Sufî tafsîr as a Mirror: al-Qushayri the murshid in his Latä^ if al-ishärät

Annabel Keeler

Paul Nwyia once described the Sûfî exegesis of the Qur'an as 'a play of mirrors between the inward {bätin) of the mystic and the inward {bätin) of the scripture.' This evocative metaphor is apt in a number of ways. Firstly, it recalls the Sufis' own recommendation that the seeker should remove the rust of worldliness from the mirror of his soul or heart, polishing it so that it may reflect the truth. The idea of reflection in a mirror is further suggestive of an illuminative insight that is received, in contrast to the kind of knowledge that is mentally acquired; and the 'play of two mirrors' suggests a reflective infinity, a possibility of proceeding to ever-deeper levels as the one works upon the other. Some of the ideas evoked by Nwyia's metaphor are included in the Sufis' own discussions of the nature and conditions of the esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an. For example, the need for polishing the mirror of the soul as a prerequisite for Qur'an interpretation is indicated by a saying of Ibn "Atâ' al-Adamî (d. 309/922), cited in the early 5 ' / l l ' century commentary of Abu '^Abd al-Rahman al-Sulamî (d. 412/1021), the Haqä'iq al-tafsîr} The [esoteric] meanings alluded to in the Qur'an {ishärät al-Qur'än) will only be understood by one who has purified his 'secret' {sirr) from all attachment to the world and everything it contains.^ and likewise, by a saying of al-Hallaj (d. 309/922):" Only to the extent of his outward and inward piety and his mystical knowledge {ma'^rifa) will the believer discover the inner meanings of the Qur'an. That the understanding of the inner meanings of the Qur'an is an illumination to be received, rather than knowledge to be acquired, is indicated by the Sufis' definition of it as '[divinely granted] unveilings' {mukäshafat) and 'states' {munäzalät) - the use of the third form verb in these terms indicates a kind of reciprocity, an 'interactive' receptivity and openness to the divine, again one thinks of the play of mirrors.* The numinous, arcane nature of Sufi exegesis is indicated by al-Sulamî himself when, in the introduction to his Haqä'iq al-tafsîr, he states that the esoteric


Journal of Qur'anic Studies

knowledge of the Qur'an comprises '[its] exclusive secrets {ichawäss al-asrär), subtleties {latä'if) and hidden wonders (maknünät badäW^ihi).'^ Abö'l-Qäsim alQushayrî (d. 465/1072), in the introduction to his esoteric commentary on the Qur'an, the Latä^if al-ishärät, writes that it comprises 'subtleties of [its] mysteries and lights' (latä^if asrärihi wa-anwärihi), 'delicate allusions' {daqlq ishärätihi), 'concealed allegories' {ichafi rumUzihi) and 'hidden mysteries' (maicnünät). Again, al-QushayrI emphasises that these are a divine grace, by saying that God has 'illumined' {lawwalia) these hidden mysteries to (or for) the secrets (li-asrär) of the chosen (asßyä') among His servants. The idea of reflection evoked by Nwyia's mirror metaphor is also conveyed, albeit in a different way, in some of these SOfl definitions - or, more precisely, a different kind of reflection is indicated by them. For, while the same object will appear as an identical image in any true mirror, be it round or square, large or small, the truths reflected in Süfí interpretations of the scripture, indeed on any one verse, show considerable diversity, and we may note the plural used in the titles of al-Sulaml's and al-Qushayrî's commentaries: HaqäHq al-tafslr, Latä'if al-ishärät. Explaining this diversity in the esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an, al-Qushayrî states: 'SOfîs articulate [the inner meanings] of the Qur'an according to the [various] levels (marätib) of their [inner] lights and capacities (anwär wa-aqdärihim).'^ A similar statement is made by the earlier Sufi, Abu Nasr al-Sarrâj (d. 378/998). Although, as far as we know, al-Sarräj did not compile any tafslr of his own, several pages of his treatise on Sufism, the Kitäb al-íuma\ are devoted to Sufís' elicitation of meanings {mustanbatät) from the Qur'an and Hadîth. Al-Sarrâj explains that each Sûfî exegete speaks 'according to their particular state {häl), and indicates meanings on the basis of their mystical experience (wajd)', and he observes that diversity in the field of esoteric knowledge is a mercy, just as it is (according to a saying attributed to the Prophet) a mercy in the realm of exoteric science, because mystics of every sort whether novices or adepts, whether engaged in works of devotion or in spiritual meditation - can derive profit from their words.' On the basis of these statements then, one would expect to find in Siâfî interpretations of the Qur'an a diversity that mirrors the degree and variety of mystical experience of each and every commentator, and can therefore benefit mystics at every stage of the way. However, a close study of Süfí commentaries reveals that they reflect not only the states, stations and spiritual ranks of mystics, but also their doctrines, their approach to the spiritual path, and even, as we shall see, their persons. It is this mirroring that I want to explore here with reference to the Latä'if ai-ishärät of al-Qushayrî, a Süfí commentary that has received far less attention than it deserves; indeed it appears that the Latä^ifis not always considered to be altogether a mystical or esoteric commentary on the Qur'an.'° This is surprising given that al-Qushayrî's celebrated 'Epistle on Süfísm', the Risälafi "ihn

that are (later) 'jotted down' next to the Qur'anic phrases. he usually makes a clear distinction between the .Sufî tafsir as a Mirror 3 al-tasawwuf or Risâla Qushayriyya. exoteric sense. and indeed is so well known that it is often simply referred to as the Risäla. 1137/1724). therefore. with abundant. 606/1209). Further contributing to this perception may be the fact that al-QushayrI frequently presents a concise explanation of the exoteric meaning of the verse before expounding the esoteric allusion it contains.'^ Among Sufî commentators al-QushayrI is unusual in having attempted to comment in some way on all the verses of the Qur'an. and therefore occasionally his commentary does not appear to go beyond an elaboration or explanation of a verse in its literal. 730/1329) and Ismâ'^îl Haqqî BurQsawî (d. the Latä'if is said to have been used as a source by later Sufî exegetes.^" The inclusion of this kind of material may have helped to create the impression that the Latä'if is not a mystical commentary on the Qur'an.^' There appear to be two reasons for this: in some instances al-Qushayrî clearly feels that the outward meaning of the verses requires some kind of explanation or emphasis. a few remarks should be made about the style and method of al-Qushayrl's commentary. sometimes powerful use of imagery and metaphor. after the Risäla.far more than is to be found in al-Sulamî's commentary. al-QushayrI intended his Latä'if to be an esoteric commentary. some verses of the Qur'an appeared to al-QushayrI to have less potential than others for esoteric interpretation. Either way.' Certainly. it is worth noting that the Latä'if appears to have been composed. in the course of this discussion I shall point out aspects of the work that might lead some to consider it as not truly belonging to the genre of mystical commentaries on the Qur'an. though often this involves no more than a comment on one or two phrases in the verse. such as Rüzbihan Baqlî (d. It is true that al-QushayrI is also known as the author of several treatises on Ash'^arî theology. he employs the exoteric interpretation as the basis or starting point for an esoteric analogy that he wishes to draw from the verse. the Kashf al-asrär. '^Abd al-Razzâq al-Kâshânî (d. Inevitably.'^ Al-Qushayrl's work is consistently written in an eloquent literary style of Arabic. and does not. having already composed an exoteric commentary in his younger years. and the inclusion of numerous couplets of poetry (often love poetry) .' and that he acquired a reputation for being a sober and cautious mystic. is said to have been one of the most widely read works in the field of Islamic mysticism. the Latä'if al-ishärät is held to be the second most important major work among al-Qushayrî's Sufí writings. Firstly. appear to fall into the category of the kind of exegesis described by Gerhard Böwering as 'mystically inspired utterances' in response to the Qur'anic recitation. However. The examples I shall cite in this paper should adequately demonstrate the esoteric nature of the content of the Latä'if.''' Nonetheless. Before looking at the content of the Latä'if. for example. often in rhyming prose.'*' while Rashîd al-Dïn Maybudî was heavily dependent on it in the writing of his Persian commentary.'^ Moreover. in others.

