Search results for: sufism


Author : Nile Green
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Since the emergence of Sufism in the ninth century, the shrines, brotherhoods and doctrines of the Sufis have held vast influence in almost every corner of the Muslim world. Offering the first truly global account of the history of Sufism, this illuminating book traces the gradual spread and influence of Sufi Islam through the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and ultimately into Europe and the United States. Moving beyond the description of doctrine, this book places Sufism in its social, cultural and historical contexts. It dismantles the stereotypes of Sufis as otherworldly "mystics" by anchoring Sufi Muslims in the lives of their communities. It explores Sufism's cross-cultural links with music, poetry, architecture and folk traditions, and delves into the social and political factors by which Sufi holy men gained followers among not only tribesmen and peasants but also emperors and bureaucrats - alliances that made leading Sufis powerful even at the height of European colonization. Requiring no background knowledge of Islamic history or doctrine, this book provides readers with an ideal introduction to Sufism as a global phenomenon. It explores not only the theology and ritual of Sufism but also its influence in shaping societies and cultures across the world.


Author : Carl W. Ernst
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The Sufis are as diverse as the countries in which they've flourished—from Morocco to India to China—and as varied as their distinctive forms of art, music, poetry, and dance. They are said to represent the mystical heart of Islam, yet the term Sufism is notoriously difficult to define, as it means different things to different people both within and outside the tradition. With that fact in mind, Carl Ernst explores the broadest range of Sufi philosophies and practices to provide one of the most complete and comprehensive introductions to Sufism available in English. He traces the history of the movement from the earliest days of Islam to the present day, along the way examining its relationship to the larger world of Islam and its encounters with both fundamentalism and secularism in the modern world.


Author : Alexander Knysh
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A pathbreaking history of Sufism, from the earliest centuries of Islam to the present After centuries as the most important ascetic-mystical strand of Islam, Sufism saw a sharp decline in the twentieth century, only to experience a stunning revival in recent decades. In this comprehensive new history of Sufism from the earliest centuries of Islam to today, Alexander Knysh, a leading expert on the subject, reveals the tradition in all its richness. Knysh explores how Sufism has been viewed by both insiders and outsiders since its inception. He examines the key aspects of Sufism, from definitions and discourses to leadership, institutions, and practices. He devotes special attention to Sufi approaches to the Qur’an, drawing parallels with similar uses of scripture in Judaism and Christianity. He traces how Sufism grew from a set of simple moral-ethical precepts into a sophisticated tradition with professional Sufi masters (shaykhs) who became powerful players in Muslim public life but whose authority was challenged by those advocating the equality of all Muslims before God. Knysh also examines the roots of the ongoing conflict between the Sufis and their fundamentalist critics, the Salafis—a major fact of Muslim life today. Based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Sufism is an indispensable account of a vital aspect of Islam.


Author : Frithjof Schuon
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This revised and expanded edition of Frithjof Schuon's Sufism: Veil and Quintessence contains: a new translation of this classic work; previously unpublished correspondence by Frithjob Schuon; an editor's preface by James S. Cutsinger; a new foreword by Seyyed Hossein Nasr; extensive editor's notes by James S. Cutsinger; a glossary of foreign terms and phrases; an index; and biographical notes.


Author : Sherman A. Jackson
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Sherman Jackson offers a translation and analysis of Ibn 'Ata' Allah al-Sakandari's Taj al-'Arus, a work on spiritual education steeped in the classical Sufi tradition. Written in classical aphoristic style, the text is a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom and self-refinement, free of all of the usual barriers between Sufism and the common believer.

Introduction to Sufism

Author : Eric Geoffroy
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From Rumi's whirling dervishes in Turkey over 700 years ago, to circles of silent mystics in the West today, this book reveals the history and practices of Sufism, the ancient but still active system of Islamic mysticism which has long been the spiritual current in Islam that counterbalances fundamentalism. Eric Geoffroy is an authority on Sufism, and he shows us this increasingly popular contemplative dimension of Islam, which is little understood in the West.

Western Sufism

Author : Mark J. Sedgwick
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Western Sufism is sometimes dismissed as a relatively recent "new age" phenomenon, but in this book Mark Sedgwick argues that it has deep roots, both in the Muslim world and in the West. In fact, although the first significant Western Sufi organization was not established until 1915, the first Western discussion of Sufism was printed in 1480, and Western interest in Sufi thought goes back to the thirteenth century. Sedgwick starts with the earliest origins of Western Sufism in late antique Neoplatonism and early Arab philosophy, and traces later origins in repeated intercultural transfers from the Muslim world to the West, in the thought of the European Renaissance and Enlightenment, and in the intellectual and religious ferment of the nineteenth century. He then follows the development of organized Sufism in the West from 1915 until 1968, the year in which the first Western Sufi order based on purely Islamic models was founded. Western Sufism shows the influence of these origins, of thought both familiar and less familiar: Neoplatonic emanationism, perennialism, pantheism, universalism, and esotericism. Western Sufism is the product not of the new age but of Islam, the ancient world, and centuries of Western religious and intellectual history. Using sources from antiquity to the internet, Sedgwick demonstrates that the phenomenon of Western Sufism draws on centuries of intercultural transfers and is part of a long-established relationship between Western thought and Islam.

