The K. al-Mashyakha is a manual for Nuṣayrī shaykhs. Its significance as a window into the otherwise secret world of Nuṣayrī ritual was augmented by the role it played in the formation of Nuṣayrī studies: in 1860, it served as the basis for the first monograph on the Nuṣayrī religion, Samuel Lyde's posthumously published Asian Mystery. However, for over 150 years, the K. al-Mashyakha has been missing. This article announces its rediscovery in two identical manuscripts and identifies two additional works based on this text, the well-known Nuṣayrī catechism, K. Taʿlīm diyānat al-nuṣayriyya, and the recently published K. al-Mashyakha issued by the Lebanese press, Dār li-ajl al-maʿrifa. In solving the mystery of its disappearance and rediscovery in two copies, this article provides new insight into the nineteenth-century Nuṣayrī world from which the K. al-Mashyakha emerged, as well as that of the European orientalists who pioneered this field.
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