Imaginary Muslims: The Uwaysi Mystics of Central Asia

Overview

The Uwaysis?who take their name from Uways, a contemporary of the prophet Mohammad who is reputed to have communicated with him telepathically?are Muslim mystics who look for instruction to the spirit of the dead or physically absent person. Julian Baldick here surveys the legend of Uways and the Uwaysi phenomenon within Sufism, Islam's main mystical tradition.
Baldick examines the Uwaysi movement in 16th-century East Turkistan (now Xinjiang in northwest China) and then ...

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Overview

The Uwaysis—who take their name from Uways, a contemporary of the prophet Mohammad who is reputed to have communicated with him telepathically—are Muslim mystics who look for instruction to the spirit of the dead or physically absent person. Julian Baldick here surveys the legend of Uways and the Uwaysi phenomenon within Sufism, Islam's main mystical tradition.
Baldick examines the Uwaysi movement in 16th-century East Turkistan (now Xinjiang in northwest China) and then discusses the book the central text in the development of the sect, History of the Uwaysis, written by Ahmad of Uzgen around 1600. Analyzing the intricate combination of Biblical motifs, shamanistic initiation rites, and Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist legends, Baldick argues that an understanding of the Uwaysi sect reveals many of the paradoxes which lie at the heart of Islam. The first definitive study of this important sect, IMAGINARY MUSLIMS will be of central interest to all those concerned with Islamic studies, the Middle East, and the history of religion

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An excellent book."-Robert Irwin in the Times Literary Supplement,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814712078
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.39 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Julian Baldick was Reader in the Study of Religions at King’s College, London. He is the author of Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufism, among other titles.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 The background to the composition of the History of the Uwaysis 15
Pt. 2 The History of the Uwaysis: analysis, summary and commentary 41
Pt. 3 The book's teachings and subsequent fate 203
Conclusions 221
Notes 231
Bibliography 245
Index I: Brotherhoods, sects, etc 248
Index II: Names of persons mentioned 249
Index III: Places 255
Index IV: Technical terms 258
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