one might argue. This may. 2:3). for example. and the one who is absent. and the state of the elite in their performance of the ^^ One who believes in the unseen (ghayb) by witnessing the unseen (bi-shuhüd al-ghayb) vanishes (ghäba) in witnessing the unseen and becomes absent [from himself] for the sake of [what is] unseen (sära . be one of the reasons for his frequently preceding his esoteric interpretation of a verse with some reference to its exoteric meaning. known to us from al-Risàla alQushayriyyal The answer to this question must be. so that they do not leave the bounds of knowledge {hadd al-'^ilm) or in any way absent themselves from the rulings of the Sharl'a'. Turning now to the content of the Latä'if.. referred to in the first part of the verse. but in the realms of heedlessness. as noted above. But we also find him expressing this principle in a manner that indicates some proclivity for the way of sobriety in mysticism. the first question that might be asked is whether or not we find in the commentary the sober. al-Qushayrî's interpretation of another verse throws a different light on this principle. Like most SQfîs.^^ Al-QushayrI actually precedes this interpretation with the words 'and it is said' (wa-qila). and our theme of tafsir as a mirror. but returns to the rites of the law. to a certain extent. In his commentary on the words [those who] keep up the prayer. but they do not withdraw from the realities of union (wusla). The above passage provides an explanation for a preceding statement in which al-Qushayrî makes a subtle link between believing in the unseen. with the realities of union. Yet. as when. Examples of this juxtaposition and/or linking of outer and inner meanings will be seen in due course. referring to the former with expressions such as 'in the language of [conventional] exegesis' (bi-lisän al-tafsír). and to the latter as 'the allusion in it [is]' (wa'l-ishära fihi). 1:6) as 'those in whom the proprieties and precepts of the Sharfa are preserved when they are overwhelmed by the sudden descent of realities [to their hearts] {"inda ghalabät bawädih al-haqä'iq). affirmative.4 Joumal of Qur'anic Studies exoteric and esoteric exegetical approaches. There is a great difference between the one who is absent while carrying out the rites of the law. which. in fact. does not preclude its being of his own hand. (Q. al-Qushayrï insists on the principle that inner realisation or truth (haqiqa) cannot be attained without observance of the religious law (Sharî'^a).. but they do not withdraw from the valleys of heedlessness (ghafla). As for the companions from among the elite. cautious al-Qushayrî the Ash'arî theologian. he states:^"* The companions from among the generality [of believers] strive at the opening of their prayers to bring their hearts to the apprehension (ma"rifa) of the obligatory practice they are performing. he interprets those upon whom is God's blessing (Q. they bring their hearts to apprehension of what they are performing.

and explains that.. since in relation to God existence is in reality smaller than a single atom of the dust of the air. he being effaced from consideration of them. there is no difference visà-vis His might between the Throne and a gnat . 1:5:^° Lead us on the straight path . points of dogma are rather included in passing. the ordinances that are commanded are preserved for him through what is coming to him from God. of his doctrine of annihilation 'after' annihilation (fanä' a ? ^ As far as al-QushayrI the Ash^arî theologian is concerned. especially conceming the doctrine of divine preordination... they have no need of the lamps of rational deduction (istidläl). 297/910). One is reminded.. in contradistinction to other religious matters which may be known through deduction and analogy (istidläl). points of dogma certainly occur here and there. for example. and briefly explains that the 'unseen' is beyond the bounds of self-evident knowledge (idtirär). But in the Latä'if al-ishärät al-Qushayrî does not indulge in lengthy theological dispute or argumentation.. 5 This interpretation is suggestive of a sobriety that is not merely a matter of caution. Turning now to another kind of 'reflection'. that which was specifically indicated by both al-Qushayrl's and al-Sarraj's definitions of esoteric interpretation. When it comes to making the prayer.Sûfî tafsïr as a Mirror ghayban li-ghaybin). then becoming absent from witnessing these by his 'vision' (rïl^ya) of the One to whom the prayer is being made. but is rather in conformity with the mystical doctrines of Abü'l-Qäsim al-Junayd (d.the creation of the Throne is not harder nor the creation of the gnat easier for Him.^^ We also find al-QushayrI as both Shâfi'^î/Ash'^arî and SOfî reflected in his interpretation of Q. for once the suns of their secrets have risen. 2:26). we fmd . though it should be pointed out that most Sufi commentaries include some elements of theology. for He is exalted beyond being affected by easiness or difficulty. or that reliance on customary forms of instruction (mu'^täd min al-talqïn) should bar our way to spiritual insight (istibsär) . [it involves his] establishing its pillars and traditions. as when he comments at an exoteric level on those who believe in the unseen (Q. for example. by the unveiling of lights .. The souls [of such servants] are facing the qibla while their hearts are immersed in the realities of union.. So. This is before he passes on to a more mystical interpretation of 'those who believe in the unseen' as: 'those whom He frees from mental perception and searching. lest stopping in the lands of blind imitation (taqlïd) should hinder us from attainment [of the spiritual goal] (wusïll). 2:3).'^^ Another instance is when he comments on the words God does not shy from drawing comparisons even with something a small as a gnat or something larger (Q.

36:39. although when the believers in Paradise are given the fruit they suppose it to be as before. A few examples will suffice to illustrate this here. He moves you from one state {häl) to one above it. and the branch of your union is ever verdant and blooming and the star of your favour is ever rising. Thus he observes that. weak {in certainty {yaqîn)} and limited in understanding. 'ibäda) without exchanging for them the lights of servanthood {'ubüdíyya). and We never take away any of the lights of servanthood without causing to rise in their place the moons of slavery Yet another example is his commentary on Q. Then follows his mystical interpretation. when they taste it they find it to be superior. We have determined phases for the moon until finally it becomes like an old date-stalk. they will say: We have been given this before. But the person at this level is still at the stage of changeability or vacillation {talwîn). al-Qushayrî frequently commences his interpretation by clarifying the outer meaning of the verse in some way. so that when one is raised from his [previous] state. These metaphors are added to. which describes the state of the believers in Paradise. as he goes on to explain.' As can be seen.6 Joumal of Qur'anic Studies numerous comments in the Latä^'ifthat appear to be informed by states and stations experienced by its author. is in a fragile state {raqîq al-häl). He ^^ The allusion in this verse is that the servant. In this interpretation al-Qushayrî explains the stage in which the seeker is gradually increasing in divinely-bestowed insight. he finds it to be superior by twice as much. he supposes that what he will come to at that moment will be like that which preceded it. Another example is al-Qushayrî's commentary on Q. which takes the form of an analogy: It is the same way for the possessors of realities. Whenever they are given sustenance from the fruits of these gardens. One instance is when al-Qushayrî comments on Q. al-Qushayrî's allegorical interpretation of this verse has been embellished with metaphors. As mentioned above. We replace it with something better or similar. Here we find an allegorical interpretation which follows on directly from the verse as a gloss: 'that is. and al-Qushayrî then contrasts this stage with the more advanced station of stability {tamkîn) which is symbolised by the sun. 'tastes'] it. again in the form of a gloss:''^ We never take away any of the traces of worship (or 'service'. at the time of seeking {talab). 2:106. Then he reflects {yufakkir) until his . while at the same time his self or nafs (symbolised by the moon) is waning so that eventually he attains the state of annihilation in God (fana"). Their inward states are constantly being elevated. Any revelation that We cause to be superseded or forgotten. 2:25. or higher than it. but when he experiences [lit.

