Introduction to Sufism

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-05-16
  • Publisher: Natl Book Network
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Why is Sufism so compelling to both spiritual seekers and scholars? This, the first book in English from an authority on Sufism, ric Geoffroy, introduces Sufism from many angles and from its origins up to the present day. Geoffroy sees Sufism as a unique lens through which we can view the spirituality that lies behind the forms of Islam. This book covers the history of Sufism from its earliest days up until our own times, touching on the many significant people, practices, ideas, and controversies that have shaped it. It also highlights Sufism's universal aspects, which are a powerful antidote to various fundamentalisms. Geoffroy's special treatment of the subject balances the voices of long ago (e.g. Ibn 'Arabi, Rumi, Hallaj, and Ghazzali) with many contemporary voices to cover a remarkable scope of topics essential to a full understanding of authentic Sufism.

Author Biography

Eric Geoffroy is a specialist on Islam and Sufism who is currently Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Marc Bloch-Strasbourg II University in France. He has already authored several books on Sufism in French.

Table of Contents

Translator's Forewordp. xi
Transliteration System for Arabic Charactersp. xv
Prefacep. xvii
Fundamentalsp. 1
Definitions and Objectivesp. 1
A Mysticism?p. 2
Knowledge and Lovep. 3
Who is the Sufi?p. 4
A Reality without a Namep. 5
The Science of Spiritual Statesp. 6
The Initiatory Pathp. 8
Goals of the Sufip. 11
Purifying the Soulp. 12
Knowing Godp. 12
Union with God, or "Extinguishing Oneself" in Him?p. 14
Dying to Oneself, and Living Again Through Himp. 15
Diversity in Sufismp. 16
A Rich Pallet of Spiritual Typesp. 16
Sufi Literaturep. 19
Inward Alchemyp. 21
Sufism and Shi'ismp. 22
Doctrinal Affinitiesp. 22
Two Rival Esoterismsp. 24
The Role of the Feminine in Sufismp. 27
The Eternal Feminine in Islamic Mysticismp. 27
The Effects of the Male Ambiencep. 29
Some Prejudices Regarding Sufismp. 29
Sufism is a Kind of Quietism, and is the Egotistical Search for Individual Salvationp. 29
Sufism is a Popular Religion, Conceived as a Reaction to the Legalism of "Orthodox" Islamp. 31
Sufism and Islamp. 33
Two Names for a Single Realityp. 33
The Fundamentally Koranic Character of Sufismp. 33
The Koranic Modelp. 35
"To Combine One's Flesh and Blood with the Koran"p. 35
The Sufi Travels His Path Through the Bookp. 37
A Multitude of Meanings: Sufi Exegesisp. 38
The Hadith Qudsi, or "Divine Utterance"p. 42
The Model of Muhammadp. 43
"Sufis are Those Who Follow the Path of the Messenger of God and Strive to Acquire His Noble Virtues"p. 43
The Prophet as Primordial Lightp. 44
The Reality of Muhammad, Mediator between the Divine and Human Realmsp. 45
The Inner Sunnap. 47
Sufism and Prophetic Tradition (Hadith)p. 48
The Master of Mastersp. 50
Devotion to the Prophetp. 53
The Islam of "Excellence"p. 54
Islam, Iman, Ihsanp. 54
Sufism Illuminates the Five Pillarsp. 56
Sufism, or Plenary Islamp. 58
The Law (Shari'a), The Way (Tariqa), and The Reality (Haqiqa)p. 59
A Law for Sufis Only?p. 60
The Science of "Unveiling", the Science of Shari'ap. 62
A Living Lawp. 64
Sufism in Islamic Culture: Historical Perspectivep. 65
The Path of The Pioneersp. 65
A Foundational Attitude: The Ascetic Renunciation of the Worldp. 65
The "Path of Blame" (Malama): From Concealment to Provocationp. 67
From Asceticism to Mysticismp. 68
Bistami, the Archetype of "Intoxication"p. 69
The Baghdad "School" of Sufism (Ninth-Tenth Centuries)p. 70
Hallajp. 70
Junaydp. 71
Hakim Tirmidhi: Between Prophecy and Sainthoodp. 73
Persecutionsp. 73
Successors of Junayd and Hallajp. 74
The Four Founders of the Legal Schools and Sufismp. 75
The Centuries of Maturation (Tenth-Twelfth Centuries)p. 78
Legal Scholars, Traditionnists, Sufis: Assertion of Identitiesp. 78
Radiance from Khurasan (Tenth-Eleventh Centuries)p. 79
