This book is one of the more widely distributed works of Ibn 'Ata'illah and serves as an ethical guide to those seeking God. It is a collection of short spiritual sayings each containing profound meaning driven from the Qur'an and Sunnah, and deals with issues related to tawhid, ethics and day-to-day conduct.
People have spoken and written much about Sufism, as the discipline is known, Ibn ‘Ata' Illah’s famous The book of Aphorsism or Book of Wisdoms (al-Hikam al-‘Ata'iyya) is a classical manual of spiritual development. One either has a tariqa and a sheikh or one does not, and Ibn ‘Ata' Illah is writing without apology for those who do, although the insights he raises may interest many others.
About Ata'Allah Iskandari
Taj ad-Din Abu’l-Fadl Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abd al-Karim b. Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari, al-Judhami ash-Shadhili, known simply as Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, as his nisbah indicates, about the middle of the seventh/thirteenth century. His family were renowned Maliki scholars from the Banu Judham tribe, originally from Arabia. His grandfather, Abd al-Karim (d. 612 AH/1216 AD) had distinguished himself as an expert in fiqh, usul (principles of jurisprudence), and Arabic, having studied under the famous Abu’l-Hasan al-Abyari. He had written several books, among which were al-Bayin wa’t-Taqrib fi Sharh at-Tahdhib, Mukhtasar at-Tahdhib, and Mukhtasar al-Mufassal, and had been very hostile to Sufism.
Ibn 'Ata'illah al-Iskandari; Translated by Muhammed Nafih Wafy)