A Fragment Of The Vision Of Sheikh Haji Ibrahim Of Kerbela
The Mystic Rose from the Garden of the King. A Fragment of the Vision of Sheikh Haji Ibrahim of Kerbela was first published in 1899. Its author, Sir Fairfax L. Cartwright, was a member of the British diplomatic service. On a superficial reading, the book appears in the guise of a ‘pseudo-Oriental romance’ in a similar vein to some of the work by Sir Richard Francis Burton (see The Kasîdah, also by Azafran Books). Yet The Mystic Rose presents some of the actual experiences of being a Sufi. The portion devoted to stories is designed to lift momentarily the veil between ordinary thought and the inner questioning of the mind. The other portion gives a series of inner experiences, which are numbered and which represent one person’s varied realization of the extra element possible to man’s attainment before he comes to the point where he can make use of this perception.Fairfax uses the Eastern imagery and setting because it lends itself to the projection of Sufi thought through the objectivization of the content. Like the fable with which this book begins, it enables the reader to detach themself from associations, and to participate to some extent in the reality which the author is trying to convey. This book is no substitute for Sufi experience, but it contains material well suited to the Western mind trying to grasp a mode of thought which in its culture lacks many agreed bases. The idea that ecstatic experience is Sufism or really mysticism of any kind is one of the numerous points debunked by Cartwright.Sir Fairfax Leighton Cartwright (20 July 1857 - 9 January 1928) was a British author and diplomat who became ambassador to the Austro-Hungarian empire before World War 1.