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Aiyub Palmer

In Sainthood and Authority in Early Islam Aiyub Palmer recasts wilāya in terms of Islamic authority and traces its development in both political and religious spheres up through the 3rd and 4th Islamic centuries. This book pivots around the ideas of al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī, the first Muslim theologian and mystic to write on the topic of wilāya.

By looking at its structural roots in Arab and Islamic social organization, Aiyub Palmer has reframed the discussion about sainthood in early Islam to show how it relates more broadly to other forms of authority in Islam. This book not only looks anew at the influential ideas of al-Tirmidhī but also challenges current modes of thought around the nature of authority in Islamicate societies.

Les générations des Soufis

Ṭabaqāt al-ṣūfiyya de Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Muḥammad b. Ḥusayn al-Sulamī (325/937-412/1021)

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Edited by Jean-Jacques Thibon

In his book Generations of Sufis, Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (died 1021), the Sufi master of Nishapur and Shafiʿi traditionist and historian, collected the teachings of 105 Sufi masters who lived between the 2nd/8th and the 4th/10th centuries. Sulami gives a short biography of each master with representative quotations from his teachings. He thereby illustrates the numerous approaches to the spiritual path and the unity of its principles. One of the oldest works of the sort, it assembles the doctrinal foundations from which medieval Sufism developed. It is a key reference which influenced all Sufi literature and even historiography. This is the first translation of a work of this type to be published in a European language.

Dans Les générations des Soufis Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (m. 1021), maître soufi de Nishapur, traditionniste šāfiʿite et historien, collecte l’enseignement de cent cinq maîtres soufis qui vécurent entre le 2e/8e et le 4e/10e siècles. Pour chacun d’eux, Sulamī propose une courte notice biographique et un ensemble de citations représentatives de son enseignement. Il rend ainsi compte de la diversité des approches de la voie spirituelle et de l’unité de ses principes. Cet ouvrage, l’un des plus anciens de ce type, rassemble le socle doctrinal sur lequel s’élabora le soufisme médiéval. Référence incontournable, il eut une influence considérable sur toute la littérature du soufisme et même l’historiographie. Cette traduction est la première en langue européenne d’un ouvrage de ce type.

Thus Spake the Dervish

Sufism, Language, and the Religious Margins in Central Asia, 1400-1900

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Alexandre Papas

Thus Spake the Dervish explores the unfamiliar history of marginal Sufis, known as dervishes, in early modern and modern Central Asia over a period of 500 years. It draws on various sources (Persian chronicles and treatises, Turkic literature, Russian and French ethnography, the author’s fieldwork) to examine five successive cases, each of which corresponds to a time period, a specific socially marginal space, and a particular use of mystical language. Including an extensive selection of writings by dervishes, this book demonstrates the diversity and tenacity of Central Asian Sufism over a long period. Here translated into a Western language for the first time, the extracts from primary texts by marginal Sufis allow a rare insight into their world.

The original French edition of this book, Ainsi parlait le dervice, was published by Editions du Cerf (Paris, France).

Sufism East and West

Mystical Islam and Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Modern World

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Edited by Jamal Malik and Saeed Zarrabi-Zadeh

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Edited by Sebastian Günther and Dorothee Pielow

Die Geheimnisse der oberen und der unteren Welt ( The Secrets of the Upper and the Lower World) is a substantial new collection of essays on magic in Islamic cultural history. Both comprehensive and innovative in its approach, this book offers fresh insights into an important yet still understudied area of Islamic intellectual history. The seventeen chapters deal with key aspects of Islamic magic, including its historical developments, geographical variants, and modern-day practices. The general introduction identifies and problematizes numerous sub-topics and key practitioners/theoreticians in the Arabo-Islamic context. This, along with terminological and bibliographical appendices, makes the volume an unparalleled reference work for both specialists and a broader readership. Contributors: Ursula Bsees, Johann Christoph Bürgel, Susanne Enderwitz, Hans Daiber; Sebastian Günther, Mahmoud Haggag, Maher Jarrar, Anke Joisten-Pruschke, Fabian Käs, Ulrich Marzolph, Christian Mauder, Tobias Nünlist, Khanna Omarkhali, Eva Orthmann, Bernd-Christian Otto, Dorothee Pielow, Lutz Richter-Bernburg, Johanna Schott & Johannes Thomann.

