Friday, May 01, 2009 By Maryam
Islam in Spain among others have greatly influenced Christian Mystic Thoughts. Strange as it may seem, some of the most important mystical symbols used by St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Avila are of Islamic origin, specially that of Spanish Sufis. Miguel Asín Palacios, Spain’s foremost Arabist, was able to trace St. John’s dark night of the soul to the Shadilite school of mysticism, as well as St. Theresa’s seven concentric castles to an anonymous 16th-century treatise called the Nawadir. What the critics have deemed extremely mysterious and “original” in Spanish mysticism is, in many ways, just the adaptation of Islamic mystical symbols. And Alhambra and other great places of Spain are witness of such influence.