Sayyidna Nasir-i Khusraw and the Meaning of Id al-Fitr

In Chapter 23 of his masterpiece, Wajh-i Din, Sayyidna Nasir-i Khusraw provides a beautiful account of the festival of Id al-Fitr. He explains that Id al-Fitr is a symbol of Mawlana Ali, who is known as the Asas or Foundation. Just as Id liberates people from hunger, Mawlana Ali liberates the mumins from ignorance. In zahir, the mumins celebrate and enjoy festive foods, while in batin they feast on spiritual nourishment, which is the ta’wil (esoteric knowledge) provided by Mawlana Ali to the believers.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

7 thoughts

  1. An event in nature that would both literally and symbolically match this duality of explanations as described by Nasir Khusraw(the zahir and the batin) is the ubiquitous process of Photosynthesis in green plants in nature:

    In Photosynthesis, green plants capture uv light from the sun, convert it into chemical energy in the form of well-known high-energy molecules, then use this energy to power a reaction where carbon dioxide is extracted from the atmosphere and combined with water to create food or nourishment(carbohydrate or sugar), releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. The image of taking light from the sun and using it to create nourishment in the form of food can be a symbol of the light(noor) of Imam providing spiritual nourishment for an individual human soul.

    Mawlana Hazar Imam has said that the whole cosmos is filled with such events that are signs and symbols of deeper truths and realities:
    “As Sura al-Baqara proclaims: ‘Wherever you turn, there is the face of Allah’.The famous verse of ‘light’ in the Qur’an, the Ayat al-Nur, whose first line is rendered here in the mural behind me, inspires among Muslims a reflection on the sacred, the transcendent. It hints at a cosmos full of signs and symbols that evoke the perfection of Allah’s creation and mercy”(Aga Khan IV,Speech, Institute of Ismaili Studies, October 2003, London, U.K.)


  2. Subhanallah! Exactly my first question as I was reading the first line of your post. Has this great book of Sayyidna Hakim Nasir-i Khusraw (r.a.) been translated in English? If so please could you give me the contact of obtaining some for myself and my friends? Thank you


  3. The Key That Opens All Doors

    You have touched
    The heart of millions
    You have left
    An imprint on their souls

    They look to you
    For guidance
    So as not to
    Encounter pitfalls

    You hold the key
    To the future
    That key
    That opens all doors

    We bow to you
    In humility
    And pray that
    Each soul to heaven soars


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