al-Muḥāsibī (‘he who examines his conscience’), Abū ʿAbd Allāh ḥārith

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

al-Muḥāsibī (‘he who examines his conscience’), Abū ʿAbd Allāh Ḥārith (c.781–857 (AH 165–243)). Shāfiʿite theologian who turned to ascetic renunciation and moral purification, and is regarded as the first Sunni mystic (Sūfī) to organize a theologically systematic approach to God. He was a prolific writer, with about 200 works ascribed to him. His Kitāb al-riʿāya li-ḥuqūq Allah (The Book of Observance of that which is Owed to God) is a book of spiritual advice, which includes the importance of self-examination (Arab., muḥāsaba), hence his name.