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Lata’if al-isharat

Subtle Allusions Volume VI

TRANSLATOR: KRISTIN ZAHRA SANDS
Subtle Allusions (Lataʾif al-isharat) is a line-by-line Arabic Qurʾanic commentary by the scholar and Sufi master Abu l-Qasim al-Qushayri (d.465/1074), who was also the author of the influential and widely read handbook on Sufism known as the Risala. Qushayri believed, like other Sufis, that the Qurʾan has layers upon layers of meaning, and that the attempt to reduce these layers to definitive interpretations demonstrates the limitations of the intellect rather than fidelity to the text. He suggested instead that the meaning of the Qurʾan is something to be discovered on an ongoing basis by individuals who are deeply engaged in reflection and other spiritual practices. Qushayri demonstrates this kind of interpretation in the Lataʾif with his own and other Sufis’ comments and meditations on the entire Qurʾan, not just the passages that would seem to be particularly conducive to a more interiorized or mystical reading. The commentary is noteworthy for its literary quality.

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10th Muharram Urs Mirza Jan e Jana, Delhi 1195AH/1780CE

Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i Jānān Dargha in Delhi

Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i Jānān Dargha in Delhi

Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i Jānān (Urdu: مرزا مظہر جانِ جاناں), also known by his laqab Shamsuddīn Habībullāh (1699–1781), was a renowned Naqshbandī Sufi poet of Dehli, distinguished as one the “four pillars of Urdu poetry.”He was also known to his contemporaries as the sunnītrāsh, “Sunnicizer”, for his absolute, unflinching commitment to and imitation of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. Continue reading

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Yawm Ashura’

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10th Muharram Urs Hazrat Imam Hussain, Karbala, Iraq 61AH/680CE

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Hussain Shrine in Karbala

Hussain ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib was the son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (ra) (final Rashidun Caliph and first Shia Imām) and Fātimah Zahrā (daughter of Muhammad (saw) and Khadija (ra)). Hussain is an important figure in Islām as he is a member of the Ahl al-Bayt (the household of Muhammad) and Ahl al-Kisā, as well as being a Shīa Imām, and one of The Fourteen Infallibles of Shīa Twelvers. Continue reading

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Discourse – 9 Muharram 1440

السلام عليكم

Islam attaches great importance to the concept of pardoning of sins by Allah (swt) so that we may be saved from the hell of our making here on earth and in the afterlife. That hell of an unhappy or fearful heart and mind. On several occasions, The Holy Quran gives such prayers as: Continue reading

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5th Muharram Urs Hazrat Fuzail bin Iyaz (87 H./705 AD)

In the Chishti silsila he is the khalifa of Hazrat Khwaja ‘Abd al-Wahid bin Zayd, who is the khalifa of Hazrat Khwaja Hasan Basri. His spiritual descendant and khalifa is Hazrat Khwaja Ibrahim Adham. I do not have a picture of his dargah (mazar) or even know where it is located. The following story about his beginnings as a highway robber is considered an excellent teaching story both for understanding his attunement and in our understanding of what it means to be given a trust. Continue reading

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