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See below for a selection of the latest books from Sufism & Islamic mysticism category. Presented with a red border are the Sufism & Islamic mysticism books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Sufism & Islamic mysticism books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
In America today, online spaces serve as critical alternatives for tech-savvy Muslims seeking a place to root their faith, forge religious identity, and build communities. With a particular focus on the Inayati Order, a branch of the oldest Sufi community in the West, Robert Rozehnal explores the online revolution in internal communication, spiritual pedagogy, and public outreach - and looks ahead to the future of digital Islam in the age of Web 3.0.
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 Gu len 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.
The twelfth century CE was a watershed moment for mysticism in the Muslim West. In al-Andalus, the pioneers of this mystical tradition, the Mu'tabirun or 'Contemplators', championed a synthesis between Muslim scriptural sources and Neoplatonic cosmology. Ibn Barrajan of Seville was most responsible for shaping this new intellectual approach, and is the focus of Yousef Casewit's book. Ibn Barrajan's extensive commentaries on the divine names and the Qur'an stress the significance of God's signs in nature, the Arabic bible as a means of interpreting the Qur'an, and the mystical crossing from the visible to the unseen. With an examination of the understudied writings of both Ibn Barrajan and his contemporaries, Ibn al-'Arif and Ibn Qasi, as well as the wider socio-political and scholarly context in al-Andalus, this book will appeal to researchers of the medieval Islamic world and the history of mysticism and Sufism in the Muslim West.
This book explores the organic lives of popular Sufi shrines in contemporary Northwest India. It traverses the worldview of shrine spaces, rituals and their complex narratives, and provides an insight into their urban and rural landscapes in the post-Partition (Indian) Punjab. What happened to these shrines when attempts were made to dissuade Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus from their veneration of popular saints in the early twentieth century? What was the fate of popular shrines that persisted even when the Muslim population was virtually wiped off as a result of migration during Partition? How did these shrines manifest in the context of the threat posed by militants in the 1980s? How did such popular practices reconfigure themselves when some important centres of Sufism were left behind in the West Punjab (now Pakistan)? This book examines several of these questions and utilizes a combination of analytical tools, new theoretical tropes and an ethnographic approach to understand and situate popular Sufi shrines so that they are both historicized and spatialized. As such, it lays out some crucial contours of the method and practice of understanding popular sacred spaces (within India and elsewhere), bridging the everyday and the metanarratives of power structures and state formation. This book will be useful to scholars, researchers and those engaged in interdisciplinary work in history, social anthropology, historical sociology, cultural studies, historical geography, religion and art history, as well as those interested in Sufism and its shrines in South Asia.
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.
The Deoband movement-a revivalist movement within Sunni Islam that quickly spread from colonial India to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and even the United Kingdom and South Africa-has been poorly understood and sometimes feared. Despite being one of the most influential Muslim revivalist movements of the last two centuries, Deoband's connections to the Taliban have dominated the attention it has received from scholars and policy-makers alike. Revival from Below offers an important corrective, reorienting our understanding of Deoband around its global reach, which has profoundly shaped the movement's history. In particular, the author tracks the origins of Deoband's controversial critique of Sufism, how this critique travelled through Deobandi networks to South Africa, as well as the movement's efforts to keep traditionally educated Islamic scholars (`ulama) at the center of Muslim public life. The result is a nuanced account of this global religious network that argues we cannot fully understand Deoband without understanding the complex modalities through which it spread beyond South Asia.
Rabi`a al-`Adawiyya is a figure shrouded in myth. Certainly a woman by this name was born in Basra, Iraq, in the eighth century, but her life remains recorded only in legends, stories, poems and hagiographies. The various depictions of her - as a deeply spiritual ascetic, an existentialist rebel and a romantic lover - seem impossible to reconcile, and yet Rabi`a has transcended these narratives to become a global symbol of both Sufi and modern secular culture. In this groundbreaking study, Rkia Elaroui Cornell traces the development of these diverse narratives and provides a history of the iconic Rabi`a's construction as a Sufi saint. Combining medieval and modern sources, including evidence never before examined, in novel ways, Rabi`a From Narrative to Myth is the most significant work to emerge on this quintessential figure in Islam for more than seventy years.
When the Ottoman Empire met its demise in the early twentieth century, the new Republic of Turkey closed down the Sufi orders, rationalizing that they were antimodern. Yet the nascent nation, faced with defining its cultural heritage, soon began to promote the legacies of three Sufi saints: Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, Haci Bektas Veli, and Yunus Emre. Their Turkish ethnicity, along with universalist themes found in their poetry and legends-of love, peace, fellowship, and tolerance-became the focus of their commemoration. With this reinterpretation of their characters-part of a broader secularist project-these saints came to be considered the great Turkish humanists. Their veneration came to play an important role in the nationalist formulation of Turkish culture, but the universalism of their humanism has exposed fissures in society over the place of religion in the nation. Humanist Mystics is the first book to examine Islam and secularism within Turkish nationalist ideology through the lens of commemorated saints. Soileau surveys Anatolian and Turkish religious and political history as the context for his closer attention to the lives and influence of these three Sufi saints. By comparing premodern hagiographic and scholarly representations with twentieth-century monographs, literary works, artistic media, and commemorative ceremonies, he shows how the saints have been transformed into humanist mystics and how this change has led to debates about their character and relevance.