the springs of spirits {arwäif) are the places of witnessing where they experience the revelation of the lights of contemplation and become absent from all perception of themselves. he often provides a continuity in his application of these metaphors from one verse to another that is rare among earlier Süfí commentators.who could bring about this alteration in it? Only the decree of the One who is mighty and all-knowing. Moreover. the springs of secrets (asrär) are the courts of divine unity (tawitld). it is annihilation in the . not vascillating (mutalawwin). Q. and the closer it comes to the sun [lit.Sufí tafslr as a Mirror insight {baslra) increases. no longer visible. 28:22. and there the control is God's .for there is no self and no perception. He is the possessor of stability (tamJcln). no heart and no intimacy. [His sun] rises permanently from the zodiac of his felicity. is taken from the state of expansion (bast) to the boundary of union (wisäl) but is then brought back to lassitude (fatra) and falls into a state of contraction {qabd). In some of his interpretations al-Qushayrî shows an acute understanding of what we might call 'spiritual psychology' as he explains how a state may be experienced at different levels of human consciousness. hidden. The one who resembles the sun is the mystic {"ärif) who is constantly in the radiance of his gnosis {ma^rifatihi). until eventually God is generous with him and elevates him again to his state of proximity and perfection. but in his heart he reached the springs of intimacy and ease (uns wa-rawh). and {his state is perfected) until he becomes complete. So. 'the more it increases in nearness to the sun']. like the [full] moon [which] then gradually diminishes as it comes closer to the sun. the more it decreases in itself. There are different springs: the springs of the heart {qalb) are the gardens of expansion {riyäd ai-bast) [where seekers experience] revelations of the [divine] presence (icushüfät al-muitädara) and delight in all kinds of [divine] graces (mulätafa). until it is annihilated. he writes: Outwardly he reached the springs of Midian. in his commentary on Moses' coming to the waters of Midian. and is not darkened [lit. 7 Al-Qushayrî continues this interpretation by explaining how the servant who resembles the moon in his changeability. Then it starts to become distant from the sun and it moves further and further away until it becomes [again] full . In this way he seems to look forward to later commentators such as 'Abd al-Razzäq al-Kâshânî. 'taken'] by any eclipse nor veiled by any clouds. little by little. In such examples it can be seen how fully al-Qushayrî has allegorised the Qur'anic imagery.

Another example is al-Qushayrî's commentary on Q. which says of the hypocrites: When they meet those who believe they say. In these interpretations. unable to see. The fîrst such example is al-Qushayrî's comment on the Qur'anic simile in Q. but then experiences one hardship after another. 2:14. 2:17.. His heart is ever in . and when it lights up everything around them God takes away all their light. and then continues by showing that the mystical allusion in the verse refers to:'" The person who has a good beginning in travelling the path of spiritual aspiration (iräda) and strives for a time.^* The following are a few examples of this kind of interpretation... the one who tries to combine the way of spiritual aspiration (irada) with what the people of habit {'äda) aie doing will not be able to bring these two things together. 'We believe'. we were only mocking. However. subsequently returning to the human darkness he was in before. because two opposites cannot be united . al-QushayrI is clearly alluding to states that are experienced by seekers who are advanced on the path. 'We are with you. When night approaches from one side. The powerful language that he uses in these interpretations often conveys the sense of exasperation that he feels .' Al-Qushayrî firstly comments at the literal level. in many of his comments we also find him discussing pitfalls that face the wayfarer at more elementary stages of the spiritual way. but they will be denied them both. leaving them in utter darkness. They are like people who [labour to] kindle a fire.. will be subject to vicissitudes.8 Joumal of Qur'anic Studies eternal (istihläk fi'l-samadiyya) and effacement in the all (fanä' bi'lkulliyya). namely that of the spiritual master (tnurshid) in charge of numerous disciples. and turns back to the worldiiness of his state prior to his attainment of the truth. explaining that the hypocrites want to combine two things. Al-Qushayrî's metaphorical language now comes into play: His branch put forth leaves but never bore fruit . The person who has a companion in every district and an attachment in {every} corner of his heart. Lethargy quickly eclipsed the moons of his attentiveness. The hand of divine wrath (qahr) repels him. Al-Qushayrî begins by explaining that outwardly this simile refers to the hypocrites. and responsible for their well-being and progress. after [initially] the tongue of divine gentleness (/MÍ/) had summoned him. but when they go to their own satans. they say. {divided between attachments}.here we are seeing another side of al-QushayrI.^' day flees from the other. and he then remarks:''^ Similarly.

they could not be saved. How many a servant is drowning in his busy-ness both day and night (fi-ishtighälihi fl-laylihi wa-nahärihi). 9 The analogical connection between the hypocrites who are being referred to in the verse. he has no enjoyment from life. 'for they are seeing a mirage. We could drown them. supposing it to be something to drink."iyälihi) to dominate his thought and concern . The passage is rich in rhyming prose: The allusion in this verse is to the carrying of [His] creatures in the ark of safety (saläma) across the sea of destiny amid the clashing of its waves (talätum amwäjihä). If We wished. they discover it to be nothing.'*' It will have been noted that many of these interpretations discussing the situation of those who are subject to hazards on the spiritual path take the form of an analogy drawn from verses which exoterically refer to hypocrites or unbelievers. instead. which deception leads to the hardest of punishments. commenting on Q. 36:41. al-Qushayrî says. he discusses the situation of the person who falls into the trap of confusing their own ego with the divine T . as in the following. However. which appears to have been inspired by the Qur'anic imagery of the verse. through every kind of fluctuation and impact (taghyir wa-ta'thir). they find God. or from enduring the drudgery of his work (muqäsät ta^ab a^mälihi) and the accumulation of his wealth {jam" mälihi). sometimes these discussions occur in other contexts. Another sign for them is that We carried their seed in the laden Ark. and they will not be able to gain a foothold in any station. as far as al-Qushayrî is concerned. and those who are trying to combine spirituality with worldliness or their own pleasure and lust is. In reality he gains no nourishment from his heart. because they will be swept away by those lusts into the wildernesses of alienation. not resting for one minute from the labour of his activities (min kadd afälihi). Al-Qushayrî draws on some evocative Qur'anic imagery when. And again commenting on the last part of the same verse he says: Those who cast the reins into the hands of their lusts will be lured by them into the vales of separateness (tafriqa). and He gives them their recompense'. Here al-Qushayrî is commenting on Q.Sufî tafstr as a Mirror ruins. and in his commentary he also introduces the imagery of aya 43. a real one because he sees them both to be suffering from the same psychological flaw. but when they come to it. This drives him to forgetfulness of his end and his final [abode] {"äqibatihi wa-ma^älihi) and causes his preoccupation with his children and household {waladihi wa. 2:9.