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Hamza Malik

In The Grey Falcon, Hamza Malik offers an account of the life and teaching of the twelfth century scholar and Sufi of Baghdad, and eponym of the Qadiri order, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (1077-1166). The question of whether Jīlānī was a Sufi, or simply a scholar appropriated by later Sufis as has been sometimes suggested, is tackled through an analysis of his three most popular works, the Ghunya li Ṭālibī Ṭarīq al-Ḥaqq, the Futūḥ al-Ghayb, and the Fatḥ al-Rabbānī. Malik identifies and presents Jīlānī’s Sufi thought and theological stance, and furthermore attempts to paint a picture of the character and personality of Jīlānī, as might be ascertained solely from the works analysed.

Sufism in Central Asia

New Perspectives on Sufi Traditions, 15th-21st Centuries

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Edited by Devin DeWeese and Jo-Ann Gross

Sufism in Central Asia: New Perspectives on Sufi Traditions, 15th-21st Centuries brings together ten original studies on historical aspects of Sufism in this region. A central question, of ongoing significance, underlies each contribution: what is the relationship between Sufism as it was manifested in this region prior to the Russian conquest and the Soviet era, on the one hand, and the features of Islamic religious life in the region during the Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet eras on the other? The authors address multiple aspects of Central Asian religious life rooted in Sufism, examining interpretative strategies, realignments in Sufi communities and sources from the Russian to the post-Soviet period, and social, political and economic perspectives on Sufi communities.
Contributors include: Shahzad Bashir, Devin DeWeese, Allen Frank, Jo-Ann Gross, Kawahara Yayoi, Robert McChesney, Ashirbek Muminov, Maria Subtelny, Eren Tasar, and Waleed Ziad.

'Stringing Coral Beads': The Religious Poetry of Brava (c. 1890-1975)

A Source Publication of Chimiini Texts and English Translations

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Edited by Alessandra Vianello, Lidwien Kapteijns and Mohamed Kassim

This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.

Les enfers indiens

Histoire multiple d’un lieu commun

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Marc Tiefenauer

In the present work, the first of its kind in the field of Indian philology, Marc Tiefenauer outlines the history of representations of hell in Indian religious traditions. His study is based on primary sources in Sanskrit, Pali, Ardhamagadhi, Chinese, Braj, Persian and Hindi, extending over three millennia. He identifies the main ideological contributions to Brahmanical representations of the afterlife, particularly those stemming from Buddhism, Jainism, devotional currents (Bhakti) and Islam. He shows the utility of eschatological research to hermeneutics, especially in view of improving the understanding of the literatures of ancient India.

‘Alā’ al-Dawla al-Simnānī Between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate

With a Critical Edition of al-Wārid alšārid al-ṭārid šubhat al-mārid and its Persian version Zayn al-mu‘taqad li-zayn al-mu‘taqid

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Giovanni Maria Martini

In ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla al-Simnānī between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate, Giovanni Maria Martini investigates the personality of a major figure in the socio-political and cultural landscape of Mongol Iran. In pursuing this objective, the author follows parallel paths: Chapter 1 provides the most updated reconstruction of Simnānī’s (d. 736/1336) biography, which, thanks to its unique features, emerges as a cross-section of Iranian society and as a microhistory of the complex relationships between a Sufi master, Persian elites and Mongol rulers during the Ilkhanid period; Chapter 2 contains a study on the phenomenon of Arabic-Persian diglossia in Simnānī’s written work, arguing for its socio-religious function; in Chapters 3 to 6 the critical editions of two important, interrelated treatises by Simnānī are presented; finally, Chapter 7 offers the first full-length annotated translation of a long work by Simnānī ever to appear in a Western language.