Reynold A. Nicholson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, or R. A. Nicholson (August 18, 1868 – August 27, 1945), was an eminent English orientalist, scholar of both Islamic literature and Islamic mysticism, and widely regarded as one of the greatest Rumi scholars and translators in the English language.

Life[edit]

Son of paleontologist Henry Alleyne Nicholson, Nicholson was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, England and died in Chester, Cheshire, England. Educated at Aberdeen University and the University of Cambridge, Nicholson became lecturer in the Persian language (1902–26) and Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic at Cambridge (1926–1933). He is considered a leading scholar in Islamic literature and Islamic mysticism who exercised a lasting influence on Islamic studies.[1][2] He was able to study and translate major Sufi texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish to English. Nicholson wrote two very influential books: Literary History of The Arabs (1907) and The Mystics of Islam (1914).[2]

Works on Rumi[edit]

Nicholson's magnum opus was his work on Rumi's Masnavi, published in eight volumes between 1925 and 1940. He produced the first critical Persian edition of the Masnavi, the first full translation of it into English, and the first commentary on the entire work in English. This work has been highly influential in the field of Rumi studies worldwide.[2]

Works on Iqbal[edit]

Being a teacher of the then Indian scholar and poet Muhammad Iqbal, Nicholson translated Iqbal's first philosophical Persian poetry book Asrar-i-Khudi into English as The Secrets of the Self.

Other significant translations[edit]

Students[edit]

Among Nicholson's students is A. J. Arberry, a translator of Rumi and the Quran.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, Britannica.com entry
  2. ^ a b c Gibb, H. A. R. (2004), "Nicholson, Reynold Alleyne", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: Oxford University Press 

External links[edit]