By Abu 'l-Qasim Al-Qushayri, Alexander Knysh
Translated through Alexander D. Knysh
The writer of the Epistle on Sufism, Abu'l-Qasim al-Qushayri (376-465 H / 986-1074 CE), used to be a well-known Sunni Shafi'i Ash'ari pupil and mystic (Sufi) from Khurasan in Iran. His Epistle is among the preferred Sufi handbook ever. Written in 437 H / 1045 CE, it has served as a prime textbook for lots of generations of Sufi newbies right down to the current. al-Qushayri has given us an illuminating perception into the typical lives of Sufi devotees of the 8th to 11th centuries CE and the ethical and moral dilemmas they have been dealing with in attempting to strike a fragile stability among their ascetic and mystical convictions and the exigencies of existence in a society ruled via rank, wealth, and armed forces energy. In al-Qushayri's narrative, the Sufi 'friends of God' (awliya') are depicted because the precise, if uncrowned, 'kings' of this global, no longer these worldly rulers who seem to be lording it over the typical herd of believers. but, even the main complex Sufi masters usually are not take salvation with no consideration. Miracle-working, regardless of how incredible, can't warrantly the Sufi a 'favorite final result' within the afterlife, for it can be yet a ruse at the a part of God who desires to try the ethical integrity of his servant. within the Epistle, those and lots of different Sufi motifs are illustrated by means of the anecdotes and parables that convey al-Qushayri's fellow Sufis in a wide selection of contexts: struggling with starvation and thirst within the wilderness, whereas acting pilgrimage to Makkah, engaging in 'spiritual auditions', reciting the Qur'an, waging struggle opposed to the 'infidel' enemy and their very own wishes, incomes their livelihood, meditating in a retreat, praying, operating miracles, interacting with the 'people of the market-place', their kinfolk and friends, dreaming, and loss of life.
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Additional info for al-Qushayri’s Epistle on Sufism: al-Risala al-Qushayriyya fi Ilm al-Tasawwuf
The custodian answered: “If this were so, then [the Creator] would be able to provide you with sustenance in your own country. ”//49 Shaqiq took heed and embarked on the path of world-renunciation. 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 That is, a Sufi. In another reading, “the army of the dead”. Meaning the first Muslims. In another reading, al-Ghazzali. On him see IM, pp. 32–33. See IM, pp. 33–34 and pages 36–37 in this book. Probably Central Asia. ABU πL-QASIM AL-QUSHAYRI 31 Some said that the cause of his conversion to asceticism was as follows.
Musa say: I heard Muhammad b. ” I heard Muhammad b. al-Husayn say: I heard Muhammad b. ∏Ali al-Hafiz say: I heard Abu Mu∏adh al-Qazwini say: I heard Abu ∏Ali al-Dallal say: I heard Abu ∏Abdallah b. Qahraman say: I heard Ibrahim al-Khawwas90 say: “I came to a man who was possessed by Satan. I began to utter the call to prayer in his ear. ’ ” Ibn ∏Ataπ91 said: “When God Most High created the letters,92 He made them one of His mysteries. When He created Adam, He infused this mystery93 into him, without however giving it to His angels.
80 A famous Sufi of Shiraz, who died in 371/982; on him see IM, “Index”, under “Ibn Khafif”. 81 Of the Divine Law. 82 That is, one that was improperly obtained. ABU πL-QASIM AL-QUSHAYRI 29 would. I gave him a piece of dry bread that we happened to have. ’ ” Abu Sulayman Dawud b. Nusayr al-Taπi He was a person of great importance. ] Matar told me: Muhammad b. Musayyib told me: Ibn Khubayq told me: Yusuf b. ” I heard our master Abu ∏Ali al-Daqqaq – may God have mercy on him – say: “The cause of Dawud’s conversion to asceticism was as follows.