Ismāʿīl al-Qaṣrī, Kubrawiyya, and Sufi Genealogies: “Deep-Dark Transmissions” in Medieval Iran

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This paper sheds light on Ismāʿīl al-Qaṣrī, his scholarly and pietist networks, Sufi genealogy, and its later transmission. Other than his debated role in Najm al-Dīn Kubrā’s initiation into Sufism, very little is known on this understudied yet significant Sufi from Khuzistan. The paper argues that Ismāʿīl al-Qaṣrī and his western Iranian Sufi genealogy was the primary, rather than secondary, initiatory chain claimed by Kubrā, his associates, and the later heritage. Besides, al-Qaṣrī’s robe continued to be transmitted beyond Kubrā’s Sufi chain, and received multiple names in the absence of a prominent, eponymous master to claim it. Also introducing the figures in al-Qaṣrī’s, and hence Kubrā’s, spiritual genealogy, the paper discovers the overlooked yet decisive impact of Iranian masters, most notably the famous pietist of the Fars area, Abū Isḥāq al-Kāzarūnī, on Sufism in the later tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalIranian Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Abū Isḥāq al-Kāzarūnī
  • Ismāʿīl al-Qaṣrī
  • Khuzistan
  • Kubrawiyya
  • Kāzarūniyya
  • Najm al-Dīn Kubrā
  • Robe (khirqa)
  • Sufism

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