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The Cambridge Companion to Sufism by
Publication Date: 2014-12-05
Sufism, the mystical or aesthetic doctrine in Islam, has occupied a very specific place in the Islamic tradition, with its own history, literature and devotional practices. Its development began in the seventh century, almost immediately after the early conquests, and spread throughout the Islamic world. The Cambridge Companion to Sufism traces its evolution from the formative period to the present, addressing specific themes along the way within the context of the times. In section discussing the early period, the devotional practices of the earliest Sufis are considered. The section on the medieval period, when Sufism was at its height, examines Sufi doctrines, different forms of mysticism and the antinomian expressions of Sufism. The section on the modern period explains the controversies that surrounded Sufism, the changes that took place in the colonial period and how Sufism transformed into a transnational movement in the twentieth century. This inimitable volume sheds light on a multifaceted and alternative aspect of Islamic history and religion.
The Doctrine of the Sufis by
Publication Date: 1977-08-26
This 1935 English translation of a classic Arabic text in Sūfīsm, the mystical aspect of Islam, by A. J. Arberry preserves the beauty and simplicity of the original without departing from a literal translation. Little is known of the author of this treatise Abū Bakr al-Kalābādhī, except that he was a lawyer and died in Bukhārā in about AD 990. This book is the work on which his fame rests, and is important because it is the earliest extant text to reconcile the position of Sūfīsm and orthodox Islam. The book consists of five parts: a general introduction to the term Sūfī and an enumeration of the names of the great Sūfīs; a statements of the tenets of Islam, as accepted by the Sūfīs; a discussion of the various 'stations' of the Sūfīs; and a discussion of the various phenomena of Sūfīsm. This is a superb English introduction to Sūfīsm.
The Heritage of Sufism by
Publication Date: 2018-04-30
The first volume in a three-volume set, this is a study of the rise of Persian Sufi spirituality and literature in Islam during the first six Muslim centuries. This collection of 24 essays covers the key achievements of the Muslim intellectual and cultural tradition in history, mysticism, philosophy and poetry. It demonstrates the positive role played by Sufi thinkers during this period. The subjects covered include: Sufi masters and schools; literature and poetry; spiritual chivalry; divine love; Persian Sufi literature - Rumi and 'Attar.
Mystical Dimensions of Islam by
Publication Date: 1975-01-01
Mystical Dimensions of Islam presents, for the first time, a balanced historical treatment of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism -- Islamic mysticism -- from its beginnings through the nineteenth century. Through her sensitivity and deep understanding of the subject, Annemarie Schimmel, an eminent scholar of Eastern religions, draws the reader into the mood, the vision, the way of the Sufi in a manner that adds an essential ingredient to her analysis of the history of Sufism. After exploring the origins of the mystical movement in the meditations of orthodox Muslims on the Koran and the prophetic tradition, the author then discusses the development of its different stages, including classical voluntarism and postclassical theosophical mystical trends. Particular emphasis is placed on spiritual education, the different ways of leading the mystic toward the existential realization of the profound mystery of the profession of faith that "there is no deity but God." Sufi psychology and Sufi orders and fraternities are comprehensively explored. Through an examination of mystical anthropology, which culminates in the veneration of the prophet and the saints, the questions of free will and predestination, of good and evil, are implied. The main burden of the text, however, is Sufism as reflected in Islamic poetry, and Professor Schimmel examines the various aspects of mystical poetry in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sindhi, Panjabi, and Pashto. The author skillfully demonstrates how Sufi ideals permeated the whole fabric of Muslim life, providing the average Muslim -- villager or intellectual -- with the virtues of perfect trust in God and the loving surrender to God's will. Professor Schimmel's long acquaintance with Turkey, Iran, and the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent provides a unique emphasis to the study, and the author's personal knowledge of Sufi practice in these regions lends a contemporary relevance to her work.
