Mystical Qur'an studies

[Qur'anic studies]. Two Southern Arabian essays about the magical virtues of the Qur'an.

Yemen, [28 Dec. 1832 CE] = 5 Shaban 1248 H.

8vo (115 x 162 mm). 100 ff. Arabic manuscript on paper. 21 lines, per extensum. Brown ink (as well as light red for rubricated terms) in an essentially drawn, compact, non-serifed Yemeni naskh calligraphy.


19th century Arabic manuscript copy of two much earlier mystical works concerning the virtues and benefits related to the knowledge and recitation of the Holy Qur'an, namely:

1) Kitab al-Barq al-Lami wa’l-Gayt al-Hami ("The Book of the Shining Flashes and Showering Rain"), epitomizing the work of the early Islamic judge Abu Bakr al-Gassani, probably an abridged version of the "Kitab ad-Durr an-Nazim fi Fada'il al-Qur'an al-Azim" by the Yemeni mystic Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-Hassab (fl. 1250s AD).

2) Kitab Hawass Ayat min-al-Qur’an wa Fawatih al-Suwar ("The Book of Peculiarities of the Qur'anic verses and the Surahs’ overtures"), a late work by the famous Persian mystic and thinker Abu Hamid al-Gazali (d. 1111 AD), here referred to by his traditional honorific "Huggatu’l-Islam" ("Proof of Islam").

The book contains an anthological commentary on specific Qur'anic verses (ayat) and their supposed virtues and talismanic properties. The first work’s initial chapter, e.g., deals with the virtues of those verses in the Holy Qur'an that name the Prophet (an-Nabi) Muhammad. Immediately afterwards, the Ayat al-Shifa’ (i.e., “Healing Verses”) are included. Here, they are nine Qur'anic verses deemed effective against illness if recited by a believer with pure heart. The second part of this codex quotes several Qur'anic verses suitable for specific occasions, listed after each Surah.

Dated in the first colophon, where Amr bin Abi Hurayra is mentioned, the son of a famously prolific Yemeni traditionist and hadith collector (Sunni scholars ascribed to Abu Hurayra more than 5000 hadiths). The scribe is named as Ahmad ibn al-Hagi Muhammad.

Cf. F. Sobieroj, Variance in Arabic Manuscripts - Arabic Didactic Poems from the 11th to the 17th Centuries (Berlin 2016), pp. 90f. & note 128.

Art.-Nr.: BN#43620 Schlagwörter: , ,