The Principles of Sufism

Author : Aishah al-Bauniyyah
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Aishah al-Bauniyyah of Damascus was one of the great women scholars in Islamic history. Born into a prominent family of pious scholars and Sufi devotees, Aishah received a thorough religious education and memorized the Quran at age eight. A mystic and a prolific poet and writer, she composed more works in Arabic than any other woman before the 20th century. Yet despite her extraordinary literary and religious achievements, Aishah al-Bauniyyah remains largely unknown. For the first time, her key work, The Principles of Sufism, is available in English translation. The Principles of Sufism is a mystical guide book to help others on their spiritual path. Outlining the four principles of Repentance, Sincerity, Remembrance, and Love, it traces the fundamental stages and states of the spiritual novice’s transformative journey, emphasizing the importance of embracing both human limitations and God’s limitless love. Drawing on lessons and readings from centuries-old Sufi tradition, Aishah advises the seeker to repent of selfishness and turn to a sincere life of love. In addition to his lucid translation, Th. Emil Homerin provides an insightful introduction, notes and a glossary to Aishah al-Bauniyyah’s remarkable account of the pursuit of mystical illumination.


Author : A.J. Arberry
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Originally published in 1950.Thinkers such as Ghazali and Ibn `Arabi, poets such as Ibn al-Farid, Rumi, Hafiz and Jami were greatly inspired by the lives and sayings of the early Sufis. This book was the first short history of Sufism to be published in any language, illustrating the development of its doctrines with numerous quotations from literature.

Global Sufism

Author : Francesco Piraino
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Sufism is a growing and global phenomenon, far from the declining relic it was once thought to be. This book brings together the work of fourteen leading experts to explore systematically the key themes of Sufism's new global presence, from Yemen to Senegal via Chicago and Sweden. The contributors look at the global spread and stance of such major actors as the Ba 'Alawiyya, the 'Afropolitan' Tijaniyya, and the Gülen Movement. They map global Sufi culture, from Rumi to rap, and ask how global Sufism accommodates different and contradictory gender practices. They examine the contested and shifting relationship between the Islamic and the universal: is Sufism the timeless and universal essence of all religions, the key to tolerance and co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims? Or is it the purely Islamic heart of traditional and authentic practice and belief? Finally, the book turns to politics. States and political actors in the West and in the Muslim world are using the mantle and language of Sufism to promote their objectives, while Sufis are building alliances with them against common enemies. This raises the difficult question of whether Sufis are defending Islam against extremism, supporting despotism against democracy, or perhaps doing both.


Author : Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
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This is a clear and accessible approach to the spiritual tradition of Sufism, a mystical path which uses the energy of love for inner transformation. Vaughan-Lee gives an outline of Sufism--its basic principles, historical background, and recent development in the West, and offers practical guidelines to help the seeker.

Sufism and Taoism

Author : Toshihiko Izutsu
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In this deeply learned work, Toshihiko Izutsu compares the metaphysical and mystical thought-systems of Sufism and Taoism and discovers that, although historically unrelated, the two share features and patterns which prove fruitful for a transhistorical dialogue. His original and suggestive approach opens new doors in the study of comparative philosophy and mysticism. Izutsu begins with Ibn 'Arabi, analyzing and isolating the major ontological concepts of this most challenging of Islamic thinkers. Then, in the second part of the book, Izutsu turns his attention to an analysis of parallel concepts of two great Taoist thinkers, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu. Only after laying bare the fundamental structure of each world view does Izutsu embark, in the final section of the book, upon a comparative analysis. Only thus, he argues, can he be sure to avoid easy and superficial comparisons. Izutsu maintains that both the Sufi and Taoist world views are based on two pivots—the Absolute Man and the Perfect Man—with a whole system of oncological thought being developed between these two pivots. Izutsu discusses similarities in these ontological systems and advances the hypothesis that certain patterns of mystical and metaphysical thought may be shared even by systems with no apparent historical connection. This second edition of Sufism and Taoism is the first published in the United States. The original edition, published in English and in Japan, was prized by the few English-speaking scholars who knew of it as a model in the field of comparative philosophy. Making available in English much new material on both sides of its comparison, Sufism and Taoism richly fulfills Izutsu's motivating desire "to open a new vista in the domain of comparative philosophy."

Sufism Heart Of Islam Pb

Author : Sadia Dehlvi
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About the Book : - This engaging and well-researched narrative provides an insider's understanding of Islam in all its aspects. It elaborates on how Sufism is the preserved spiritual path that forms the heart of Islam. Drawing from an in-depth study of Muslim texts and traditions, the author articulates that Sufism is not an innovation, but the continuity of a thought process that links Muslims to their religious predecessors all the way to Prophet Muhammad. The book covers the remarkable lives of the early Sufis, their literature, and philosophies that stress on the purification of the heart. It highlights the major Sufi orders, their popularity in the subcontinent and how the teachings of Sufi Masters impacted the devotional aspect of Muslims forever. This comprehensive account spans from early Islam to the modern day concerns of militant ideologies, arguing how they pose the biggest threat to the classical understanding of the faith. It offers an insightful look at the complex relationship of Sufism with both Muslim and non-Muslim societies. About the Book : - Sadia Dehlvi is a well-known columnist who writes for leading publications of the subcontinent. Besides editing a monthly Urdu journal for women, she has produced and scripted a number of documentaries and television programmers. For over 30 years, Dehlvi has been engaged in voicing concern on issues regarding heritage, culture, women and Muslim communities.

