Awḥād al-Dīn Kirmānī (d. 635/1238) was one of the most controversial Persian Ṣūfīs of the sixth/twelfth and seventh/thirteenth centuries. The controversy centred on the practice of samāʿ and his penchant for gazing at beautiful young boys (shāhidbāzī), which, sympathisers argue, was a way of
“ umfasst Beiträge von Peter Heath („Reading al-Ghazālī: e Case of Psychology“), Nasrollah Pourjavady („Stories of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī ‘Playing the Witness’ in Tabrīz (Shams-i Tabrīzī’s interest in shāhid-bāzī )“), Roxanne D. Marcotte („Reason ( ʿaql ) and Direct Intuition ( mushā - hada ) in the Works of
, hermeneutics and exegesis, ethics, poetics, ideas about corporeality and the body (through an analysis of shāhid-bāzī ), aesthetics, theodicy, spiritual psychology, and much more. Virtually no stone is left unturned in Lumbard’s highly erudite study—and if it is, it was invariably due to the constraints of
himself within the historical lineage of the mystical school of Bagdad which also used it in this way.
The shāhid may refer to the practice of shāhid-bāzī or the contemplation of divine beauty in a created form, such as in the face of a youth. Qushayrī’s disapproval of this practice is explicit in
-Faced Youths: A Case Study of Shāhid-Bāzī in Medieval Sufism’, Journal of Sufi Studies 1 (2012): 5, n. 3. References to Kirmānī’s rituals can also be found in Ḥamdallāh Mustawfī Qazwīnī, Tārīkh-i guzīda , ed. ʿAbd al-Ḥusayn Nawāʾī (Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1387 sh. / 2008), 667–8; and in Jāmī (d. 898
’ to the beauty and goodness of God, and initiated the practice of gazing at such a boy as a form of spiritual exercise.” 95 Such practices, known, among other things, as nazar-bāzī and shāhid-bāzī , and the literature referencing them, persisted well into the nineteenth century. This is not to say
’s Saint John, the Mughal artist may have been giving this Christian image the Islamic meaning of the beautiful shahid , or witness. In some mystical circles, it was believed possible to witness the divine while gazing at a handsome youth, an experience called shāhid-bāzī or naẓar-bāzī (playing the