The Pure Pearl – ad-Durra an-naqiya and other texts by Muhammad Ibn Umail: Ad-Durra an-naqiya. As-Sira an-naqiya. Al-Qasida al-Mimiya. Al-Mabaqil as-sab’a.
Arabic Edition by Wilferd Madelung with an English Introduction by Theodor Abt. Translated bby Salwa Fuad and Theodor Abt.
hardbound, 272 pages, with multicoloured text and 20 images of illustrated manuscripts;
The here presented four texts by Muhammad Ibn Umail at-Tamimi: The Pure Pearl (ad-Durra an-naqiya), The Pure Conduct of Life (as-Sira an-naqiya), A Poem Rhyming on the Letter M (Mim; al-Qasida al-Mimiya) and The Seven Planting-lots (al-Mabaqil as-saba’a) are all an editio princeps. These texts are published together with an English translation.
The Pure Pearl and The Pure Conduct of Life are based on the same original text, representing however two different traditions or stemmas. For this reason, they are published separately. The next text, A Poem Rhyming on the Letter Mim is an explanation of these aforementioned two texts. By direct references to them, it further explains the theme of The Pure Pearl and The Pure Conduct of Life: the creation of a single pearl out of an egg. From the point of view of depth psychology this means the creation of the unified personality. Thus, these three texts belong together. The Seven Planting-Lots, the fourth treatise by the same author, focuses on the relationship of the seven planets to their corresponding metals on earth, all with regard to the alchemical work.
Repeatedly we read that the first three texts were written at the end of Ibn Umail’s life. As A Poem Rhyming on the Letter Mim came after having written The Pure Pearl – respectively The Pure Conduct of Life – this al-Qasida al-Mimiya is therefore most probably the last text of our author, written before he passed away. Thus, we may consider these three texts to be the last words of this outstanding master of the Art. They seem to be Ibn Umail’s summa.