My book “Sufi Master and Qur’an Scholar: Abū’l-Qāsim al-Qushayrī and the Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt“ has been published by Oxford University Press in conjunction with the Institute of Ismaili Studies for the Qur’anic Studies Series. The monograph is the eighth to appear in the series and examines the life of famous mystic al-Qushayri and his final commentary of the Qur’an entitled Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt (“Subtleties of the Signs”). This text, which was composed alongside his other major work al-Risāla in 434 AH/1042-3 CE, is a mystical reading of the Qur’an that nevertheless demonstrates other aspects of al-Qushayrī’s scholarly personality, including his knowledge of conventional exegesis, language, poetry, hadith, law, and theology. The present study seeks not only to delineate the nature and hermeneutics of al-Qushayrī’s commentary but also to situate the work into the larger history of Qur’anic exegesis.
The image on the cover is a bowl from the 10th to 11th century CE, which is contemporaneous with al-Qushayrī, and is from the city of Nishapur in Iran, which al-Qushayrī called home. At present the bowl is in possession of the Kensington Church Street Antique Dealers Association. The writing on the inside fo the bowl is not Qur’anic. The bowl itself is of a style similar to other artifacts currently held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.