and the most remote from Sufîs. 2:27). Q. 2:13). and start giving them advice and browbeating them about being weak and incapable. describe the people of guidance (rushd) as 'lazy and incompetent. 2:11 and 12) as being people who reject the divine proof that has come to them in the form of admonitory thoughts. One example is when he interprets those who 'cause corruption on earth' (Q. al-Qushayrî draws an analogy with wealthy people who. when they are commanded to give up their worldliness. but when there is dark around them they stop (Q. so their spiritual resolve is weakened and their aspiration falls away. or some fear enters them which draws them nearer to repentance. We also find interpretations in al-Qushayrî's Latä'if which raise the subject of spiritual courtesy (adab) in Sûfîsm. and their families and children indicate that they should return to the world. status. al-Qushayrî explains. the spiritual master.e. comfort or livelihood!'. When it is said to them: Believe as the others believe. 'join'] is the protection of the rights (dhimäm) of the . in addition to these insights into spiritual psychology. Then they consult those who are closest to them.' In his commentary on the next verse. and say that the dervishes don't know anything."*^ And there follows this interesting observation: 'Just as the apostate is the most severe in enmity towards the Muslims.10 Journal of Qur'anic Studies (fikrihi wa-bälihi) and so his effort does nothing but harm him (mä sa^yuhu illäfi-wabälihi). so the person who returns to worldliness and to the ways of habit from the way of spiritual aspiration (iräda) is the most severe of people in rejecting this Sûfî way. so that their hearts are beginning to soften. 2:17): They move on when the light from the lightning comes. Qne can sense the exasperation of al-Qushayrî. is that 'God strips away the blessing in their states and in exchange gives them ears that are deaf to Him. Al-Qushayrî states:'** Among those things which the servant has been commanded to maintain [lit. al-Qushayrl's interpretations even provide us with some glimpses into the social background of Sûfîsm. Moreover He afflicts them with opposing the spiritual path (tarïqa) and withholds from them any belief in it'. The result of this rejection. He writes:"*^ Similarly just when heedless people are becoming attentive to the truths that are being preached to them. in his comment on another part of the Qur'anic simile cited earlier (i. and have no property. One example is his comment on the words those who sever the bonds that God has commanded to be joined (bi-waslihi) and who spread corruption on the earth (Q. they say: Shall we believe as the foolish do? (Q. 2:20). they go back and start to think it over. Sometimes.

was al-Qushayrî's spiritual master for a time. The context for this example is alQushayrî's commentary on Q. 11 Such interpretations are perhaps an indication of the structuring and formalisation of the Sufi way within the tarîqa which was beginning to take place during this period. simply by aiding and abetting in the crime. so that they occupy each other {yatashäghalüna) with their talk and their [own] concerns at the expense of providing guidance to an aspirant {irshäd murîd) or sharpening the keenness of a seeker {ishhädh qäsid).Sufi tafsîr as a Mirror people of this spiritual path. does not approve of from them. when the tribulation from that slip emanates from the heart {qalb) upon its desiring what is not right. The 'corruption on earth' of this tarîqa is their [the adepts'?] neglect of others who are peripheral to the states they are experiencing. 8:25. starting from the point of view of spiritual psychology. after the death of Abu ''Alî al-Daqqâq. and observes: When the senior person [on the path] {muqaddam) does what is not permissible for [one of] his rank. was the author of one such work on this subject.'' Al-Qushayrî then turns to the esoteric interpretation.^" In the mirror of al-Qushayrî's Latä^if we can also see reflected the sense of responsibility that is borne by the spiritual master. Al-Sulamî. will be visited upon his secret {sirr) in the form of a veiling'. in tum.'*^ Their endeavours are entirely dedicated to the continuance of the means of this tarîqa and the regulation of its affairs. the gist of which is that a person may be taken as a criminal.'^ Al-Qushyarî then applies this same principle to the spiritual community. and the outlay that is made to accomplish this is that of sincere aspirations not the expenditure of wealth. while his nafs will be afflicted by a punishment to come. be He glorified. then the blessings that were being passed from him to his followers and disciples will be cut off. and this is one of the things that God. which reads Beware of discord (fitna) that harms not only the wrongdoers among you: know that God is severe in His punishment. and moreover. in the form of an immediate (hardening {al-qaswa al-mu'ajjala)]. He observes that when the servant 'commits a slip with his lower self {nafs). Al-Qushayrî begins his interpretation by explaining the implications of this verse in terms of the Sharî^a. This involved not only the composition of Sun manuals but also the compilation of lists of rules of conduct for Sufis. and . who. even if he has not actually committed a crime. while their hearts are turned towards the expectation of God's guardianship of its people. a tribulation. a tribulation {fitna) from it will be visited upon his heart.

.12 Joumal of Qur' anic Studies {their being cut off from these blessings} is their share from the fitna. the disciple looks at him. and that becomes [the disciple's] portion of the/¡ma of the mystic.. there are principles in these interpretations that relate to the adab of aspirants towards their fellows on the path.^^ then they will suffer tribulation {for having omitted to point out to them]. and [the tribulation for] whatever worldly desire appears in him. [Moreover] abandoning that abstemiousness will result in his being lost in the vales of heedlessness and with worldly preoccupation.. Again. and lassitude interferes with the sincerity of the state (munäzala) that he had. Likewise.. even though they did not themselves commit any sin. Also worth noting is al-Qushayrî's mention of different types of spiritual wayfarers such as the renunciant (zähid) and the worshipper (or devotee. . each having their own disciples. 'äbid) as well as the mystic ("ärifi. then vacuity.^^ this is conveyed to those who are keen in their spiritual striving. allowing himself to take more from the world than suffices him for his needs. when the worshipper {"äbid) deviates from what is harder and leaves off what is nobler (awlä). This principle is then applied more widely. renunciant or worshipper. but also what might be called a 'social psychology' of the spiritual community. They get set in the way of laziness. and the abandoning of spiritual exertion leads them to following their passions . [Similarly] when the mystic ("ärifi tums back to something which holds some pleasure for him. This brings to mind the diversity of CO spiritual movements that were coexisting in Khurasan during this period. as al-Qushayrî continues:^^ Further it is said that when a renunciant (zähid) lowers himself by taking a dispensation in the law. even though it be permissible (haläl) according to the sacred law. the tribulation for that will be conveyed to the initiates he is training. As they say: 'If fools are not reprimanded they are as good as commanded. And he continues with another anonymous comment: ^^ " It is said that when great people [of the path] are silent instead of reprimanding their juniors. with regard to the things that they [the juniors] did.' Here the leaders are in effect being punished for neglecting to forbid wrong {nahl al-munkar) in the spiritual path.. We can see in these examples not only the spiritual psychology of the individual mystic.

which features more prominently in the Latä'if than it does in al-Sulamî's Haqä'iq al-tafslr . 7:143). al-Qushayrî explains Moses' request for vision as being the effect of the overwhelming of ecstasy upon him when he heard the divine speech. indeed.^^ By . the way of those who are madly in love.Sufî tafsir as a Mirror 13 Many of the extracts so far examined may have given a somewhat austere impression of our commentator. Moses fell down unconscious.^^ In this case.™ Before discussing al-Qushayrî's commentary it is worth quoting Q. he said. Moses became utterly intoxicated. When he recovered. 7:143 in full: When Moses came at the time We appointed. These were a subject of much controversy in Sûfîsm. However. so he uttered what he uttered. and his Lord spoke to him. if it remains standing firm you will see Me. 'Glory be to You! To You I turn in repentance! I am the first to believe!' Al-Qushayrî begins his commentary on this verse in the form of an expanded gloss on the Qur'anic words. more than one might expect from al-Qushayrî's Risäla. the final example from the Latä'if al-ishärät that I shall discuss here is one that reflects a warmer. he said. and there was nothing left to Moses of Moses. namely his interpretation of Moses and the theophany of Mount Sinai (Q. Thousands of men have travelled great distances and no one mentioned them. ' When his Lord revealed Himself to the mountain. where the subject of love is restricted to his chapters on mahabba and shawq. show Yourself to me! Let me see You! ' He said. And the drunkard (sukrän) will not be brought to account for what he says. more spontaneous side of al-Qushayrî. shathiyyät). and then he explains it in another way:^^ When he heard God's speech.and. but here is Moses who took just a few steps and youths will be reciting When Moses came at the time We appointed till the Resurrection. the interpretation would seem to confirm Gerhard Böwering's observation that Sufî exegesis often represents freer and more spontaneous expressions of Sufí doctrine than are to be found in the more apologetic manuals of Süfísm. When Moses came at the time We appointed:^' Moses came the way of those who are full of desire. To begin with. He made it crumble. the most famous of which were attributed to al-Hallaj and Abu Yazîd al-Bistamî (Bâyazîd). 'My Lord. Don't you see that in the text of the Book Moses is not reprimanded for a single word? Here is probably an allusion to the phenomenon of the ecstatic utterance (shath. Moses came. 'You shall not see Me but look at that mountain. pi. This interpretation also exemplifies al-Qushayrî's use ofthe theme of mystical love.

