The text presented here offers a unique insight into the eventful life of one of the greatest spiritual authorities of North Africa, the Sufi sheikh and scholar Abū al-‘Abbās Aḥmad ibn Aḥmad al-Zarrūq al-Burnusī al-Fāsī (d. 846-899/1442-93). Aḥmad al-Zarrūq was the founder of the Zarrūqī branch of the Shādhilī Ṭarīqa (Order), a leading authority in many other Islamic sciences, and the author of numerous major works on Taṣawwuf, Hadith, jurisprudence and other subjects. He is widely believed to have been the Mujaddid, or Renewer of the Muslim Umma, of the ninth hijrī century. May Allah be well pleased with him.
Sheikh Zarrūq kept a kunnāsh or notebook in which he recorded both important aspects of his personal and scholarly life and also his own brief notes and reflections on many diverse subjects. The surviving manuscripts of his Kunnāsh are based on a transcription of his autograph. It remains a work of the greatest interest and significance and yet it has never been translated into any language before.
Memoirs of Sufi Master contains a fluent English translation of those portions of the text which concern the Sheikh’s outward life, his spiritual life, and his teachers and companions. Also included are an introduction and a full scholarly commentary providing detailed and wide-ranging background information, much of it never previously published except in Arabic. This book merits a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the spiritual and/or social history of Islam in North Africa, and particularly that of Morocco in the 9th/15th century