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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!
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.
One of the most controversial issues that divided Islamic philosophers and theologians during the Middle Ages was whether human beings would have a spiritual or bodily existence after death. The idea of a world of image was conceived as a solution, suggesting that there exists a world of non-physical (imagined) bodies, beyond our earthly existence. This world may be reached in sleep, in meditation or after death.From the embryonic conception by Ibn Sina, to the radical rethinking by Suhrawardi and Shahrazuri into a sophisticated system, L. W. C. van Lit unravels the history of this idea. Using a distant reading approach for measuring the transmission, he further shows how the idea remained relevant for Muslim thinkers through the centuries, up until today.
Sufism and Early Islamic Piety: Personal and Communal Dynamics offers a new story about the formative period of Sufism. Through a fresh reading of diverse Sufi and non-Sufi sources, Arin Shawkat Salamah-Qudsi reveals the complexity of personal and communal aspects of Sufi piety in the period between the ninth and thirteenth centuries. Her study also sheds light on the interrelationships and conflicts of early Sufis through emphasising that early Sufism was neither a quietist or a completely individual mode of piety. Salamah-Qudsi reveals how the early Sufis' commitment to the Islamic ideal of family life lead to different creative arrangements among them in order to avoid contradictions with this ideal and the mystical ideal of solitary life. Her book enables a deeper understanding of the development of Sufism in light of the human concerns and motivations of its founders.
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.
The quest for happiness and fulfilment lies at the very heart of human life, but for Ibn 'Arabi there is a realm beyond our ordinary understanding of happiness, where the human stands truly fulfilled, in vision of Reality. This is a goal within the potential of every person. In this first English translation of a core chapter from the famous Meccan Illuminations (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya), Ibn 'Arabi comprehensively summarises all his major teachings on human perfectibility and true happiness. Using the imagery of alchemy and ascension, he gives the reader an extraordinary insight into the spiritual journey by contrasting two ways of acquiring knowledge: the rational and the mystical. With an introduction to Islamic alchemy, the Hermetic tradition and the mysterious elixir, this is an important text for anyone interested in Sufism, Islamic spirituality or alchemy.
The thirteenth century mystic Ibn `Arabi was the foremost Sufi theorist of the premodern era. For more than a century, Western scholars and esotericists have heralded his universalism, arguing that he saw all contemporaneous religions as equally valid. In Rethinking Ibn `Arabi, Gregory Lipton calls this image into question and throws into relief how Ibn `Arabi's discourse is inseparably intertwined with the absolutist vision of his own religious milieuthat is, the triumphant claim that Islam fulfilled, superseded, and therefore abrogated all previous revealed religions. Lipton juxtaposes Ibn `Arabi's absolutist conception with the later reception of his ideas, exploring how they have been read, appropriated, and universalized within the reigning interpretive field of Perennial Philosophy in the study of Sufism. The contours that surface through this comparative analysis trace the discursive practices that inform Ibn `Arabi's Western reception back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century study of authentic religion, where European ethno-racial superiority was wielded against the Semitic Otherboth Jewish and Muslim. Lipton argues that supersessionist models of exclusivism are buried under contemporary Western constructions of religious authenticity in ways that ironically mirror Ibn `Arabi's medieval absolutism.