Then in the midst of all that he was saying 'My Lord. Or agam: Moses spoke with the tongue of utter neediness and said. But instead. the closer they become. than if God had simply said. and at least there is a certain comfort in renouncing all hope. he explains that the affliction for Moses was much greater in God's saying 'Look at that mountain. having increased his expectation.let me at least have one look! This affair is killing me!' Al-Qushayrî also comments on God's denial of vision to Moses in a number of ways. so that the mountain was able to see God .' But. the more their desire increases. 'Do you need anything from God? Is there something you want to say to Him? For I am going to commune with Him. So it was that Moses was deep-rooted in union.^^ asking them. because the latter was an unequivocal refusal. 'My Lord. each bringing another insight into the effect of mystical ecstasy:^* The person who desires the beloved most intensely is the one who is closest to the beloved. curtained all round with [divine] care. 'Show Yourself to me . the more people drink. But the greatest of all afflictions for him was to see God manifesting Himself to the mountain.14 Journal of Qur'anic Studies interpreting Moses' request as a shath al-Qushayrî appears here to be condoning it. not one word. show Yourself to me! Let me see You!' More interpretations are added. the thirstier they become. al-Qushayrî relates. though he was careful to exclude the shathiyyät of both al-Hallaj and Bâyazîd from hi his R i l ^ Al-Qushayrî introduces an element of charm to his commentary by relating the tradition that Moses attempted to gather as many things as possible to say when He came to the meeting with God. in the place of intimate communing {munäjät) with God. show Yourself to me! let me see You! ' . In one of these. He then made the mountain if he was absent from the Truth! But then. by saying 'fa-sawfa' (you will) He increased Moses' desire for what had been denied and. instead he spoke according to what overwhelmed his heart at that moment and said. vanquished by the sudden onslaughts of ecstatic attainment. and took it upon himself to speak for people. Al-Qushayrî adds that Moses was made to suffer even more by being commanded to look at other than the Beloved. 'You shall not see me'. Union inevitably goes on requiring perfection. But cruelty {qahr) is the way {sunna) of the beloved. Thus God protects the secrets of His chosen ones from lassitude {fatra). when he came and heard God's speech he could not remember anything. if it remains standing firm you will see me'.

a time when love mysticism was becoming increasingly prevalent among Sûfîs.Sufî/a/i¡r as a Mirror 15 whereas he was not.™ These elements do not feature in any of the comments on Q.g. sober and cautious.^' How do we therefore explain the unequivocal presence of love in al-Qushayrî's interpretation here and elsewhere in his Latä'if al-ishärätl Certainly. as Sûfîs themselves have described it. From the examples drawn from alQushayrî's Latä'if al-ishärät examined in this article. of course. spiritual outlook and temperament (e. the desire on the part of the lover not to see anyone other than the Beloved. al-Qushayrî adds. God] after the annihilation of the traces of Moses. we see above all a Sûfî master. the unveiling of the realities of Qneness (haqä^iq al-ahadiyya). 'the Absolute Truth [i. it can be said that Sûfî interpretation equally mirrors the particular doctrines. was better for Moses than Moses remaining to himself. Yet I believe what we may be seeing in his somewhat discreet expression of these themes is. an indirect reflection of the spiritual climate in Nîshâpûr at that time. he was granted. the lover's jealousy. the cruelty of the Beloved. Conclusion Sûfî Qur'an interpretation. was hard indeed!' In spite of this. and. It can also inform us of codes of conduct among Sûfîs.e. and even provide us with glimpses into the interaction of Sûfîs with the non-Sûfî community.^'^ In the mirror of al-Qushayrî's Latä'if al-ishärät. and al-Qushayrî adds 'that. reflects the spiritual capacity. or intoxicated). I would suggest that one may also be seeing in al-Qushayrî's Latä'if an indirect reflection of the wider cultural and spiritual ethos of Khurasan at a time when the doctrines of love mysticism were becoming a dynamic element in Sûfîsm. in that state of annihilation from himself. for al-Qushayrî informs us that after Moses had fainted at the sight of God's manifestation upon the mountain. 7:143 assembled in al-Sulamî's Haqä'iq al-tafsïr. concerned and inspired to elicit from the Qur'anic verses spiritual guidance (irshäd) . In this way we can more broadly see a reflection of the process of ordering and structuring of Sûfîsm within the tarïqa. the intoxication of the lover in communion with the Beloved. It is noteworthy that many of the themes that al-Qushayrî has incorporated into his interpretation of Q. al-Qushayrî was not himself known to be a proponent of love mysticism. there was to be compensation for Moses. in fact. 7:143 are central to Islamic love mysticism: the sense of longing. which becomes more intense with proximity to the Beloved. the degree of illumination and the diversity of states and stations experienced by each and every commentator.*'' Here we have a clear reference to the mystical doctrine of annihilation from self (fanä^) and subsisting in God (baqä"). and. just as witnessing of God through God is better than the creature subsisting in itself. and personal preoccupations and responsibilities of the commentator. with a growing sense of its identity within society at large. by God.

302. 1. "A. p.html. 2 Abu 'Abd al-Rahmân al-Sulamî. perhaps he even intended his comments to be of help to others who had vocations to be murshidün. 5 For example al-Sulamî. 4 Al-Sulamî. vol. MS Or. 9 Al-Sarräj. 1950).edu/islam/sufismtafsir. Trois œuvres inédites de mystiques musulmans (Beirut: Dar El-Mashreq. MS Or.H. and Leiden: E. Nwyia (ed. Mélanges Henri Corbin (Tehran: Kitäbfurüsh!-yi Tähüri. 612-13. section 2 (on the knowledge of fard kißya). Süfism] in Arabic' and 'the principal study of all later scholars'. NOTES * In the preparation of this paper I have made use of both Ibrahim BasyOnl's edition of the Latä'if al-ishârât (Cairo: Dar al-Kâtib al-'Arabî. 7-28. 19. pp. the selections edited by Nwyia in his Trois œuvres inédites. Arberry. 107. Orient 19 (1983). Arberry described al-Qushayrî's Risäla as 'the most esteemed and popular book on the subject [i. Insertions made on the basis of the manuscript will be between the symbols { and 1. 'inmost being' or 'innermost mystery'. http://www.1. 8 Al-Qushayrî. Maybudî. MS Or. 407-23. and corrections made will be indicated in the endnotes. Numerous editions of the Risäla are available. vol. 9433 f. (London: Luzac. vol. p. 1. 157. See also Abu Hamid al-Ghazâlî. Latä'if al-ishärät. p. K. 1914). Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam (London: Allen and Unwin. 45a. question 3). The word maknîinat is absent from 'Imrân's edition. (2 vols. pp. 229-30. It suggests both the mysterious. 11 A.J. Likewise in MS Kuprülü 117. p. There is no adequate translation of this word in English. 1 P. pp. 155. 2. vol. Haqä'iq al-tafsîr. Gibb Memorial Series. p. 2. Wright. ed. the translation is adapted from Nicholson's summary. ed. Editions of the Haqä'iq al-tafsîr used here are 'Imran's recent edition. Hikmat (10 vols. See his comprehensive overview of Süfí tafsîr. 'A Study of the Term Sirr (Secret) in Sufi ¿ató'i/Theories'. one of the best known being that published in . J. ''Imrän. in his article on the internet 'Sufi Koran Commentary: A Survey of the Genre'. de Goeje (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ch. f. Robertson Smith and M. Tehran: Amîr Kabîr. 30 (part 1. Kashf al-asrär. for which see A. 1952-60). vol.p. 1968-71). Nicholson. S. lists the Latä'if al-ishärät along with al-Tha'labî's al-Kashf wa'1-bayän 'an tafsîr al-Qur'än. pp. p. A Grammar of The Arabie Language: Translated from the German of Caspari and Edited with Numerous Additions by W. 33-4. ed. Damascus: Dâr al-Khayr. HaqäHq al-tafsîr. pp. Wright. l. 9433.J. Ihyä' 'ulîim al-dîn (6 vols. Kashf al-asrär wa-'uddat al-abrär. al-'Ilm. 7 Al-Sulamî. 2001). 1977). 2. Haqä'iq al-tafsîr. though it is sometimes rendered by such expressions such as 'innermost consciousness'. 'Un cas d'exégèse soufie: l'histoire de Joseph' in S. Nwyia. lb. Beirut: Dar alKutub al-'^Ilmiyya. Brill. is a term used by Süfís to describe a subtle centre of perception or locus of mystical experience deep within the human being. f. 7.). 1967). although he alludes to its esoteric content. pp.uga. 3rd edn. and the ineffability of the higher realities that are experienced in or through it. 1986). lb. revised by W.J.16 Joumal of Qur' anic Studies that can be of benefit not only to adepts. HaqäHq al-tafsîr. p. 10 Alan Godlas. 6 See W. Nasr. P. 19. lb. and the British Library manuscript MS Or.e. see Shigeru Kamada. vol. 9433. p. 9433. f. 612-13. p. 2. On this subject. indefinable nature of this inner 'organ'. R. but those at the more elementary stages of the Path. p. 1417/1997). and the Kuprülü 117 manuscript from Istanbul.A.A. meaning literally 'secret'. I. Kitäb al-luma" ß'l-tasawwuf. vol. See also Abü'1-Fadl Rashîd al-Dîn Maybudî. 3 The word sirr. vol. 31. 41. 1. as being in the category of 'moderate' commentaries as distinct from the category of 'esoteric' commentaries. 409.

