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William Chittick

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William Chittick

William C. Chittick
Born 1943
Milford, Connecticut
Occupation Professor

William C. Chittick (born 1943) is a leading translator and interpreter of classical Islamic philosophical and mystical texts. He is best known for his groundbreaking work on Rumi and Ibn 'Arabi, and has written extensively on the school of Ibn 'Arabi, Islamic philosophy, and Islamic cosmology.


Born in Milford, Connecticut, Chittick finished his BA at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and then went on to complete a PhD in Persian literature at Tehran University under the supervision of Seyyed Hossein Nasr in 1974. He taught comparative religion at Tehran's Aryamehr Technical University and left Iran before the revolution. Chittick is currently Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University.

Major works


  • The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983).
  • The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989).
  • Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-'Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994).
  • With Sachiko Murata, The Vision of Islam (New York: Paragon, 1994).
  • Varolmann Boyutlari (The Dimensions of Existence). A collection of seventeen essays edited and translated by Turan Koç (Istanbul: Insan Yayınları, 1997).
  • The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-'Arabi's Cosmology (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998).
  • Sufism: A Short Introduction (Oxford: Oneworld, 2000).
  • The Heart of Islamic Philosophy:The Quest for Self-Knowledge in the Teachings of Afdal al-Din Kashani (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).
  • Ibn 'Arabi: Heir to the Prophets (Oxford: Oneworld, 2005).
  • The Sufi Doctrine of Rumi (Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, 2005).
  • Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul: The Pertinence of Islamic Cosmology in the Modern World (Oxford: Oneworld, 2007).
  • With Sachiko Murata and Tu Weiming, The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Centre, 2009).
  • In Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought. An anthology of Chittick's writings (from 1975 to 2012) edited by Mohammed Rustom, Atif Khalil, and Kazuyo Murata (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012).
  • Divine Love: Islamic Literature and the Path to God (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013).

Edited volumes

  • With Seyyed Hossein Nasr (vols. 1-3) and Peter Zirnis (vols. 2-3), An Annotated Bibliography of Islamic Science (Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1975–78, vols. 1-2; Tehran: Cultural Studies and Research Institute, 1991, vol. 3).
  • The Works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr Through His Fortieth Birthday. Edited and Introduced (Uppsala: University of Utah Press, 1977).
  • The Inner Journey: Views from the Islamic Tradition. Edited and Introduced (Sandpoint, ID: White Thread Press, 2007).
  • The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Edited and Introduced (Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, 2007).


  • A Shi'ite Anthology (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1981).
  • Fakhr al-Din 'Iraqi, Divine Flashes. Translated with P. L. Wilson (New York: Paulist Press, 1982.
  • Zayn al-'Abidin, The Psalms of Islam. Translated and Introduced (London: Muhammadi Trust, 1988).
  • Faith and Practice of Islam: Three Thirteenth Century Sufi Texts (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992).
  • 'Abd al-Rahman Jami, Gleams. Translated in Sachiko Murata, Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light: Wang Tai-yu's Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chih's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000).
  • Mulla Sadra, The Elixir of the Gnostics. Translated, Edited, and Introduced (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 2003).
  • Shams al-Din Tabrizi, Me and Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi. Annotated and Translated (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2004).
  • Ibn 'Arabi, select translations from The Meccan Revelations. Translated in Michel Chodkiewicz (ed.), The Meccan Revelations (New York: Pir Press, 2004).
  • Khwaja Khurd, Treatise on the Gnostic and The Light of Oneness. Translated in Chittick, In Search of the Lost Heart.
  • Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi, The Texts. Translated in Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Mehdi Aminrazavi (eds.), An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, vol. 4 (London: I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2012). Note: The translation of this text in this volume is slightly abridged. For the complete translation, see
  • Aqa Muhammad Rida Qumsha'i, On the Oneness of Existence, or Rather, the Existent and Addendum to the Ringstone on Seth from 'The Ringstones of Wisdom': On the Topics of Friendship. Translated in Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Mehdi Aminrazavi (eds.), An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, vol. 5 (London: I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2015).
  • Rashid al-Din Maybudi, select translations from The Unveiling of the Mysteries and the Provision of the Pious (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2015). Available online at and at Din_Maybudi_The_Unveiling_of_the_Mysteries_and_the_Provision_of_the_Pious_Kashf_al-asrar_wa-uddat_al-abrar_

See also


  • All of Chittick's articles, as well as a number of his translations and interviews with him (downloadable for free)
  • "Mysticism in Islam" - lecture delivered at the Center for International Studies, Brigham Young University, May 2003
  • Free recording the 2001 Paths to the Heart Conference – lecture and Q&A section
  • Refreshment of SpiritsAudio lecture on the Myth of the Fall of Adam in Ahmad Sam'ani's .
  • An article on Chittick's understanding of self and cosmos.
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