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Abstract

This chapter explores the relevance that the sunna takes in the disciplinary and socialising practices of a contemporary offshoot of the Nur movement, the Suffa community, in contemporary Turkey. Contrary to widespread journalistic views portraying the imitation of the sunna as the exclusive trait of “Salafi” groups, it relies on the community’s main text, the Risale-i Nur (The Epistle of Light) and on ethnographic material gathered between 2009 and 2010 to investigate the way in which ḥadīth narratives shaped the life and conduct of this Sufi-inspired, yet inner-worldly oriented community. First, the chapter illustrates the role that the figure of the Prophet Muḥammad plays in the path of knowledge promoted in the Risale. It then moves to investigate how the imitation of the sunna is at the centre of the daily practices and sociability forms that shape Muslim life within the Suffa community. Particular attention will be given to the way in which conforming to the sunna intersects with Muslim norms of virtuous behaviour (adab). Finally, the chapter sheds light on the collective dimension of Prophetic piety by illustrating how both sunna and adab are embedded in the ideal of brotherhood as actualised in the daily life of the community.

Open Access
In: The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam