The Sufi Orders in Islam

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Oxford University Press, Jul 16, 1998 - Religion - 360 pages
2 Reviews
Sufism, the name given to Islamic mysticism, has been the subject of many studies, but the orders through which the organizational aspect of the Sufi spirit was expressed has been neglected. The Sufi Orders in Islam is one of the earliest modern examinations of the historical development of Sufism and is considered a classic work in numerous sources of Islamic studies today. Here, author J. Spencer Trimingham offers a clear and detailed account of the formation and development of the Sufi schools and orders (tariqahs) from the second century of Islam until modern times. Trimingham focuses on the practical disciplines behind the mystical aspects of Sufism which initially attracted a Western audience. He shows how Sufism developed and changed, traces its relationship to the unfolding and spread of mystical ideas, and describes in sharp detail its rituals and ceremonial practices. Finally, he assesses the influence of these Sufi orders upon Islamic society in general. John O. Voll has added a new introduction to this classic text and provides readers with an updated list of further reading. The Sufi Orders in Islam will appeal not only to those already familiar with Triminghams groundbreaking research, but also to the growing reading public of Islamic studies and mysticism.

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Unbelievably and unexpectedly helpful in introducing Sufism in quite an effective way. It is a clarifying description of different features of this religious discipline from quite a scholarly - almost emic - point of view.

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pages 194_217


The Formation of Schools of Mysticism
The Chief Tariqa Lines
The Formation of Taifas
NineteenthCentury Revival Movements
The Organization of the Orders
Ritual and Ceremonial
Role of the Orders in the Life of Islamic Society
The Orders in the Contemporary Islamic World
A Relating to Early Silsilas
SuhrawardI Silsilas after
E Independent Orders of the Badawiyya and Burhaniyya
H Rifai Jaifas in the Arab World

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Page xv - Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975), p. 37. 32. Hamza, Rihlati, p. 25. 33. Russell Jones, "Ibrahim b. Adham," Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed.
Page x - Sufism was emphasized and some of its technique of dhikr or muraqaba, 'spiritual concentration', adopted. But the object and the content of this concentration were identified with the orthodox doctrine and the goal re-defined as the strengthening of faith in dogmatic tenets and the moral purity of the spirit. This type of neoSufism, as one may call it, tended to regenerate orthodox activism and reinculcate a positive attitude to this world.

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About the author (1998)

J. Spencer Trimingham was Professor at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. John O. Voll is Professor of History at Georgetown University.

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