97a) and Subkî (Tabaqät at-Shäß'iyya al-kubrä (6 vols. pp. 74-6 (an English translation of which can be found in John O'Kane. ed. Tehran: Intishärät-i Ägäh. p. 6-69. 2001). drawing on another quote from Arberry. pp. pp. 44-6. ed. The MS Leiden 811 consists of fifteen sessions of a . and Fârisî informs us that al-Qushayrî composed this work before 410 AH. 71."A. al-Imam al-Qushayrl slratuhu äthäruhu madhhabuhu ß'l-tasawwuf (Cairo: Majma' al-Buhöth al-Islämiyya. Knysh. 37-50.H. 279. Some of these treatises have been published by R. edited and translated into English in F. ed. J.Sun tafsîr as a Mirror 17 Cairo by Dar al-Kutub al-Hadîtha in 1966. 'Legitimizing Sufism in alQushayrî's Risala'. However. 2000).'A. Titles of further Süfí treatises by al-Qushayrî may be found in al-Samarrai. Supplementband 1. at the time he was composing his other Süfí works. 1994). 'Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayrî as a Theologian and Commentator'. al-Jindî (Cairo: "^Älam al-Fikr. a short treatise on dhikr (remembrance of God). Abdel Kader (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Hadîtha. p. the Nahw al-qulüb al-saghlr.M. alQushrayrî's sober. The Secrets of God's Mystical Oneness (California: Mazda and Bibliotheca Pérsica. 41-2. Asrar al-tawhldfl maqâmât Shaykh Abl Sa'îd. 1992). Studia Islámica 90 (2000). 1972). p. vol. Muhammad Rida Shafi'î Kadkanî (2 vols. 1967)). 4. I. Mojaddedi. 5. L Basyüní (Cairo: Dar al-Kätib al-'Arabî. See. 1. 93-133. 44-6. pp. 1969). 3. According to al-Fârisî (Kitäb al-siyäq h'lta'rlkh Nlsäbür. ed. 46). al-Samarrai. Theme of Ascension. ed. Mojaddedi. Basyûnî and A. vol. and Rashid Ahmad has edited a portion of this manuscript. The part of this thesis relating to al-Qushayrî has been published as Rashid Ahmad (Jullandri). which Arberry describes as having been 'carefully designed' (Arberry. 1964). Boston and Köln: E. al-Samarrai (Baghdad: al-MaJma" al-'Ilmî al-'^Irâqî. 1968). such as the Risäla. pp. 1999). the Kitäb al-mi'räj. ch. The Biographical Tradition in Sufism (London: Curzon. 1324/1906). Brill. Essays on Islamic Piety and Mysticism. 1977). Cairo: al-Matba'a al-Husayniyya. while Knysh. p. pp. Brill. 245). A. See also J. for example. Islamic Quarterly 13 (1969). 156-7) and Kadkanl's introduction. Frank in MIDEO 15 (1982). pp. 35 (London: Mouton. tr. f. p. Islamic Quarterly 13 (1969). 526). vol. Brill. 14 Qther mystical works by al-Qushayrî available in recent printed editions include: the Tartlb al-suluk. 'Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayrî as a Theologian and Commentator'. John Q'Kane (Leiden: E. Sufism. emphasis mine). 2"'' edn. p. states that al-Qushayrî composed his Latä'if al-ishärät before the year 410/1019. I. the Arba'a rasa'il ß'l-tasawwuf ed. 1987). However. for al-Qushayrl's exclusion of al-Hallaj from the biographical section of his Risala. 12 For a list of some of these works see Brockelmann. Frye in The Histories of Nîshapûr. 'Tafsîr in Süfí Literature with Particular Reference to AbQ'1-Qäsim al-Qushayrî' (University of Cambridge. 15 Halm's article on al-Qushayrî in the Encyclopaedia of Islam (art. pp. the title of al-Qushayrî's earlier commentary was al-Tafslr al-kabîr. cautious image is probably mainly due to the apologetic character of the Risäla itself. 132. it is more likely that he composed his mystical commentary later in his life. BasyOnî. See A. p. Islamic Mysticism: A Short History (Leiden. al-Jindî (Taräbulus: al-Där al-'Arabiyya li'1-Kitâb. and MIDEO 16 (1983). 59-94. Meier. Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (5 vols. 1992). pp. A fragment of Qur'anic commentary entitled Tafslr Qushayrî has been preserved in MS Leiden 811. Muhammad ibn Munawwar. A. Rashid Ahmad (Jullandri).N. 35. 13 This reputation may have accrued to him in part because of anecdotes related in the biography of Abu Sa^Id ibn Abî'1-Khayr. 1968). the Nahw al-qulüb al-kablr. It has been part-translated by Barbara von Schlegel as The Principles of Sufism (Berkeley: Mizan Press. Qasim al-Samarrai writes that al-Qushayrî was 'primarily a theologian and then a Sûfî'(Q. Q. states that throughout the Risäla al-Qushayrl 'portrays Sufism as "a fairly rigid and clearly definable way of life and system of thought'". 53-8. 770-2. which was completed in the year 438/1046. 'Kushayrî' in Encyclopaedia of Islam. in facsimile by R. pp.J.J. Leiden: E. assuming it to be part of al-Qushayrî's al-Tafsîr al-kablr (see his unpublished PhD thesis.J. Basyüní. pp. 1965). al-Imäm al-Qushayrî. the Tahblrfl 'ilm al-tadhklr. ed. Harvard Orientai Series. 1937^2). The Theme of Ascension in Mystical Writings (Baghdad: National Print and Publishing Company.

'Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayrî'. 283/896) (Berlin and New York: De Gruyter.G. such as Qâdî '^Abd al-Jabbar. Böwering. de Slane's translation of Ibn Khallikän's Wafayât al-a'yän as lbn Khallikän's Biographical Dictionary. p. and Q. Basyûnï's interpolation ofthe word bawädih is confirmed by MS Kuprülü. Although their names are not given in full. so as to juxtapose sections of exoteric and esoteric interpretation on each session (majlis) of the Qur'an. in Orientalia 58 (1989). f. 2006).J. 6a. 135. see his comments on Q. Oriens 3 (1950). See M. 'Sufism and the Qur^an' in Jane Dämmen McAuliffe (ed. 51. 22 This principle may also have been a motive behind Maybudî's juxtaposition of exoteric and esoteric interpretation in the Kashf al-asrär. 66:12. pp. Abu Nasr "^Abd al-Rahîm al-Qushayrî. the Kashf al-asrär. as in the case of comments of an ethical or theological nature. Oriens 36 (2001) pp. though this is more likely an abridgement by alQushayrl's son. However. 20 For example. art. Das Sendschreiben Al-Qusayrls über das Sufitum. for example. 67-8. and from some of the examples cited in A. Paris: Benjamin Duprat. 16 See Ahmad (Jullandri). 251 and 258. either of his father's al-Tafslr al-kablr.18 Journal of Qur' anic Studies traditional (exoteric) Qur'anic commentary which were delivered between the years 413 and 414 AH. pp. vol. 4:150. Encyclopaedia ofthe Qur'an (Leiden: E. Another exoteric commentary often attributed to al-Qushayrî is entitled al-TaysJrfl 'ilm al-tafslr or al-Tayslr fCl-tafslr al-Qur'än. pp. vol. especially that which discusses the union and separation of lover and beloved. Rashid Ahmad has identified them through a comparison with identical or similar comments cited in the commentary of Fakhr al-DTn alRâzî (see his 'Abu al-Qäsim al-Qushayrî'. Sands in her Sûfî Commentaries on the Qur'an in Classical Islam (London and New York: Routledge. 17 It is also evident from examples cited by Böwering in his discussion of al-Qushayrî's commentary on Q. 'Philologika XIII'. 2:250. I. and furthermore. 23 Al-Qushayrî. Brill. that he had Mu^tazilî leanings in his youth. 21 Although no Sufi commentary is entirely devoid of exoteric comments. pp. p. 113-44. 5. as is the case in al-Râzî's tafsïr. 24:35. See Chapter Two of my Sûfî Hermeneutics: The Qur'an Commentary of Rashid al-Dln Maybudî (Oxford: Oxford University Press in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies. pp. 569-72. it is not always possible to draw a sharp line between what constitutes an exoteric and an esoteric meaning. 137-59. see also Fritz Meier. 2. 1842-71). One Sûfî commentator who took this principle further is Maybudî. 19 Ibn Khallikän notes al-Qushayrî's particular predilection for poetry. surprisingly. Moreover. 1989). In the fragment attributed to al-QushayrI these names are followed by honorifics such as 'may God have mercy upon him'.). 57:21 to Q. XII (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. vol. 46-7. al-Qushayrî's manner of alluding to the exoteric meaning before moving on to the esoteric meaning follows a fairly consistent pattern in the Latä'if. who structured his entire commentary. On this subject. Abu ""All al-Jubbâ'î and Abu ""All al-Fârisî. 31-107. forthcoming late 2006). Abu Muslim al-lsfahânî. 1980). then it would indicate. Freiburger Islamstudien Band. The Mystical Vision of Existence in Classical Islam: The Qur'anic Hermeneutics of the Sûfî Sahl al-Tustarl (d. p. 18 G. 41-6). or of another commentary of his own. in his 'The Light Verse: Qur'anic Text and Sufi Interpretation'. If this commentary were to be a genuine composition of al-Qushayrî. 154. and Gerhard Böwering's review of Richard Grämlich. Also present in this fragment are comments by earlier mystics such as Yahyâ ibn Mu'adh and Fudayl ibn 'Iyad. from numerous examples translated by Kristin Z. . since the work includes numerous citations of well-known Mu'^tazills. 2006). Knysh. their comments are not contested. Oriental Translation Fund (4 vols. covering Q. Latä'if al-ishärät.

see Pierre Lory. 74). vol. 1. Latä'if al-ishärät. 33 Al-Qushayrî. since in its outer meaning the verse is referring to the disbelievers. vol. Latä'if al-ishärät. Kitäb al-luma'\ p. vol. f.A. Arberry as Doctrine of the Sufis. Thus he is providing an esoteric interpretation for two verses at the same time. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p.S. art. Latä'if al-ishärät. p.Sufî tafsir as a Mirror 19 24 Al-Qushayrî. 476/1083) concerning taqlld see N. 70. 1966). 137. 61. 10. 29 Al-QushayrI. vol. 64.J. 56-7. Gibb Memorial Series. 62. p. which has 'idhä aqbala al-layl'.swift in reckoning. vol. 'Takiîd' in Encyclopaedia of Islam. A. p. 37 Al-Qushayrî. vol. vol.J. Abu Bakr al-Kalâbâdhî. I. Abdel Haleem. Abdel Kader. See the definitions of ghayba and hudUr in Abu Nasr al-Sarraj. On the views of al-Shâfi'î and al-Shîrâzî (d. 24:39. On the basis of the Kuprülü MS I have substituted 'li-ghayibin' for 'yughibu'. Latä'if al-ishärät. ed. he becomes absent from this world to the extent that he is present in God. 56. It is interesting to note that al-Qushayrî is alluding to this verse in an esoteric manner. reprint (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1. Abdel Kader's translation of Junayd's epistle no. Bulliet. and the majority of following citations from the Qur'an. Latä'if al-ishärät. 2004). Kitäb al-ta^arruf li-madhhab ahl al-ta. he finds only God. Les Commentaires ésoteriques du Coran d'après "Abd al-Razzâq al-Qâshânî {Vms: Les Deuz Océans. and it is known that at some point after the death of his master. 218. The Life. 34 On the hermeneutics of al-Kâshânî. According to Richard Bulliet. 1. See R. 87. Latä'if al-ishärät. 40 Al-Qushayrî. 1. 15. A. Latä'if al-ishärät. 1980).H. when he gets there. I. pp. who pays him his account in full . The translation of the Qur'an cited here. Latä'if al-ishärät. which eventually came to be known as al-Qushayrî's madrasa.God is . tr. Latä'if al-ishärät. are taken from M. Latä'if al-ishärät. appendix 1. 111-12. 3. Personality and Works of al-Junayd. But the deeds of those who disbelieve are like a mirage in a desert: the thirsty person thinks there will be water but. in his commentary on Q. 41 Al-Qushayrî. on tawhld in A. 2:29 (p. 38 Al-Qushayrî. 1977). 50. as well as his son-in-law. 2'"' edn. 26 That is to say. 3. BasyQnî's correction (al-'ubûda in place of al-^ubudiyya) is confirmed by MS Kuprülü. al-Risäla alQushayriyya ß 'Um al-tasawwuf. Latä'if al-ishärät. 67-8. vol. pp. 32 Al-Qushayrî. ed. 174 (English). pp. The Patricians of Nishapur: A Study in Medieval Islamic Social History (Cambridge. 1. al-Qushayrî took charge of Abu '^Alî's madrasa. 340. p. 1973). vol. 64. See also al-Qushayrî's succinct but adamant refutation of the ascription of place {makän) in relation to God. 112. 35 Al-Qushayrî. vol. instead of 'idhä adalla al-layl' in the Basyûnî edition. 1933). vol. 1976). 25 Al-Qushayrî. on the basis of al-Fârisî's history.H. 57. 20a. p. p. 28 AI-QushayrI. The Qur'an: A New Translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 70. 1. p. The allusion is to Q. vol. p. 5 3 ^ (Arabic) and p. p. p. . Arberry (Cairo: Maktabat al-Khânjî. 22 (London: Luzac. 36 Al-Qushayrî was the foremost disciple of Abu "Alî al-Daqqâq. 27 See A. I. p. 31 Al-Qushayrî. 30 Al-Qushayrî. p. 214ff. this madrasa was really a Sûfî institution and a place where Sûfï activities took place rather than classes in law or legal debates. p. pp. 1. vol. pp. Latä'if al-ishärät. vol. 'Abd al-Halîm Mahmud and Mahmud ibn al-Sharïf (Cairo: Dâr al-Kutub al-Hadîtha. 39 This is according to the Kuprûlû MS. 250. Abû'1-Qâsim al-Qushayrî. I.sawwuf. Calder. Latä'if al-ishärät.

