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Influences of Qushayrī’s Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt on Sufi Qur’anic Commentaries, Particularly Rūzbihān al-Baqlī’s ʿArāʾis al-bayān and the Kubrawi al-Taʾwīlāt al-najmiyya

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Abstract Although the significance of ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Qushayrī’s Qur’anic commentary, Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt, might appear limited, in fact its impact was widespread geographically and historically and was both obvious and hidden. This study demonstrates that eight tafsīrs, written from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries and possessing a significant Sufi component, were all influenced by Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt and ranged from Morocco to Central Asia and India and included the Ottoman world, the Arab Middle East, and Iran. Using the previously recognized influence of Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt on Maybudī’s Kashf al-asrār as a point of comparison for examining the degree, manner, and acknowledgment of influence, this study focuses on illuminating the impact of Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt on the Qur’anic commentary of Rūzbihān al-Baqlī, ʿArāʾis al-bayān, and that of the Kubrawi school, al-Taʾwīlāt al-najmiyya. One significant difference is that quotations from Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt were appended to and not integrated with Baqlī’s writing, whereas they were integrated into al-Taʾwīlāt. Most importantly, Qushayrī’s authorship is acknowledged in ʿArāʾis al-bayān but not in al-Taʾwīlāt. This discovery of the hidden influence of the Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt on al-Taʾwīlāt al-najmiyya helps to clarify the latter’s problematic authorship, strengthening Paul Ballanfat’s argument that Najm-i Rāzī revised the text originally written by Najm al-Dīn Kubrā.

Affiliations: 1: University of Georgia USA


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