What is Sufism? Contemporary views vary tremendously, even among Sufis themselves. Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture brings to light the religious frameworks that shape the views of Sufism’s friends, adversaries, admirers, and detractors and, in the process, helps readers better understand the diversity of contemporary Sufism, the pressures and cultural openings to which it responds, and the many divergent opinions about contemporary Sufism’s relationship to Islam. The three main themes: piety, politics, and popular culture are explored in relation to the Islamic and Western contexts that shape them, as well as to the historical conditions that frame contemporary debates. This book is split into three parts: • Sufism and anti-Sufism in contemporary contexts; • Contemporary Sufism in the West: Poetic influences and popular manifestations; • Gendering Sufism: Tradition and transformation. This book will fascinate anyone interested in the challenges of contemporary Sufism as well as its relationship to Islam, gender, and the West. It offers an ideal starting point from which undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers and lecturers can explore Sufism today.
25 For example, in April of 2016, the University of Exeter hosted a conference
entitled “Sufis and Mullahs: Sufis and Their Opponents in the Persianate World,”
which highlighted the role of the 'ulama al-zahir or exoteric jurists and
Author: Meena Sharify-Funk
In recent years, Islam – whether via the derivatives of 'Political Islam' or 'Islamism' – has come to be seen as an 'activist' force in social and political spheres worldwide. What such representations have neglected is the strong countervailing tradition of political quietism. Political quietism in Islam holds that it is not for Muslims to question or oppose their leaders. Rather, the faithful should concentrate on their piety, prayer, religious rituals and personal quest for virtue. This book is the first to analyze the history and meaning of political quietism in Islamic societies. It takes an innovative cross-sectarian approach, investigating the phenomenon and practice across both Sunni and Shi'i communities. Contributors deconstruct and introduce the various forms of political quietisms from the time of the prophetic revelations through to the contemporary era. Chapters cover issues ranging from the politics of public piety among the women preachers in Saudi Arabia, through to the legal discourses in the Caucasus, the different Shi'i communities in Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan, and the Gülen movement in Azerbaijan. The authors describe a wide range of political quietisms and assess the continuing significance of the tradition, both to the study of Islam and to the modern world today.
See Alessandro Cancian, “In between Reform and Bigotry: The Gunābādī Silsila
in Two Early Twentieth-Century Anti-Sufi Works,” in Sufis and Mullahs: Sufis and
Their Opponents in the Persianate World, ed. Leonard Lewisohn and Reza ...
Author: Saud al-Sarhan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
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.
12 On this term as a reference to a “residential facility”, see J. Renard, Historical
Dictionary of Sufism (Oxford, 2005), 200. ... Tabandeh and L. Lewisohn, eds.,
Sufis and Mullas: Sufis and Their Opponents in the Persianate World (
Author: Lloyd Ridgeon
Category: Political Science
Awḥad al-Dīn Kirmānī (d. 1238) was one of the greatest and most colourful Persian Sufis of the medieval period; he was celebrated in his own lifetime by a large number of like-minded followers and other Sufi masters. And yet his form of Sufism was the subject of much discussion within the Islamic world, as it elicited responses ranging from praise and commendation to reproach and contempt for his Sufi practices within a generation of his death. This book assesses the few comments written about Kirmānī by his contemporaries, and also provides a translation from his Persian hagiography, which was written in the generation after his death. The controversy centres on Kirmānī’s penchant for gazing at, and dancing with, beautiful young boys. This anonymous hagiography presents a series of anecdotes that portray Kirmānī’s “virtues”. The book provides an investigation into Kirmānī the individual, but the story has significance that extends much further. The controversy of his form of Sufism occurred at a crucial time in the evolution of Sufi piety and theology. The research herein situates Kirmānī within this critical period, and assesses the various perspectives taken by his contemporaries and near contemporaries. Such views reveal much about the dynamics and developments of Sufism during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the Sufi orders (ṭurūq, s. ṭarīqa) began to emerge, and which gave individual Sufis a much more structured and ordered method of engaging in piety, and of presenting the Sufi tradition to society at large. As the first attempt in a Western language to appreciate the significant contribution that Kirmānī made to the medieval Persian Sufi tradition, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Sufi Studies, as well as those interested in Middle Eastern History.