Sufism and Shafi'ismp. 79
Manuals of Sufismp. 80
Ghazzali: The Supremacy of Spiritual Intuition over Reasonp. 83
The Persistence of the Mysticism of "Intoxication"p. 85
Poetry and Metaphysicsp. 87
Iranian Mystical Poetry (Twelfth-Fifteenth Centuries): 'Attar, Rumi, and Othersp. 87
Rumi: Music and Dancep. 89
Turkish Mystical Poetry: Yunus Emrep. 91
Arabic Mystical Poetry: Ibn 'Arabi and Ibn al-Faridp. 92
The Necessity of Interpreting Mystical Poetryp. 93
Sufi Terminologyp. 94
Ibn 'Arabi and the Metaphysics of Beingp. 95
Ibn Sab'in, or Oneness Without Compromisep. 98
Creating A Structure for Sufism (Twelfth-Fifteenth Centuries)p. 99
The Formation of the "Initiatory Paths" (Tariqa)p. 101
Iraqp. 102
Central Asia and Iranp. 104
Indiap. 108
Muslim Spain and the Maghrebp. 109
Egypt and Syriap. 111
Anatoliap. 114
The Caucasusp. 115
Integration and Expansion: "Sufism, The Heart of Islam"p. 117
Recognition of Sufism by the Ulamap. 117
Sufism is Prominent as the Spirituality of Sunni Islamp. 120
Hanbalism and Sufismp. 121
Places of Sufi Social Interactionsp. 122
The "Cult of Saints"p. 124
The Esoteric Governance of the Worldp. 125
Sufism and Reformism (Eighteenth-Twentieth Centuries)p. 126
A Decline of Sufism?p. 126
The Search for Original Purity (Eighteenth-Nineteenth Centuries): Sufism and Wahhabismp. 127
The Muhammadian Pathp. 128
Renewed Paths and New Pathsp. 129
Lesser Jihad and Greater Jihadp. 132
The Sudanese Mahdip. 133
Emir 'Abd al-Qadirp. 133
Sufi Reformism at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century: Amadou Bamba and the Shaykh al-'Alawip. 134
Sufism: A Fertile Ground for "Salafi" Reformismp. 136
Sufism and Islamicism in the Twentieth Century: Politicizationp. 139
"Sufi Scholars" in Contemporary Timesp. 141
Sufism As It Is Livedp. 142
Master and Disciplep. 142
A Necessary Relationshipp. 142
An Excessive Veneration?p. 143
A Reciprocal Code of Conductp. 145
A Single Masterp. 146
A Second Birthp. 146
Sufi Psychology, or the "Science of the Soul"p. 149
Succession and Delegation of Authorityp. 151
Methods and Rites of Affiliationp. 153
Initiatory Ritesp. 153
The "Investiture of the Cloak" (Khirqa)p. 153
"Making the Pact" ('Ahd, Bay'a)p. 154
"The Secret Teaching of Formulas of Invocation" (Talqin)p. 155
From True Aspirant to Simple Associatep. 155
A Fluid World: Multiple Affiliationsp. 156
Uwaysi Initiationp. 157
Codes of Conductp. 158
Correct Inner Attitudesp. 158
Foodp. 159
Clothingp. 159
Sleepp. 159
Travelp. 159
Between Brothersp. 160
A Rule for Community Lifep. 161
Initiatory Methodsp. 162
The Invocation (Dhikr)p. 162
The Highest Form of Worshipp. 162
Formulas of the Invocationp. 164
From the Dhikr of the Tongue to that of "Inner Consciousness"p. 166
The Invocation of the Tongue (Dhikr al-Lisan)p. 166
The Invocation of the Heart (Dhikr al-Qalb)p. 167
The Invocation of the Inner Consciousness (Dhikr al-Sirr)p. 167
Aloud, or in Silence?p. 167
Group Sessions of Dhikrp. 168
Spiritual Poetry and Music: Sama'p. 170
The Echo of the Divine Wordp. 170
Subtlety and Ambiguity of Sama'p. 171
A Joyful and Widespread Practicep. 172
Litanies and Prayersp. 174
The Retreat (Khalwa)p. 176
Rules of the Retreatp. 177
Not to Stop at Supernatural Phenomenap. 179
The "Retreat in the Midst of the Crowd"p. 180
Sufism and Interreligious Opennessp. 182
Religious Pluralism in Islamp. 182
The Transcendent Unity of Religionsp. 183
The Legacy of Prophetic Pluralismp. 188
The "Hidden Idolatry" of Common Believersp. 189
The Temptation of Syncretismp. 190
The Pressures of Exoterism and Historyp. 191
Conclusion: Sufism Yesterday, Sufism Todayp. 194
The "Degeneration of Time"p. 194
The Illness of "Brotherhoodism"p. 195
Adapting to Cyclical Conditionsp. 196
Towards a Restructuring of the Roles of Sufismp. 198
The Messianic Adventurep. 199
Sufism in the Westp. 200
Mapsp. 204
Glossary and Index of Technical Termsp. 207
Index of Proper Namesp. 213
Biographical Notesp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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