Hayakal al-Nur (Temples of light) in Poetry Alfya al-Hikmat al-Elayia ala Mazhab al-Eshraghieen

Hüseyni Z.

The Journal of "Hekmat e Mo'aser" (Contemporary Wisdom) , vol.12, no.1, pp.309-372, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Extended abstract
In this poem of one thousand couplets (alfīya) which was composed in the eighteenth century, the treatise The Temples of Light has been poetized. There is a separate commentary on the treatise which shall be introduced in a moment. In the present work, Alfiya has been edited and published alone.
An introductory discussion of Alfiya and the commentary
The author of the treatise is a person named Hassan al-Kurdi who has described himself as the “versifier” (nāẓim) and Suhrawardi as “the author”. In his commentary on The Temples of Light, he has used the commentary by Jalal al-Din Davani (d. 1502 AD) on The Temples of Light and the one by Qutb al-Din Shirazi (d.1311 AD) on The Philosophy of Illumination. He has also used several philosophical works to supplement his content. He names Suhrawardi as “Abu al-Faraj Muhammad Suhrawardi”. In some of his couplets the author has referred to Quranic verses and used their themes in his poetry.    
This Alfiya is subsumed under pedagogical poetry, where the form of poetry is utilized to facilitate learning and memorization of various types of knowledge. In Arabic, this kind of poetry is more in the metre rajaz, which is why it is called arjūza. The first couplet of Alfīya is as follows:
Yā ḥayyu yā qayyūm yā dha-l-qūdra Ayyid wa-thabbitni bi-nūr al-ḥikma
The treatise is the second book in which one of Suharawardi’s work is poetized. Prior to that, in the fourteenth century, Imad al-Din Arabshahi Yazdi had versified Suharawardi’s The Lovers’s Companion (Munis al-Ushshaq).


Composition’s date
As it can be inferred from the introduction to the script, Hassan al-Kurdi lived in Damascus, and he had been writing his commentary from the first day of Ramadan until the Day of Arafa (the ninth day of the month dhi-l-hajja according to the Islamic calendar), i.e. in about one hundred days. At the end of his commentary, he has equated, under the abjad system, the date of finishing his work (1170 AH/ 1756 AD) with the word “ghasqī”. The stamp of Ottoman Sultan Selim III’s Royal Library has been put on the margin of Alfiya and its commentary.
On the author
In biographical dictionaries, there are different people named Hassan al-Kurdi, but none of them could definitely be said to be the author of the treatise; hence no available information about him. 
A description of the copies
The unique copy of Alfiya numbered 2486 and the commentary script numbered 2515 are housed in Turkey’s Suleymaniyī Library. There are some lacunas in Alfiya, but checked against the couplets in the commentary, finally the number of Alfiya’s couplets is exactly 1000, and the couplets are completely diacriticized. The text of the commentary is mixed with verses of Alfiya, and it has no diacritical marks. From the commentator’s introduction, it can be inferred that Alfiya and the commentary were written by the same person. Scripting is in naskh style and very legible. There are lacunas and errors in both Alfiya and the commentary, which have been corrected on the margins.
Research method
Because of the uniqueness of the script of Alfia, in editing this treatise the method of editing based upon the original copy was employed. Those verses that have repeated themselves as a result of being mixed with the text of the commentary have been used as the second copy, and the differences are reported in the footnotes.
Publication of the work can make a contribution to research on Suhrawardi and the history of Islamic philosophy and its impacts.