• 19 Apr 2023
  • Aga Khan Centre and online (Zoom)
  • Book launch
  • Shi'i Studies

Book launch: The Emergence of Shi‘i Sufism: Sulṭān ʿAlī Shāh Gunābādī and His Commentary on the Qur’an

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The Bayan al-sa'ada fi maqamat al-'ibada is a Qur'anic commentary (tafsir) by the Sufi master Sultan 'Ali Shah Gunabadi (d. 1909), which represents a synthesis between Twelver Shi'ism and Sufism.

In the first detailed study of this work in English, Alessandro Cancian explores the intellectual contexts of Iranian Shi'ism and Sufism and introduces the author and the text. Sultan 'Ali Shah was a religious scholar, a philosopher in the Akbarian/Sadrian tradition, and a master of mysticism who drew from the classical tradition of Persian and Persianate Sufism. The Emergence of Shi'i Sufism: Sulṭān ʿAlī Shāh Gunābādī and His Commentary on the Qur’an provides a thematic and genealogical analysis of the text alongside a study of its impact and legacy. A translation of Sultan 'Ali Shah's own introduction, outlining his hermeneutical approach and theological and philosophical principles, is provided in an appendix. This book cuts across a range of disciplines within Islamic studies, including Qur'anic exegesis, Shi'i studies, Sufi studies, mysticism, and the intellectual history of Iran.

Join us at the book launch event, taking place in-person in the Crown Room (9th Floor), at the Aga Khan Centre with the author, Dr Alessandro Cancian, and the panel of discussants Dr Omar Ali-De Unzaga (IIS), Professor Sajjad Rizvi (University of Exeter) and Professor Walid Saleh (University of Toronto). A reception with refreshments will be available after the event.

Date: 4:00 - 5:30pm, Wednesday 19 April 2023

Location: Aga Khan Centre and online (Zoom)

Attendees are invited to join in-person and online; please note registration is essential, via Eventbrite or Zoom respectively. The event will be filmed, live-streamed, and the recording may be edited and used by The Institute of Ismaili Studies for marketing, educational and archival purposes. By registering for this event you consent to these terms.