ARCHIVED: Work in Progress: Kristin Sands

by Katharine Reece MFA '12

Kristin SandsAn estimated 85 percent of Muslims don't speak Arabic. Even fewer can read Classical Arabic, which renders many religious texts inaccessible to the modern generation. To address this problem, the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan has recruited a number of scholars to translate important Qur'anic commentaries into English. One of these scholars is Kristin Sands (Religion), who is translating the Lata'if al-isharat (The Subtleties of Allusions) by Abu'l-Qasim al-Qushayri, an 11th-century scholar and Sufi teacher.

Al-Qushayri, like other Sufis, believed that the Qur'an has layers upon layers of meaning that cannot be reduced to one "official" interpretation. Instead, he insisted that the meaning of the Qur'an is uncovered on an ongoing basis by individuals through careful reflection and spiritual practice.

Because the Institute's objective is to make these works broadly accessible, Sands' translation of this six volume work will be published not only in print, but also online, next to the translations of other Qur'anic commentaries.