Qutb

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Not to be confused with Qutbism.

Qutb, Qutub, Kutb, or Kutub (Arabic: قطب‎), literally means 'axis', 'pivot' or 'pole'.[1] Qutb can refer to celestial movements and used as an astronomical term or a spiritual symbol.[2] In Sufism, a Qutb or Kutb is the perfect human being, al-insān al-kāmil, who leads the saintly hierarchy. The Qutb is the Sufi spiritual leader that has a Divine connection with God and passes knowledge on which makes him central to (or the axis of) Sufism, but he is unknown to the world.[3] There is only one Qutb per era and he is an infallible and trusted spiritual leader. He is only revealed to a select group of mystics because there is a "human need for direct knowledge of God".[4]

According to the Institute of Ismaili Studies (Ismailism is a branch of Shīʻa Islam), "In mystical literature, such as the writings of al–Tirmidhi, Abd al–Razzaq and Ibn al–‘Arabi (d. 1240), [Qutb or Kutb] refers to the most perfect human being (al–insan al–kamil) who is thought to be the universal leader of all saints, to mediate between the divine and the human and whose presence is deemed necessary for the existence of the world."[5]

Scriptural Evidence of Qutb[edit]

In the teachings of al-Halkīm Tirmidhī, there is evidence to suggest that the qutb is the head of the saintly hierarchy which provides scriptural evidence to support the belief in the qutb. The hadīth attributed to Ibn Mas‘ūd has been used as proof that a qutb exists. This hadīth was called into question for its reliability of the sanad and was discarded by MuhammadRashīd Ridā.[6]

Temporal Qutb and Cosmic Qutb[edit]

Temporal Qutb[edit]

There are two different conceptions of the Qutb in Sufism: Temporal Qutb and Cosmic Qutb. The temporal and cosmic qutb are connected which guarantees that God is present in the world at all times. The temporal qutb is known as "the helper" or al-ghawth and is located in a person on Earth. The cosmic qutb is manifested in the temporal qutb as a virtue which can be traced back to al-Hallādj. The temporal qutb is the spiritual leader for the earth-bound saints. It is said that all beings - secret, animate, and inanimate - must give the qutb their pledge which gives him great authority. The only beings exempt from this are al-afrād, which belong to the angels; the djinn, who are under the jurisdiction of Khadir; and those who belong to the tenth stratum of ridjālal-ghayb.[6]

Due to the nature of the qutb, the location where he resides, whether temporal or cosmic, is questionable. It is thought by most that the qutb is corporeally or spiritually present in Mecca at the Ka'ba, which is referred to as his maqām.[7]

Cosmic Qutb[edit]

The Cosmic Qutb is the Axis of the Universe in a higher dimension from which originates the power (ultimately from Allah) of the temporal Qutb.[8] [9][10]

The Cosmic Hierarchy of the Qutb[edit]

The cosmic hierarchy is the way that the spiritual power is ensured to exist through the cosmos. Two descriptions of the hierarchy come from notable Sufis. The first is Ali Hujwiri's divine court. There are three hundred akhyār (“excellent ones”), forty abdāl (“substitutes”), seven abrār (“piously devoted ones”), four awtād (“pillars”) three nuqabā (“leaders”) and one qutb. [11]

The second version is Ibn Arabī’s which has a different, more exclusive structure. There are eight nujabā (“nobles”), twelve nuqabā, seven abdāl, four awtād, two a’immah (“guides”), and the qutb.[12]

People named Qutb or Qutb-ud-din[edit]

  • Sayyid Qutb (1906–1966), Islamist and Egyptian Muslim Brother, executed for plotting the assassination of Gamal Abdel Nasser
  • Qutb-ud-din Aybak (?-1210), Sultan of Delhi
  • Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (1173-1235), Sufi saint from Transoxiana, who came to live in Mehrauli India
  • Members of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, ruling family of the kingdom of Golconda in southern India, (1518-1687)
  • Qutb ud din Mubarak Shah (d. 1320), third and last ruler of the Khilji dynasty in India
  • Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi (1236–1311), a 13th-century Persian astronomer
  • Qutb ad-Din Mawdud (1149-1169), the Zengid Emir of Mosul
  • Qutb ad-Dīn Haydar (?-~1221), Persian Sufi saint (the Qutb is an honorific)
  • Qutb al-Din Muhammad (?-1127), was the first hereditary heir of the Khwārazm-Shāh dynasty.
  • Sai Baba of Shirdi (September 28-29,Unknown – October 15, 1918),was an Indian guru, yogi, and fakir who is regarded by his devotees as a saint. He was later named Qutub-e-Irshad (the highest of the five Qutubs as said in Sufism in Islam), a "Master of the Universe" in the spiritual hierarchy.
  • Qutb M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Ral (died 1986), Sufi Saint from Sri Lanka. Buried near Philadelphia

Buildings[edit]

  • Qutb complex, a group of monuments and buildings at Mehrauli in Delhi, India
  • Qutub Minar, tall brick minaret in Delhi, India

Things[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Esposito, John L. (2003). The Oxford dictionary of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. 
  2. ^ Hobson, J. Peter (2001). The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam. London, England: Stacey International & Cyril Glasse. p. 374. 
  3. ^ Brill, E.J. (1938). Encyclopaedia of Islam. A Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography and Biography of the Muhammadan peoples. Netherlands: Leiden. pp. 1165–1166. ISBN 90-04-09796-1. 
  4. ^ Esposito, John L. (2003). The Oxford dictionary of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. 
  5. ^ A glossary of terms, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
  6. ^ a b Bearman, P.; Kunitzsch, P.; Jong, F. "Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition". Koninklijke Brill NV. Retrieved 04/02/2011. 
  7. ^ Lewisohn, Leonard (1999). "An Introduction to the History of Modern Persian Sufism, Part II: A Socio-Cultural Profile of Sufism, from the Dahahbi Revival to the Present Day". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 62 (1): 36–59. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00017559. JSTOR 3107388. 
  8. ^ "Idris and Al Khidr"--see Axis of the Universe about one-fourth of the way down the web page:
  9. ^ "The Tree Symbol in Islam" by Noble Ross:
  10. ^ Discussion of the Planes of existence as conceived in Shi’ism:
  11. ^ The Saints of Islam, quoting The Mystics of Islam by Dr. Reynold A. Nicholson
  12. ^ Jones, Lindsay (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale. p. 8821. ISBN 0-02-865733-0.