Milena Rampoldi, Abdel Rahman Badawi: Rabia Al-Adawiyya, Martyr of Divine Love


In this book, the author presents an important research by the Egyptian philosopher of existentialism Abdel Rahman Badawi (1917-2002) about the Sufi Saint Rabia al-Adawiyya. The main subject he treats focuses on Rabia’s spiritual path to Divine Love. His approach is extraordinary because he investigates Rabia’s spiritual development on different levels, from the rational, to the emotional, psychological, and theological. This work is also fundamental because of its interreligious approach. The author compares the great Sufi Saint Rabia al-Adawiyya and her psychological and theological and philosophical path towards true Divine Love, as a completely dematerialised experience going beyond religion as duty and law, with various important thinkers and mystic pioneers of Christianity like Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, or notable Christian Saints like Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Augustine of Hippo.

Without excluding the possibility that Eternal femininity and Divine Love could perhaps coincide, Badawi also exalts women’s contribution to Islam not only in the area of mysticism, but in general Islamic thought and religious culture. This is Rabia’s heritage we have to strongly reaffirm today. The extensive legends invented about her life and deeds, also prove her essential importance in Islamic doctrinal development.


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