What is Sufism

Author : Martin Lings
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Sufis and Anti Sufis

Author : Elizabeth Sirriyeh
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Despite its continuing appeal in the Muslim world, Sufism has faced fierce challenges in the last 250 years. This volume assesses the evolution of anti-Sufism since the middle of the eighteenth century and Sufi strategies for survival. It also considers the efforts of a few significant Muslim intellectuals to contemplate a future for a mystical approach to Islam without traditional Sufism. Many studies of Islam in the modern period have focused on the attempts of Muslim 'modernists' or 'fundamentalists' to come to terms with western modernity, and Sufis have often been marginalised in the process. Elizabeth Sirriyeh redresses this neglect by assigning to Sufism a central place in the broader history of Islam in the modern world and by examining how changing understandings of Sufism's role in modern conditions have affected Muslims of all shades of opinion.

Encyclopaedia of Sufism

Author : Masood Ali Khan
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Conventionally The Word Sufi Is Considered Synonymous With The Word Mystic , But The Word Sufi As Used In Arabic, Persian, Turkish And Urdu, Has A Religious Connotation. The Sufis Claim To Have Inherited Their Doctrines Direct From The Teachings Of The Holy Prophet, Who, Strictly Speaking, Has Given No Dogmatic Or Mystical Theology.The Classical Sufism Of The Early Brotherhoods Was Strong On Simple, Straightforward Faith In Islamic Theology, Personal Devotion To God And Trust (Tawakkul) In Him Under All Conditions, Personal Loyalty To The Prophet Of Islam And Allegiance To The Qur An And The Shri At. The Faith Was Accompanied By The Practice Of A Well-Controlled Ascetic Life And In Many Cases Meant Renunciation Of The World. Then Followed The Khanqah Stage And Concentration, Between A.D. 1100 And 1400, On The Creation Of The Silsilah-Tariqah System, Its Organization, Its Rules Of Conduct And The Writings Of Handbooks Both On Esoteric Doctrine And On The Sufi Path. During Its Historical Development It Gathered Elements And Characteristics From The Intellectual And Cultural Climate Of The Region Concerned Which Transformed It Into A Bourgeois And Later A Mass Movement Of Wide Acceptance.The Fundamental Of Sufism Is God, Man And The Relation Between Them, Which Is Love. The Whole Sufi Theosophy Revolves On These Three Pivots.The Present Work Organised In 12 Volumes, Is Designed To Bring Together The Valuable Information On Suffism, Its Doctrines And Preachings, Main Orders, Prominent Sufi Saints, Their Life And Teaching, Etc. The Information Is Drawn From Various Authoritative Sources. The Primary Purpose Of This Work Is To Serve As A Basic Handbook On Significant Topics Of Sufism.No Doubt, This Work Will Prove Of Utmost Value To The Scholars And Laymen Alike Who Wish To Have Detailed Look Into Sufism.

Sufism in the West

Author : Jamal Malik
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With the increasing Muslim diaspora in post-modern Western societies, Sufism – intellectually as well as sociologically – may eventually become Islam itself due to its versatile potential. Although Sufism has always provoked considerable interest in the West, no volume has so far been written which discusses this aspect of Islam in terms of how it is practised in Western societies. Bringing together leading international authorities to survey the history of Islamic mysticism in North America and Europe, this book elaborates the ideas and institutions which organize Sufism and folk-religious practices. The chapters cover: the orders and movements their social base organization and institutionalization recruitment-patterns in new environments channels of disseminating ideas, such as ritual, charisma, and organization reasons for their popularity among certain social groups the nature of their affiliation with the countries of their origin. Providing a fascinating insight into how Sufism operates within different spheres of society, Sufism in the West is essential reading for students and academics with research interests in Islam, Islamic history and social anthropology.

Sufism in America

Author : Julianne Hazen
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This book sheds light on the living tradition of mystical Islam by focusing on the Alami Tariqa in Waterport, New York. It explores how this order has acculturated to the American setting, why individuals are drawn to the tariqa, and what it means to pursue spiritual goals in a modern, Western society.

Essential Sufism

Author : Robert Frager
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The definitive compendium of Sufi wisdom, 'Essential Sufism' draws together more than three hundred fables, poems and prayers that reveal the luminous spirit of Islamic mysticism. Embracing all eras and highlighting the many faces of Sufism, this colle


Author : Jean-Louis Michon
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For hundreds of years, the inner spiritual core of Islam has been the focus of Sufi thinkers. These essays allow the reader to understand the wisdom and history of Sufism.