Published circa 1535, this collection of the works by Ahli Shirazi contains a poem with a verse dedicated to each of the 96 cards. So far as I know it has never been translated into English. I have a pdf copy of the document. Anyone interested in taking a stab at translating it?

Re: Rubaiyat-e-Ganjifa

The Rubaiyat-e-Ganjifa may have been translated before but I'm not sure where I can find it. From what I can recall, there are no rules mentioned. It's simply a long poem describing each card which is exactly like the Mughal Ganjifa but the two coin suits have swapped groups. In Iran, white coins were "weak" and red coins were "strong" but it's the other way around in India. Any translation is welcome of course.

Tarot isn't a thing in the Islamic world. Playing cards arrived in Europe via the Muslims but tarot was invented in Italy around 60 years after their introduction. As for cartomancy in the Islamic world, Iran has its own cards: which contained erotic imagery but desexualized after the revolution:

Re: Rubaiyat-e-Ganjifa

“Tarot isn't a thing in the Islamic world. Playing cards arrived in Europe via the Muslims but tarot was invented in Italy around 60 years after their introduction.“
Now I wonder why you would say that with such certainty Ludophone?
It seems to me that you look at the Tarot that was „invented“ in Italy (and found as a part of the Visconti heirloom in several versions) strictly from a „ playing cards“ perspective – which obviously does not fit the bill for these very complex „cards“ because of their dimensions and make-up.

I pointed that out in a lengthy thread here some time ago with factual evidence – but in a satirical fashion >

There you can read about some common misconceptions about the Visconti Tarot that originated in Mr. Kaplan's incapability to give the exact measurements – but a very rough and conveniently downsized estimation should have suited his financial plans even better.

When you say "Islamic world“ you mean the more or less "official“ varieties of the Muslim faith I suspect.
But you should also take the Sufis and their several branches into consideration.
Especially the Naqshbandiyah and the Mawlaw'iyya . Also the Nizaris and their history - back to their early roots.
And not their official cleric face and presentation – but the more mythical teachings and even attributed lore.

You will not find the Tarot there of course …

To the Masnavi - that Rumi (born 1207) wrote or better dictated for 12 years towards the end of his life in 1273 – were many verses added in his 6 books through the centuries – just as it happened to many antique authors (the Bible is a good example of that) and only in our days it has become possible to discern what is genuine or not by painstakingly restoring the original through the study of sources and the most ancient manuscripts found in the archives.

Here is a notable example:
(8) "We have kept the marrow of the Qur'an; we have left the skin for the donkeys/dogs [mâ ze-qur'ân maghz-râ bar dâsht-êm/ pôst-râ bahr-e kharr-ân/sag-ân be-g'Zâsht-êm]." This was translated by John Moyne: "We have picked the essence of the Koran, throwing away the skin to the dogs." ("Rumi and the Sufi Tradition," 1998, p. 70) This verse is obviously too radical to be authentic. Hundreds of verses, as well as other "improvements," have been added to the Masnavi over the centuries. This verse was added to the story of Moses and the Shepherd (preceding II: 1763) and may be found in some contemporary editions of the Masnavi in Iran. ... verses.pdf

To tear away a good portion of the most holy book would obviously not be considered good Muslim behaviour – and certainly does not reflect Rumi's respect for the Qur'an.
But implementations like these make a great impression on foreign readers of another faith and become part of the lore.

Just like the story in the Qur'an about the 3 high flying swans/cranes in the surah 53 that stirred up the scandal of the (original) satanic verses.
The Quraysh – who controlled Mecca and the Kaaba – were strongly opposed to the Prophet (even though he was born into their own Hashemite clan) and only submitted to the new faith the morning after he revealed to them that it would be OK for them to worship their God(desse)s under the new umbrella that he provided.
“Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzzá
and Manāt, the third, the other?
These are the exalted gharāniq [cranes], whose intercession is hoped for.” ... b8ec63a12

The first editions of the Qur'an held these 3 complete lines whereas in later editions the line
„These are the exalted gharāniq [cranes], whose intercession is hoped for.”
is cut and missing completely. In the contemporary Muslim conversation about this occurrence it is considered a „satanic temptation“ that the Prophet most probably only temporarily fell for and corrected very soon with a new and more mainstream revelation that he transmitted ASAP.
In some areas where Qurayshi live – even to this day – shrines for the 3 revered Goddesses can be found – adorned with fresh flowers.
The Qurayshi belief in the above 3 Goddesses came/comes with the belief in Hubal – the God that was worshipped in the Kaaba and who was imported from Mesopotamia – and so another Ba'al (or „Lord“) of the heavens.

The Qurayshi became the editors of the Qur'an because while the new faith grew the book was transmitted only orally by remembering the words of an in that matter educated speaker.
The Prophet revealed the Qur'an over a period of some 23 years concluding in 632 - the year he died. So it was quite a challenge to remain up-to-date on the matter for the conveyor.
When you look into the history of these editions you will find several differences – but the most striking thing is that there is no natural/chronological or even logical system to the Qur'an.

Mostly the surahs are ordered from long to short – but not always.
The time periods are all mixed up as are the places of the revalations etc.
There are 114 surahs. And it is common Muslim belief that surah 96 was the first to be given to the prophet.

Now it gets interesting.
Remember the supposedly wrong Rumi quote ...
"We have picked the essence of the Koran, throwing away the skin to the dogs."
… and read through the table of contents of the Qur'an …
until surah 79 An-Naziat - what can be translated as
“Those Who Pull Out”, in reference to “the angels who tear out the souls of the wicked”) is the seventy-ninth sura of the Qur'an with 46 ayat. Its name derived from the word wan-nazi‘at with which it opens. The root (n-z-‘) roughly means “to yank out with great force”,[2] although it can also mean “to yearn for” or “to yearn after”.

[Bold print by me – citation Wikipedia because there is a good summary of this matter] ... _the_Quran

Take it now as a “working hypothesis” that only the first 78 surahs are of importance for the much later conception of the Tarot.
You will not have to change the order of the surahs to achieve some ideas about the Visconti cards of course because they do not have numerals – but you could use overall the numerals that the first French Tarot provides and put LEMAT between XX and XXI.

Now you should read along with an open mind – starting with the first surah Al-Fatiha - what can be translated as “the opener/opening” (or otherwise > above Wikipedia link) and also you should be aware of course of several connotations of importance and interpretation this surah receives throughout all branches of Islam – what is “mirrored” in the LLBATELEVR's assumed talents in the later Tarot.

The second surah Al-Baqarah (the heifer/cow > especially as a sacrifice to the devine ... ) - would then be matched to LA PAPESSE what reflects her self sacrifice to devine matters very well – even when She seems to be a Heretic in the common people's eyes (and now being of supposedly Muslim origin in a very Catholic world ... only more so.)

With such openness you should read through the Qur'an ...

When you reach surah 22 Al-Hajj (the Pilgrimage) you may see another angle of LEMONDE – and 23 Al-Mu’minoun (the Believers) should be the Ace of Cups ...
... to the King of Cups who comes with the surah 36 Ya Siyn (the same letters)
and so on until the surah 78 An-Naba' (the Tidings) is reached with the face of the King of Coins.

In my other posts here on TH I refer to this same matter – without spelling it out so blunt as now here because I got quickly aware of the attitude towards the possible Muslim (or any other than Christian :) ) origin of the Tarot but if you are interested in further info on my POV you could go to the Unicorn Terrace and read more there.

It was nice talking to you and please forgive me that I spoke at such length about things that you most probably know about the Islamic culture - but I thought that I should explain some context in short detail for the newcomer.


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