Sufism, Mystics, and Saints in Modern Egypt

Overview

For centuries Sufism - Islamic mysticism - held a major place in Islamic spirituality, intellectual life, and popular religion. While many twentieth-century observers have commented on Sufism's decline, and modernists and fundamentalists alike have criticized the movement, few scholars have analyzed present-day Egyptian Sufism as a system in its own right rather than as a degradation of the classical ideal. Drawing on detailed fieldwork and on textual analysis of a variety of little-known recent and medieval ...
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Overview

For centuries Sufism - Islamic mysticism - held a major place in Islamic spirituality, intellectual life, and popular religion. While many twentieth-century observers have commented on Sufism's decline, and modernists and fundamentalists alike have criticized the movement, few scholars have analyzed present-day Egyptian Sufism as a system in its own right rather than as a degradation of the classical ideal. Drawing on detailed fieldwork and on textual analysis of a variety of little-known recent and medieval sources, Valerie J. Hoffman presents Sufism as it exists in Egypt today, in the vivid experiences of its adherents, from humble housewives to famous mystics and saints. With an array of conclusions that overturn widely held beliefs about modern Sufis, Hoffman argues that the apparent assimilation of Egyptian Sufism masks a thriving movement hidden from the Western world.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Based on fieldwork from September 1980 through October 1981, and October 1987 through April 1989. Through her acceptance into the Sufi community, Hoffman (religion, U. of Illinois) was led to data and perspectives that are either lacking or misrepresented in scholarly literature which often portrays Sufism as the cause of degeneration and weakness in the Muslim people. Topics include the Prophet Muhammad, women and sexuality, Coptic Christianity, and models of sainthood. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570030550
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/1995
  • Series: Studies in Comparative Religion
  • Pages: 461
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
General Editor's Preface
Preface
Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration
Ch. 1 Sufism in an Age of Change 1
Ch. 2 Among the Sufis: Experiences, Methods, and Approach 25
Ch. 3 The Prophet Muhammad and His Family in Egyptian Sufism 50
Ch. 4 The Saints: Bearers of the Prophetic Light 89
Ch. 5 The Sufi Orders 123
Ch. 6 Foundations of the Sufi Path 156
Ch. 7 Mystical Concepts and Practices in Egyptian Sufism 196
Ch. 8 Women and Sexuality in Sufi Life and Thought 226
Ch. 9 Models of Sainthood 255
Ch. 10 The Life and Influence of Shaykh Muhammad 'Uthman al-Burhani 300
Ch. 11 Coptic Christianity and Popular Islam in Egypt: Elements of a Common Spirituality 328
Ch. 12 Conclusion: Sufism in Modern Egypt 357
Notes 379
Glossary 419
Biographical Dictionary 427
Select Bibliography 433
Index 440
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