By Abu 'l-Qasim Al-Qushayri, Alexander Knysh
Translated by way of Alexander D. Knysh
The writer of the Epistle on Sufism, Abu'l-Qasim al-Qushayri (376-465 H / 986-1074 CE), was once a recognized Sunni Shafi'i Ash'ari pupil and mystic (Sufi) from Khurasan in Iran. His Epistle is definitely one of the most well-liked Sufi handbook ever. Written in 437 H / 1045 CE, it has served as a first-rate textbook for lots of generations of Sufi newcomers right down to the current. al-Qushayri has given us an illuminating perception into the standard 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 lifestyles in a society ruled through rank, wealth, and army energy. In al-Qushayri's narrative, the Sufi 'friends of God' (awliya') are depicted because the real, if uncrowned, 'kings' of this international, 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 without any consideration. Miracle-working, regardless of how surprising, can't warrantly the Sufi a 'favorite end 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 plenty of different Sufi motifs are illustrated by means of the anecdotes and parables that express al-Qushayri's fellow Sufis in a wide selection of contexts: struggling with starvation and thirst within the wasteland, whereas appearing pilgrimage to Makkah, partaking in 'spiritual auditions', reciting the Qur'an, waging struggle opposed to the 'infidel' enemy and their very own wants, incomes their livelihood, meditating in a retreat, praying, operating miracles, interacting with the 'people of the market-place', their family and friends, dreaming, and loss of life.
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Extra info for al-Qushayri’s Epistle on Sufism: al-Risala al-Qushayriyya fi Ilm al-Tasawwuf
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. He saw a slave boy who was playing around and rejoicing during a famine, whereas all other people were afraid of it [famine]. Shaqiq asked him: “Where does your liveliness come from?
He “does whatsoever he desires”,104 and [all] creatures obey His verdict. Nothing can happen in His realm unless He so willed, and no event can take place in His kingdom, unless He has predetermined it. When he knows that something should happen, He wills it and it happens indeed. And when He knows that something should not happen, although [in principle] possible, He wills that it should not happen. He is the creator of men’s deeds, both good and bad; He is the originator of all the entities and events in this world, rare or numerous.
Yahya] replied: “All other attributes belong to [His] creatures. ” Muhammad b. ”//25 Ibn Shahin asked al-Junayd about the meaning of the [word] “with”. ”83 He answered: “The All-Compassionate asserted His essence, while denying [His location] in a specific place. ” He answered: “The All-Compassionate has existed forever, while the Throne is an originated thing. ”85 Someone asked Ja∏far b. ” Ja∏far al-Sadiq87 said: “Whoever believes that God is [located] in something, [that originated] from something or [rests] upon something, has become//26 a polytheist.
al-Qushayri’s Epistle on Sufism: al-Risala al-Qushayriyya fi Ilm al-Tasawwuf by Abu 'l-Qasim Al-Qushayri, Alexander Knysh