Intellect and Universal Soul in a Qasida by Nasir-i Khusraw

Intellect and Universal Soul in a Qasida by Nasir-i Khusraw
Image via tasvirafghanistan.com

By Leonard Lewisohn – University of Exete

This essay attempts to decipher some of obscure religious, cosmological, theological, and psychological allusions found in Nasir-i Khusraw’s metaphysical poetry. A single qasida is translated, each line given exhaustive commentary and its key concepts–particularly Soul (nafs, jan), Intellect (‘aql), Substance (jawhar), and Form (surat)–placed in their proper philosophical and literary context. Some resemblances between this poet and other Isma’ili thinkers such as Abu Yacqub al-Sijistam and Sufis such as Jalal al-Dm Rum are adduced, as well as the intellectual fraternity between his thought and that of Western Neoplatonic thinkers and poets such as Plotinus, Ficino, Milton and Pope noted.

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Author: ismailimail

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

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