Sufism has long constituted one of the most powerful drawcards to people embracing Islam. This book considers a broad range of questions relating to Sufism, including its history, manifestations in various countries and communities, its expression in poetry, women and Sufism, and expressions among popular spirituality. In addition, the volume challenges the long-held view of Sufism as being necessarily peaceful, through a consideration in one paper of Sufis engaging in violent Jihad. The book works at the interface between the scholarly and the practical, using rigorous methodology to ensure that its findings are reliable, while also giving attention to how Sufi thinking impacts the daily lives of Sufis. This represents an original and important dimension of this study, given the significant role played by Sufis throughout Islamic history in enriching discussion of intellectual and charismatic questions, as well as informing popular practice among “Folk” Muslims.
Garden of the Sufi Insights Into the Nature of Man
Over the centuries, religion has inspired some of civilization's most beautiful poetry, and certain Persian Muslims, the Sufi, have created intricately wrought poems celebrating peace and harmony. The world is a beautiful garden of mystery when viewed through the eyes of the Sufi. Each poem, most from the 1200's, is clearly and fully explained in its historical, religious, political, and spiritual context. Written to propagate tranquility and harmony through a better understanding of an important religion and its impact on literature, Garden of the Sufi is a lavishly thorough exploration of Sufi poetry and philosophy.
This small volume brings together a number of Guénon's early articles relating to Sufism (tasawwuf), or Islamic esoterism. A later article, 'Islamic Esoterism', has also been included, since it articulates so well the particularities of initiation in Islam by defining the fundamental elements of tasawwuf: shari'ah, tariqah, haqiqah. The first constitutes the necessary fundamental exoteric basis; the second, the Way and its means; the third, the goal or final result. In the other chapters, Guénon expresses with his usual synthetic clarity what tawhid and faqr are, and gives examples of traditional sciences, relating angelology to the Arabic alphabet, and chirology to the science of letters ('ilm al-huruf). A number of book and article reviews give further insights into Islamic cosmology. Some may feel that the essay 'Taoism and Confucianism' here included has little relevance to Sufism and Islam. However, such writers as Toshihiko Izutsu and Sachiko Murata have drawn many parallels between the two traditions. Confucianism, concentrating on social and interpersonal norms, functions as a kind of shari'ah in the context of Chinese religion, while Taoism, like Sufism, is precisely the esoteric Way.
An unparalleled exploration of Sufism as it is practised around the world, describing meetings with today's enlightened teachers as well as including wonderfully inspiring translations of the great Sufi masters of the past. Ultimately, this book acts as a guide to the Sufi path and offers wise insight into the meaning and purpose of life. A compelling view of Sufi history together with vivid personal remembrances of living mystics. This is an inspiring and at the same time beautifully subtle book, with light-filled insights on every page." – Saadi Shakur Chishti, author of The Sufi Book of Life The Sufi path described in this book leads the seeker past ordinary states of consciousness towards a new experience of infinitude that is the source of the universe. In this stage there is no duality or otherness, but instead infinitude, the Original Oneness, from which all dualities and attributes emanate. The book is at once an autobiography, a didactic treatise and a literary opus full of wonderful translations of the words of earlier Sufis, as well as the author's own poetry. It describes Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri’s life quest to connect today’s world with classical times, especially through his meetings with enlightened Sufis all over the globe. Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri also addresses profound Sufi teachings concerning the nature of humankind, the cosmos and God, using clear and simple language to address difficult doctrinal issues as only a master who has digested fully such knowledge could do. The book also reveals much about the present-day Islamic world where, despite the tragedies that are to be seen everywhere, tradition and spirituality survive. This is a metaphysical and spiritual guide to the Sufi path that ultimately offers insight into the meaning and purpose of life.
