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This comprehensive introduction to the mystical traditions that arose in the Islamic world includes discussions of the sacred sources of Sufism in the Qurrs"an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad; meditation on the names of God (dhikr); prayer and fasting; the Sufi orders; and poetry, music, and dance. The author also examines the relationship between Islamic mysticism and the larger Islamic context, including the problematic encounters that Sufism has with both fundamentalism and secular modernism, and discusses the appropriation of Sufism by non-Muslims and the development of Sufi traditions in the West.
Carl W. Ernst, PhD, is a specialist in Islamic studies who is William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of numerous books, including Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. For more information visit www.unc.edu/