736/1335-6). 1. This list of rules may be found translated in R. 99a) as well as the nature of the tribulation for the secret (i. 616. 63. which is stylistically more pleasing. A good introduction to the subject of Sufi adab works is Fritz Meier's 'A Book of Etiquette for Sufis' in Meier. 1. 21-5. and in A. p. pp. pp. f. see M. 616. 44 Al-QushayrI. I have corrected '/mo man iahum' in the Basyünl edition to 'ihmälihim'. p. 616. p. 53 AI-QushayrI. Histories of Nishapur. p. p. 1. Nashr-i Danish. 74. both of which seem to make more sense in the context. p. 46. 54 Also al-QushayrI. International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 26 (1994). p. which includes a paraphrase in English of Najm al-DIn alKubrâ's Adäb al-murïdîn. this could mean 'their being undisciplined about the peripheral aspects or outer effects of their states'. tr. Alternatively. Latä'if al-ishärät. republished in N. 617. the Adäb al-murïdln of Najm al-Dîn al-Kubrä (618/1221). Laß'if al-ishärät. and 'iträq umürihim' to 'aträf umürihim' as per MS Kuprülü. there would also be a logic in al-Qushayrî's describing the nature of the tribulation from the heart (i. pp. Abu Sa'Id ibn Abi'l-Khayr is reported to have drawn up a list of rules for conduct in the Süñ lodge or khänaqäh. ed. Studies in Islamic Mysticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 67. 616. Latä' if al-ishärät. Essays on Islamic Piety and Mysticism.e. Mystical Dimensions of Isiam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Essays on Islamic Piety and Mysticism. the 'immediate hardening' (al-qaswa al-mu"ajjala). Later works on SOfl adab include the Adäb al-murïdïn of Abü'l-Najib al-Suhrawardî (d. 1975). Brill. However. vol. vol. 99a. and the Fusus al-ädäb of Yahyä Bäkharzi (d. 1369/1980-1). Etan Kohlberg. p. Latä'if al-ishärät. 3.). BasyOnl's edition has immediate punishment (al-'^aqüba al-mu'ajjala) for the heart and 'delayed punishment' (al-^aqüba al-mu'ajjala) for the nafs. Majmû'a-yi äthär-i Abu ""Aba al-Rahmän al-Sulamï (Tehran: Iran University Press. Latä'if ai-ishärät. On the concept of adab among early mystics see also N. Pourjavady (ed. 55 I have omitted '"inda tarkihim adhkärihim' which is absent from MS Kuprülü. vol. 12b. pp. 1. 1921).). 52 Al-QushayrI. for which see Frye. On the latter. 1. 'A Kubrawl Manual of Sufism: The Fusus al-ädäb of Yahyâ Bäkharzf in L. mentioned in MS Kuprülü. 1. f. vol. pp. Latä' if ai-ishärät. 1976).A.I. 56 Al-Qushayrî. Pourjavady. p. Lewisohn (ed. f. . p. 'Mä bi-majlis-i mihtarän sukhan nagu'tm: färsl gû'ï-yi 'Abd Allah Mubarak va adab-i Irani'. 289-310. 218. vol. 63. Jawämi'^ ädäb al-Süfiyya and "Uyüb alnafs wa-mudäwatuhä. John Q' Kane (Leiden: E.20 Joumal of Qur'anic Studies 42 Al-Qushayrî. Nicholson. vol. 'Sufi Organisations and Structures of Authority in Medieval Nishapur'. 563/1168). 50 First published in Abu "^Abd al-Rahman al-SulamI. 45 Al-QushayrI. 46 Al-QushayrI. 'Khurasan and the End of Classical Sufism' in Fritz Meier. p. Latä'if al-ishärät. 16:4 (2000). 47 The word dhimäm can also mean security of life and property. 'veiling' or hujba) in both the MS and BasyOnl's edition. Schloessinger Memorial Series. and intr. p. 49 On aspects of this development in Süfism see Margaret Malamud. 1. vol.e. Waley. tn any case. 189-219. 2. vol. 243. Schimmel. 48 Ihmäluhum hawäsht ahwälihim wa-aträf umürihim. 51 Al-Qushayrî. 1. 43 Al-Qushayrî. 72. 1992). Fritz Meier. vol. 1999). 1 (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press. 427^2. 1.J. Latä'if al-ishärät. The Legacy of Persian Sufism (London: Khanaqah-i Ni'matullahi. Latä'if al-ishärät. Latä'if al-ishärät. vol. vol. 49-92.

I. 2:1. 59 Mention has already been made of al-Qushayrî's fondness for love poetry. The MS Kuprülü. pp. Latä'if al-ishärät. vol. 66 Al-Qushayrî. 1. Bowering. who begins to be associated with theme of love in al-Qushayrî's Laiä'if alishärät. vol. Brill. I have corrected 'shuhüd al-haqä'iq bi'l-haqq'. Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (Albany: State University of New York Press. 72 An ethos which is much more directly reflected in Maybudî's Kashf al-asrär. p. 64 See J. 63 On the phenomenon of shathiyyät see Carl W. as for example in his interpretation of Q. to 'shuhud al-haqq bi'l-haqq'. p. f.Sufî tafsîr as a Mirror 21 57 This is according to Basyüní's correction. 65 That is. Studia Islámica 46 (1977). 68 Al-Qushayrî. I. Chabbi. 'Remarques sur le développement historique des mouvements ascétiques et mystiques au Khurasan'. Lata'if al-ishärät. 62 Al-Qushayrî. vol. p. 565. Hallaq and D. which seems more likely in the context of the words that follow: 'atammu min baqä' al-khalq bi'l-khalq. "an/and süfí in the histories of NîshâpQr in Bulliet. vol. 565-6. Latä'if al-ishärät. 58 See J. 71 I have found this equally to be the case in the comparative study of SDfí commentaries on Sûrat Yîisuf that 1 am at present completing. pp. Latä'if al-ishärät. 567. 564. 6-72. On the basis of MS Kuprülü. zähid. 55. for which see Chapters Three and Eour of my forthcoming Sufi Hermeneutics. Adams (Leiden: E. vol. 'The Qur'an Commentary of al-Sulamî' in W. pp. vol. His commentary on Sura 12 will be discussed below. 566. 1990). The Biographical Tradition. Islamic Studies Presented to Charles J.' 70 All these elements are to be found in the writings of proponents of Khurâsânî love mysticism such as Ahmad Ghazâlî. Little (eds). . Rashîd al-Dîn Maybudî. Laß'if al-ishärät. This is particularly evident in relation to the fígure of Jacob. as opposed to haqq in the Basyüní edition. 565. Lata'if al-ishärät. 99b seems to be defective here. Mojaddedi. 1985). 1. 61 Al-Qushayrî. p. while there is virtually no mention of love in relation to him in the commentary of alSulamî. 60 G. 1. p. pp. 88a. 1. reading khalq according to the MS Kuprülü. 88a. 41-2. 67 Al-QushayrT. p. 116-17. 69 Al-Qushayrî. f.B. but we also often find that his interpretations allude to the theme of love. and the statistical tables showing the occurrence of the terms 'äbid. The Patricians of Nishapur.J. 'Ayn al-Qudât Hamadânî and Shihâb al-Dîn Ahmad Sam'ânî. Ernst. f.