The book on Sufi Hermeneutics by Dr Annabel Keeler, the third publication in the Institute’s Qur’anic Studies series, examines the Sufi approach to Qur’anic interpretation as exemplified in a twelfth-century Persian tafsir, Rashid al-Din Maybudi’s Kashf al-asrar (Unveiling of Mysteries) – arguably one of the most important Qur’anic commentaries in the Persian language.

Dr Reza Shah-Kazemi’s book on Imam ‘Ali provides an introduction to the spirituality of Imam ‘Ali through analysis and reflection upon the vast corpus of sayings attributed to him in the Muslim tradition. Previously, this book also received the Book of the Year on Vilayat (Kitab-e Saal-e Vilayat ) award at Qom, Iran. The book Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition by Dr Leonard Lewisohn and Professor Christopher Shackle is a comprehensive survey and study of ‘Attar’s literary works and mystical doctrine to date, situating his poetry and prose within the wider context of the Persian Sufi tradition, upon which his writings wielded such a tremendous formative influence.

On behalf of all the non-Iranian prize-winners at the ceremony, Dr Keeler gave a short speech in Persian in which she expressed her gratitude, adding that such prizes are important in the field of knowledge as they give encouragement to researchers and writers. On the eve of the prize-giving ceremony, the International Prize winners were given a tour of the National Library of Iran.

They were also presented with a framed certificate and an edition of Rumi’s Mathnawi with beautiful calligraphy.