Sufism

Edinburgh University Press
Free sample

This book is a comprehensive historical overview of the formative period of Sufism, the major mystical tradition in Islam, from the ninth to the twelfth century CE. Based on a fresh reading of the primary sources and integrating the findings of recent scholarship on the subject, the author presents a unified narrative of Sufism's historical development within an innovative analytical framework. Karamustafa gives a new account of the emergence of mystical currents in Islam during the ninth century and traces the rapid spread of Iraq-based Sufism to other regions of the Islamic world and its fusion with indigenous mystical movements elsewhere, most notably the Malr cultural context
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About the author

Ahmet T. Karamustafa is Associate Professor of History and Religous Studies at Washington University, St Louis. Author of

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Additional Information

Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
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Published on
Dec 4, 2007
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9780748628971
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Islam / General
Religion / Islam / Sufi
Religion / Mysticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Major new translation of a unique and important Persian treatise on divine names in the Islamic tradition.


The Repose of the Spirits is a translation of one of the earliest and most comprehensive treatises on Sufism in the Persian language. Written by Aḥmad Sam‘ānī, an expert in Islamic law from a famous Central Asian scholarly family in about the year 1135, it is one of the handful of early Sufi texts available in English and is by far the most accessible. It also may well be the longest and the most accurately translated. Ostensibly a commentary on the divine names, it avoids the abstract discourse of theological nitpicking and explains the human significance of the names with a delightful mix of Quranic verses and sayings of the Prophet and various past teachers, interspersed with original interpretations of the received wisdom. Unlike the usual books on the divine names (such as that of al-Ghazali), The Repose of the Spirits reminds the reader of the later poetical tradition, especially the work of Rumi. The prose is richly embroidered with imagery and interspersed with a great variety of Arabic and Persian poetry. What is especially remarkable is the manner in which the author speaks to his readers about their own personal situations, explaining why they are driven by a love affair with God, a God who is full of compassion and good humor, whether they know it or not. William C. Chittick’s masterful new translation brings this work to an English-language audience for the first time.


“This is a wonderful introduction to the particular style, imagery, terminology, and worldview of Sufism, as well as to the ways in which the Persian cultural milieu added important elements to the Arabic intellectual and spiritual tradition in Islam.” — Maria Massi Dakake, author of The Charismatic Community: Shi‘ite Identity in Early Islam

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