chapter  3
56 Pages

The wayfarer’s legacy: the works of al-Hārith al-Muḥāsibī

Since so little is known about the life of al-Ḥārith al-Muḥāsibī, it is worth surveying the works of this eminent scholar to glean more information regarding his thought and teaching, which will lay the foundation for the fi nal chapter. To this effect al-Muḥāsibī himself has made our task easier, as it has been reported by al-Subkī (d. 771/1370) that al-Muḥāsibī authored approximately 200 works.1 If, as al-Subkī claims, al-Muḥāsibī was indeed such a prolifi c writer then we have little evidence of it, due to the simple fact that only a fraction of these works has actually reached us. Consequently, the earliest generation of researchers in the modern period recorded less than 25 works being attributed to al-Muḥāsibī.2 However, as the various manuscript libraries throughout the world began to be catalogued, many of al-Muḥāsibī’s works came to light; not only this but a new generation of scholars began the process of editing al-Muḥāsibī’s works for publication.3 Thus, both these factors have had an extremely important effect on the research that has been carried out on al-Muḥāsibī and, bearing this in mind, the goal of this chapter is to survey the works of al-Muḥāsibī mentioned in the literature, so as to provide an overview of the material written by this scholar.