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The Spiritual and Physical Progeny of ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Qushayrī: A Preliminary Study in Abū Naṣr al-Qushayrī’s (d. 514/1120) Kitāb al-Shawāhid wa-l-amthāl

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Abstract This article discusses discoveries made concerning the teachings of ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Qushayrī based on a preliminary analysis of the manuscript Kitāb al-Shawāhid wa l-amthāl recorded by Abū Naṣr al-Qushayrī (d. 514/1120), one of Qushayrī’s six sons. This text is the most significant attestation to the transmission of Qushayrī’s influence as it was passed down directly by his progeny. The first part of this study will briefly examine the careers of Qushayrī’s sons and their intellectual and spiritual legacy. The primary questions here are: what did the sons receive from their father and how did they transmit it? What role did familial bonds play in the transmission of religious knowledge and the mystical path? How should we understand the term Qushayriyya that the biographical sources used to describe the Qushayrī family? The second part will concentrate on the above mentioned manuscript and its transmission. After summing up the life and the career of Abū Naṣr and discussing issues of this manuscript’s authorship, the significance of the term shawāhid will be analyzed according to the role of poetry in Sufi literature. Then three important aspects of the Kitāb will be also examined.

Affiliations: 1: University of Provence France


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