center
  • Department of History
  • The Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society
  • Qalam Pakistan Initiative
  • Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies
  • Sacred Music at Columbia
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
  • Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University
  • Middle East Institute
  • Free and open to the public
  • RSVP suggested
Men tinted entirely in yellow singing

The writings of Ibn al-ʿArabi (d. 1240), one of the most influential Sufi Muslim theoreticians of the medieval period, touched all aspects of knowledge in Asia and Africa in the centuries after his death. This workshop will take as its objective a global history of translation and language in both the dissemination and reception of Ibn al-'Arabi's writings through discourse, music, and art.


time3:30pm - 5:30pm EDT

"Light & Beauty" Exhibit & "Translated Desires" Opening Reception

Featured artist: Müjgan Başköylü, Zinnur Doğanata, Kamile Erdoğdular, Elinor Aishah Holland, Behnaz Karjoo, and Nurdan Yeneroğlu | New York Islamic Arts is an artist collective keeping the traditions of islamic art alive in New York. Founded in 2010 when master artist Müjgan Başköylü came to the United States and settled in Rockland County. A master artist of paper cutting, she has been conducting classes in Turkish Illumination techniques since that time. Her students are from many backgrounds, including American, Turkish and Iranian, and currently are all women. Before her move to America, Mrs. Başköylü exhibited extensively and taught many classes in her native Istanbul, in both Kati (paper cutting) and Tezhip (Illumination). She is an inspired and inspiring teacher with a wealth of knowledge and the passion to share it.

time6:00pm - 8:00pm EDT

Sufi Music: Farid Ayaz & Abu Muhammad Qawwal Group

About the Performance:The Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal Group is one of the premier Qawwali groups of Pakistan. Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music from South Asia whose roots stretch to the medieval period. Rich in poetic and mystical symbolism, the performance is led by powerful vocalists who loop through multiple verse-chorus sequences in several languages. The ensemble lays claim to a strong musical lineage that stretches back to the Mughal court in Delhi. | Members of Group:Fariduddin Ayaz, Abu Muhammad, Ghayoor Ahmed, Moizuddin Haydar, Mubarak Hassan Haris, Zarar Ahmed, Shah Baleeghuddin, Fawwad Tahseen, Ghulam Mustafa, and Muhammad Shah |This concert is on Day 1 of 2 of the conference.

time9:00am EDT

Welcome, Acknoweldgements, Opening Remarks

Ali Karjoo-Ravary

Columbia University

time9:30am EDT

Ibn al-ʿArabī on Boredom

Kazuyo Murata

King's College London

Ta'wil and Ishara: The Meaning of these Terms in Ibn al-ʿArabī's Approach to the Quran

Maria Dakake

George Mason University

Ibn al-ʿArabī on Translation

Mohammed Rustom

Carleton University

time11:15am EDT

Ibn al-ʿArabī in Peripatetic guise? From ʿiyān to burhān and the epistemological problematic

Rosabel Ansari

SUNY Stony Brook

The Covenant of Alast: When Love Shared its Promise

Marlene Dubois

Suffolk Community College

The Sufi Path of Extraordinary Ordinariness in the Ottoman Novel; The Depths of Imagination

Amer Latif

Emerson College

Ibn al-ʿArabī in Japan: The Life and Legacy of Toshihiko Izutsu (1914-1993)

Atif Khalil

University of Lethbridge

time1:00pm EDT

Lunch Break

time2:45pm EDT

Philosophical Sufism in the Sokoto Caliphate: Two Poems of Shaykh Dan Tafa

Oludamini Ogunnaike

University of Virginia

The Heart as Cosmic Creator: Hindu Scriptures Translated through the Lens of Ibn al-ʿArabī

Shankar Nair

University of Virginia

Wujūdī Metaphysics in Chinese

Sachiko Murata

SUNY Stony Brook

time5:00pm EDT

Farghānī on Wahdat al-Wujūd in the Four Journeys

William C. Chittick

SUNY Stony Brook