1 This is suggested by the title of an international conference held at the
University of Exeter on 14–16 April, 2016, which was titled “Sufis and Mollas:
Sufis and Their Opponents in the Persianate World”. 2 See for example, the
views of the ...
Author: Lloyd Ridgeon
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw the establishment of the new Safavid regime in Iran. Along with reuniting the Persian lands under one rule, the Safavids initiated the radical transformation of the religious landscape by introducing Imami Shi'ism as the official state faith and in this as in other ways, laying the foundations of Iran's modern identity. In this book, leading scholars of Iranian history, culture and politics examine the meaning of the idea of Iran in the Safavid period by examining contemporary experiences of both insiders and outsiders, asking how modern scholarship defines the distinctive features of the age. While sometimes viewed as a period of decline from the high points of classical Persian literature and the visual arts of preceding centuries, the chapters of this book demonstrate that the Safavid era was nevertheless a period of great literary and artistic activity in the realms of both secular and theological endeavour. With the establishment of comparable polities across western, southern and central Asia at broadly the same time, the book explores some of the literary and political interactions with Iran's Ottoman, Mughal and Uzbek neighbours. As the volume and frequency of European merchants and diplomats visiting Safavid Persia increased, especially in the seventeenth century, and as more Iranians recorded their own travel experiences to surrounding Muslim lands, the Safavid period is the first in which we can document and explore the contours of Iran's place in an expanding world, and gain insights into how Iranians saw themselves and others saw them.
'Glimpses into late-Safavid spiritual discourse: An 'Akhbārī' critique of Sufism and
philosophy', in Sufis and their Opponents in the Persianate World, ed. R.
Tabandeh and L. Lewisohn (Irvine, CA: Jordan Center for Persian Studies, 2020),
Author: Charles Melville
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
THE LEGACY OF MEDIEVAL PERSIAN SUFISM is a historical overview including: poetics & imagery, history & hagiography, metaphysics & ontology, and Sufi practices & methodology.
... philosophical thought among Sufis in the Persianate world , and neither has
been studied seriously in modern times . THE ONE AND THE MANY In order to
suggest something of Farghāni's significance and the approach he takes to Sufi
thought , I want to investigate his formulation of ... term by Ibn ' Arabi's opponents .
Author: Leonard Lewisohn
Publisher: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications
Category: Civilization, Islamic
... into the courtly life of the Mughal emperors ( 1526–1857 ) as well as that of
their Rajput opponents and vassals . ... War , marriage , and diplomacy all
contributed to casting horoscopes , or interpreting dreams , the art the exquisite
fusion of Persianate ... The works in this exhibiThe works in this exhibi- Islamic
Safavid polemics chose to ignore the mystical dimension in the Nuqtavi reading
of Mani , which related to the Sufi notion of the ... 76 ) The most appealing aspect
of of Babayan's examination of the Nuqtavis and their opponents is the way she
places ... She explains how the Persian literary forms of the Shāhnāme , Abū
Muslimnāme and others shaped the cultural landscape of the Persianate world .
This volume on Islamic scholarship provides new insights into the social and intellectual history of the complex learned culture in Muslim North India from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, by analyzing popular and pietist, traditionalist and reformist movements and institutions.
This volume on Islamic scholarship provides new insights into the social and intellectual history of the complex learned culture in Muslim North India from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, by analyzing popular and pietist, ...
Author: Jamal Malik
Over the past 50 years the Sufi poetry of the Uyghur muqam song tradition has been transformed into a cultural canon used to represent the Uyghur ethnic group within China and on world stages. This book compares the cultural materials, skills and contexts of traditional muqam performance with those of the 'modern' repertoire.
... up a dutar and play Bayat täzä while singing a ghazal about the difficulties of
governing and the fleeting and deceptive nature of the world . ... The older
grammatical forms and the Persianate vocabulary suggest that this poem is by
the historical Abduräshid , and it appears in the literary history by Gopur and
Hüsäyin ( 1987 : 720–721 ) , but they do not specify their source . ... The Sufis
and Ishans gradually become more organized in opposition to the performance
of the muqams .
Author: Nathan Light
Publisher: Lit Verlag
This scholarly work elucidates the symbolism and entire allegorical system of the Islamic painting of the Golden Age between the 14th and 17th centuries.
Author: Michael A. Barry
Publisher: Flammarion-Pere Castor