This is a chronological history of the Sufi tradition, divided in to three sections, early, middle and modern periods. The book comprises 35 independent chapters with easily identifiable themes and/or geographical threads, all written by recognised experts in the field. The volume outlines the origins and early developments of Sufism by assessing the formative thinkers and practitioners and investigating specific pietistic themes. The middle period contains an examination of the emergence of the Sufi Orders and illustrates the diversity of the tradition. This middle period also analyses the fate of Sufism during the time of the Gunpowder Empires. Finally, the end period includes representative surveys of Sufism in several countries, both in the West and in traditional "Islamic" regions. This comprehensive and up-to-date collection of studies provides a guide to the Sufi tradition. The Handbook is a valuable resource for students and researchers with an interest in religion, Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
Exploring the diverse myriad of female religious identities that exist within the various branches of the Moroccan Sufi Order, Qādiriyya Būdshīshiyya, today, this book evidences a wide array of religious identities, from those more typical of Berber culture, to those characterised by a ‘sober’ approach to Sufism, as well as those that denote New Age eclecticism. The book researches the ways in which religious discourses are corporeally endorsed. After providing an overview of the Order historically and today, enunciating the processes by which this local tarīqa from North-eastern Morocco has become the international organization that it is now, the book explores the religious body in movement, in performance, and in relation to the social order. It analyses pilgrimage by assessing the annual visit that followers of Hamza Būdshīsh make to the central lodge of the Order in Madāgh; it explores bodily religious enactments in ritual performance, by discussing the central practices of Sufi ritual as manifested in the Būdshīshiyya, and delves attention into diverse understandings of faith healing and health issues. Women and Sufism provides a detailed insight into religious healing, sufi rituals and sufi pilgrimage, and is essential reading for those seeking to understand Islam in Morocco, or those with an interest in Anthropology and Middle East studies more generally.
This volume provides an objective analysis of current trends and developments in the beliefs and practices of Sufis in Britain. Sufism is a dynamic and substantial presence within British Muslim communities and is influencing both religious and political discourses concerning the formation of Islam in Britain. In the 21st century Sufis have re-positioned themselves to represent the views of a 'Traditional Islam', a non-violent 'other Islam', able to combat the discourses of radical movements. Major transformations have taken place in Sufism that illuminate debates over authenticity, legitimacy, and authority within Islam, and religion more generally. Through examining the theory and history involved, as well as a series of case studies, Sufism in Britain charts the processes of change and offers a significant contribution to the political and religious re-organisation of the Muslim presence in Britain, and the West.
"A concise but authentic account." — Islamic Review. The first concise history of Sufism to appear in any language, this work remains among the best. A noted scholar offers insights into every aspect of Sufism, from interpretation of the word of God and the life of the Prophet to the theorists of Sufism, the structure of Sufi theory and practice, and more.
Participant-observation-based studies that explore a range of Sufi movements operating across the contemporary American religious landscape. From Rumi poetry and Sufi dancing or whirling, to expressions of Africanicity and the forging of transnational bonds to remote locations in Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, Varieties of American Sufism immerses the reader in diverse expressions of contemporary Sufi religiosity in the United States. It spans more than a century of political, cultural, and embodied relationships with Islam and Muslims. American encounters with mystical Islam were initiated by a romantic quest for Oriental wisdom, flourished in the embrace of Eastern teachings during the countercultural era of New Age religion, were concretized due to late twentieth-century possibilities of travel and immigration to and from Muslim societies, and are now diffused through an explosion of cyber religion in an age of globalization. This collection of in-depth, participant-observation-based studies challenges expectations of uniformity and continuity while provoking stimulating reflection on a range of issues relevant to contemporary Islamic Studies, American religions, multireligious belonging, and new religious movements. Elliott Bazzano is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College. Marcia Hermansen, Professor of Theology and Director of Islamic World Studies at Loyola University Chicago, has written extensively on both South Asian and American Sufism, as well as trends in global Islam, including migration and gender studies.
America's Other Muslims: Imam W.D. Mohammed, Islamic Reform, and the Making of American Islam explores the oldest and perhaps the most important Muslim community in America, whose story has received little attention in the contemporary context. Muhammad Fraser-Rahim explores American Muslim Revivalist, Imam W.D. Mohammed (1933–2008) and his contribution to the intellectual, spiritual, and philosophical thought of American Muslims as well as the contribution of Islamic thought by indigenous American Muslims. The book details the intersection of the Africana experience and its encounter with race, religion, and Islamic reform. Fraser-Rahim spotlights the emergence of an American school of Islamic thought, which wascreated and established by the son of the former Nation of Islam leader. Imam W.D. Mohammed rejected his father’s teachings and embraced normative Islam on his own terms while balancing classical Islam and his lived experience of Islam in the diaspora. Likewise his interpretations of Islam were not only American – they were also modern and responded to global trends in Islamic thought. His interpretations of Blackness were not only American, but also diasporic and pan-African.