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Abstract

This article analyses the uses of education certificates (ijāzas) as a tool of self-expression by Russia’s Muslims in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While the transmission of ijāzas as such served as a means of constructing the ideal Muslim personality, manuscript evidence suggests that a selective approach to compiling ijāza miscellanies could successfully be employed in building one’s own archival persona – the way how an individual wanted to appear on pages of future biographical books: not only as an important transmitter of prestigious lineages, but chiefly as a unique performer of their selective combinations. The presence of Sufi certificates on multiple lineages within and beyond the borders of the established Sufi ‘orders’ suggests the increasing heterogeneity of Sufi organization and practice that was part of the phenomenon of a broadening cultural repertoire, from which individuals could draw upon for their archival persona. The type of ijāzas that we analyse here, namely the separate documents and miscellanies listing the transmitted practices, were very much the product of their time and their wide circulation in late imperial Russia suggests, as we argue, an unprecedented rise of ijāza culture, imported from the Ottoman realm.

Open Access
In: Journal of Sufi Studies
Islamic art is often misrepresented as an iconophobic tradition. As a result of this assumption, the polyvalence of figural artworks made for South Asian Muslim audiences has remained hidden in plain view.
This book situates manuscript illustrations and album paintings within cultures of devotion and ritual shaped by Islamic intellectual and religious histories. Central to this story are the Mughal siblings, Jahanara Begum and Dara Shikoh, and their Sufi guide Mulla Shah.
Through detailed art historical analysis supported by new translations, this study contextualizes artworks made for Indo-Muslim patrons by putting them into direct dialogue with written testimonies.
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800
In: Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting, 1500–1800