Rashid al-Din Maybudi, author of this Sufi commentary on the Quran, was a major twelfth-century scholar of Maybud, near Yazd in central Iran. This commentary, called Kashf al-asrar wauddat al-abriar [The Unveiling of the Mysteries and the Provision of the Pious], is one of the earliest and longest commentaries on the Quran in the Persian language, though a good portion of it is in Arabic.
Maybudi explains select verses and their allusions (ishara); by this he means the manner in which the words and imagery can be understood as pointing to various dimensions of the soul's relationship with God. Maybudi's work also came to be known by the subtitle of the published Persian edition, Tafsir Khawaja Abdallah Ansari [Quran Commentary of Master Abdallah Ansari] because Maybudi wrote it after having studied the Quran commentary of Ansari (d. 1088), an influential scholar and Sufi saint from Herat.
About The Translator
William C. Chittick is professor of religious studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was born and raised in Milford, Connecticut and earned his BA in history at the College of Wooster (Ohio) and then went to Iran, where he completed a PhD in Persian literature at Tehran University in 1974.
He taught comparative religion in the humanities department at Aryamehr Technical University in Tehran and, for a short period before the revolution, was assistant professor at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He returned to the United States in 1979 and for three years was assistant editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica (Columbia University). Professor Chittick has written and translated thirty books and one hundred-fifty articles on Islamic thought, Sufism, Shiism, and Persian literature.
His more recent books include in Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought (2012); Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul (2007); Me & Rumi: The Autobiography of Sham-i Tabrizi (2004); The Elixir of the Gnostics (2003); The Heart of Islamic Philosopy (2001); Sufism: A Short Introduction(2000); and The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-Arabi's Cosmology (1998).
He is currently working on several research projects in Sufism and Islamic philosophy.