The Mystical Vision of Existence in Classical Islam by
Publication Date: 1979-10-01
The Studies in the History and Culture of the Islamic Orient (STIO) is the series of "Supplements" to the journal Der Islam. Both are published by the Section for the History and Culture of the Near East in the Asian-African Institute of the University of Hamburg. The Section was established in 1908, before the foundation of the University of Hamburg. Under its first Director, C.H. Becker, it was the first academic centre in Germany in which teaching and research concentrated on the historical and cultural aspects of the Islamic world, and not just on philological issues. Many of Germany's leading authorities in Islamic Studies have studied and/or taught here. The "Supplements" have maintained the same high quality and met the same high demands as the journal Der Islam and have published numerous studies on the history and culture of the Islamic world which have represented milestones in their relevant fields. The "New Series" of Supplements appearing since 2004 carries this tradition forward and provides a platform for publishing studies on the history and culture of the Islamic world from the beginnings of Islam up to the present day. Series closed with vol. 27. Resumption with vol. 28 under the title "Studies in the History and Culture of the Middle East (SME)". "
Publication Date: 1997-10-01
Sufism is the inner dimension of Islam, expressing hidden archetypes in concrete symbols. To the Sufi, both the ritual of the worshipper and the work of the craftsman evoke the life which resides within all things: the preparedness of matter to answer the call of God. Through the Sufi themes of the descending arc of Creation, the formation of the human soul, and its return through the ascending arc of the Quest, this book brings to light the spiritual reality which underlies the forms and rhythms of the Islamic tradition.
Sufi Aesthetics by
Publication Date: 2011-09-15
Sufi Aesthetics argues that the interpretive keys to erotic Sufi poems and their medieval commentaries lie in understanding a unique perceptual experience. Using careful analysis of primary texts, Cyrus Ali Zargar explores the theoretical and poetic pronouncements of two major Muslim mystics, Muhyi al-Din ibn al-�Arabi (d. 1240) and Fakhr al-Din �Iraqi (d. 1289), under the premise that behind any literary tradition exist organic aesthetic values. The complex assertions of these Sufis appear not as abstract theory, but as a way of seeing all things, including the sensory world. The Sufi masters, Zargar asserts, shared an aesthetic vision quite different from those who have often studied them. Sufism�s foremost theoretician, Ibn �Arabi, is presented from a neglected perspective as a poet, aesthete, and lover of the human form. Ibn �Arabi in fact proclaimed a view of human beauty markedly similar to that of many mystics from a Persian contemplative school of thought, the �School of Passionate Love,� which would later find its epitome in �Iraqi, one of Persian literature�s most celebrated poet-saints. Through this aesthetic approach, this comparative study overturns assumptions made not only about Sufism and classical Arabic and Persian poetry, but also other uses of erotic imagery in Muslim approaches to sexuality, the human body, and the paradise of the afterlife described in the Qur�an.
Sufi Bodies by
Publication Date: 2013-09-24
Between 1300 and 1500 C.E. a new form of Sufi Islam took hold among central Islamic peoples, joining individuals through widespread networks resembling today's prominent paths and orders. Understanding contemporary Sufism requires a sophisticated analysis of these formative years. Moving beyond a straight account of leaders and movements, Shahzad Bashir weaves a rich history around the depiction of bodily actions by Sufi masters and disciples, primarily in Sufi literature and Persian miniature paintings of the period. Focusing on the Persianate societies of Iran and Central Asia, Bashir explores medieval Sufis' conception of the human body as the primary shuttle between interior (batin) and exterior (zahir) realities. Drawing on literary, historical, and anthropological approaches to corporeality, he studies representations of Sufi bodies in three personal and communal arenas: religious activity in the form of ritual, asceticism, rules of etiquette, and a universal hierarchy of saints; the deep imprint of Persian poetic paradigms on the articulation of love, desire, and gender; and the reputation of Sufi masters for working miracles, which empowered them in all domains of social activity. Bashir's novel perspective illuminates complex relationships between body and soul, body and gender, body and society, and body and cosmos. It highlights love as an overarching, powerful emotion in the making of Sufi communities and situates the body as a critical concern in Sufi thought and practice. Bashir's work ultimately offers a new methodology for extracting historical information from religious narratives, especially those depicting extraordinary and miraculous events.