An Earlier Copy of al-Suhrawardī′s Awārif al-Ma ārif and Its Scribe, Abū Ṭāhir al-Ḥanafī

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This paper introduces an accomplished Hanafī traditionist [muhaddith] named Abū āhir Abd al-Salām Ibn Abī al-Rabī al-Shīrāzī (b.bef.590/1194, d.661/1263), and two newly-discovered manuscripts that shed light on his life, works, and networks. The first manuscript is an earlier copy of Umar al-Suhrawardīs (539-632/1145-1234) influential Sufi treatise, Benefits of Intimate Knowledge [Awārif al-Maarif] that Abū Tahir copied in 603/1206. In addition to updating the terminus ad quem of al-Suhrawardīs masterpiece, the manuscript also preserves a significant audition [sama] record. While Abū Tāhir transcribed this early copy, he seems to have neither participated in the later transmission of the work nor formed a Sufi identity. A well-connected traditionist who has not yet received scholarly attention, he wrote many works, none of which have been studied so far. This paper introduces his life and works, traces his immediate teachers and pupils in transmitting prophetic sayings, and analyzes a hitherto unstudied manuscript of his Forty Sayings on the Virtue of Praying for the Messenger of God [Al-Arba Ūn fi Faḍīlat al-Ṣalat ala Rasūl Allāh], The paper demonstrates that the study of al-Suhrawardī′s Awārif al-Maārif by non-Sufi traditionists can be traced back to its earliest extant copy available to us.

Original languageEnglish
Article number613
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Islamic manuscripts
  • Sufism
  • ḥadīth studies

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