Sufi Institutions


This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo G. Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari

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Alexandre Papas, Ph.D. (2004) is Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. He has published monographs, collaborative volumes and articles on the history of Sufism, including Thus Spake the Dervish (Brill, 2019).
List of Figures

Introduction: What Is a Ṣūfī Institution? A Dichotomy in Ṣūfī Studies
Alexandre Papas

Part 1: The Economy of Sufism

1 Economies of Sufism
Adam Sabra

2 Endowments for Ṣūfīs and Their Institutions
Nathan Hofer

3 Donations to Ṣūfīs and Ṣūfī Institutions
Hussain Ahmad Khan

4 Sufism, Futuwwa, and Professional Guilds
Mehran Afshari

Part 2: Ṣūfī Places and Dwellings

5 Ṣūfī Places and Dwellings
Daphna Ephrat and Paulo G. Pinto

6 Ṣūfī Shrines
Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen

7 Ṣūfī Lodges
Peyvand Firouzeh

8 Ṣūfī Outposts (ribāṭs)
Nathan Hofer

Part 3: The Social Role of Ṣūfīs

9 The Social Role of Ṣūfīs
Rachida Chih

10 Ṣūfī Altruism
Richard McGregor

11 Sufism, Urbanisation, and Sociability in Cities
Nathalie Clayer

12 Ṣūfīs in Rural Environments
Ahmet Yaşar Ocak

Part 4: Sufism and Worldly Powers

13 Sufism and Worldly Powers
Alexandre Papas

14 Ṣūfī Terminology of Power

15 Ṣūfīs as Court Advisors
Neguin Yavari

16 Sufism, the Army, and Holy War
David Cook

17 Ṣūfī Sultanates and Imamates
Knut S. Vikør

Part 5: The Organisation of Mysticism

18 The Organisation of Mysticism
Mark Sedgwick

19 The First Communities
Jean-Jacques Thibon

20 Ṣūfī Lineages and Families
Ismail Fajrie Alatas

21 Established Ṣūfī Orders
Semih Ceyhan

22 Cyber Sufism
Stéphane A. Dudoignon

Name Index
Place Index
Thematic Index
All those interested in ascetic-mystical religions, the history and culture of Islam, Sufism, and Muslim societies.
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