The Unveiling of Mysteries


Kashf al-asrār (The unveiling of mysteries) is a book of Qur’anic commentary dating from the early 20th century. The author, Shir Ahmad, was from Kabul, Afghanistan. In the Kashf al-asrār, Shir Ahmad makes repeated reference to an earlier and more comprehensive commentary but states that, because of the great bulk of the earlier work, he was forced to write a short text dealing with various essential topics. The Kashf al-asrār is organized as an introduction and 13 sections, with each section treating a collection of related verses from the Qur’an. Shir Ahmad writes the introduction in Persian, in which he makes a customary plea about the potential shortcomings of his work. In the subsequent section the commentary is in Arabic. The Qur’anic verses under consideration are written in the same color and in the same naskh calligraphy as the commentary, but they are set off by use of a larger script size. Somewhat unexpectedly, Shir Ahmad switches back to a Persian commentary (written in the nasta‘liq calligraphic style) mid-way through the subsequent section. The work concludes with a table of contents. Shir Ahmad’s Kashf al-asrār shares its name with a number of works, including a celebrated 12th century Qur’anic commentary by Rashid al-Din Maybudi. The book was printed and published in 1910 or 1911 in Kabul by Matbaʻah-i ʻUmumi.

Last updated: September 30, 2016