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Unity in Diversity

Mysticism, Messianism and the Construction of Religious Authority in Islam

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Edited by Orkhan Mir-Kasimov

What are the mechanisms of change and adaptation in Islam, regarded as a living organism, and how do they work? How did these mechanisms preserve the integrity of Muslim civilization through the innumerable hazards, divisions and devastations of time? From the perspective of history and intellectual history, this book focuses on a significant, though still largely under studied, aspect of this immense issue, namely, the role of mystical and messianic ferment in the construction and re-construction of religious authority in Islam. Sixteen scholars address this topic with a variety of approaches, providing a fresh outlook on the trends underlying the evolution of Muslim societies and, in particular, the emergence and consolidation of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Empires.

Contributors include: Abbas Amanat, Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, Paul Ballanfat, Shahzad Bashir, Ilker Evrim Binbaş, Daniel De Smet, Devin DeWeese, Armin Eschraghi, Omid Ghaemmaghami, Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Todd Lawson, Pierre Lory, Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Orkhan Mir-Kasimov, A. Azfar Moin, William F. Tucker.

Islam and Rationality

The Impact of al-Ghazālī. Papers collected on his 900th Anniversary. Vol. 2

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Frank Griffel

Al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) is one of the most influential thinkers of Islam. There is hardly a genre of Islamic literature where he is not regarded as a major authority. Islamic Law, Sufism, ethics, philosophy, and theology are all deeply shaped by him. Yet in the past thirty years, the field of Ghazālī-studies has been shaken by the realization that Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā, d. 428/1037) and other philosophers had a strong influence on him. Now, after the 900th anniversary at his death, the field emerges stronger than ever. This second volume of Islam and Rationality: The Impact of al-Ghazālī brings together twelve leading experts on al-Ghazālī who write about his thought and the impact it had on later Muslim thinkers.

Contributors are: Anna Ayşe Akasoy, Ahmed El Shamsy, Kenneth Garden, Frank Griffel, Jules Janssens, Damien Janos, Taneli Kukkonen, Stephen Ogden, M. Sait Özervarlı, Martin Riexinger, Ulrich Rudolph, and Ayman Shihadeh.
The Mawlana Rumi Review is an academic journal (est. 2010) devoted to the poetry, life, thought, and legacy of Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273), the Islamic Sufi poet who authored some 60,000 lines of poetry, lectures, sermons, and letters in Persian and Arabic, and who founded the Mevlevi (Mawlawiyya) dervish order. The journal publishes original articles, translations of Rumi’s poetry done from the original language, book reviews, and reports. The editors welcome articles in English, as well as in French, Persian and Turkish, on the following topics: Historical biography of Rumi and his circle, based on original sources; analysis and interpretation of Rumi’s poetry; his adaptation of the literary and Sufi traditions; his narratology and story-telling techniques; hermeneutics; theology and prophetology; theosophy and mysticism; spiritual psychology; erotic spirituality; metaphysics and cosmology; epistemology; ethics; pedagogy; the history of the Mevlevi order; the commentary and interpretative tradition on his works (The Masnavī, Dīvān-i Shams-i Tabrīz, Fīhi mā fīh and Majālis al-sabʽa ; and the reception and translation of Rumi’s thought in modern and medieval literary history and thought.

Living Knowledge in West African Islam

The Sufi Community of Ibrāhīm Niasse

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Zachary Valentine Wright

Living Knowledge in West African Islam examines the actualization of religious identity in the community of Ibrāhīm Niasse (d.1975, Senegal). With millions of followers throughout Africa and the world, the community arguably represents one of the twentieth century’s most successful Islamic revivals. Niasse’s followers, members of the Tijāniyya Sufi order, gave particular attention to the widespread transmission of the experiential knowledge (maʿrifa) of God. They also worked to articulate a global Islamic identity in the crucible of African decolonization.

The central argument of this book is that West African Sufism is legible only with an appreciation of centuries of Islamic knowledge specialization in the region. Sufi masters and disciples reenacted and deepened preexisting teacher-student relationships surrounding the learning of core Islamic disciplines, such as the Qurʾān and jurisprudence. Learning Islam meant the transformative inscription of sacred knowledge in the student’s very being, a disposition acquired in the master’s exemplary physical presence. Sufism did not undermine traditional Islamic orthodoxy: the continued transmission of Sufi knowledge has in fact preserved and revived traditional Islamic learning in West Africa.

Alexander Knysh

tradition’s adaptation to vastly different social and cultural environments over the longue durée (8–11; cf. 130). The breadth of the book’s geographical scope, the author argues, makes it truly “global” (12), and I agree. It explores the world-wide presence of Sufi individuals, teachings and institutions

Side Emre

region, demonstrating that the Gülşeniye, as a popu- lar offfshoot of the Halvetiye, adapted its literary discourse to changing socio- political and religious dynamics, a response that helped secure it a stable niche in early modern Egypt. This literary adaptation played a signifijicant role in both the

Moshe Albo

coherent unity. This case study may not only strengthen the understanding that Islamic spirituality is rooted in the foundations of the Islamic faith and that it stays relevant for varied publics through needed adaptations and adjustments, but it also fathoms the complexity and depth of Sufi religious

Beyond “Love Mysticism”

Yūnus Emre’s Sufi Theology of Selfhood

Hamilton Cook

Yūnus’ discourses on selfhood in his poetry, I agree with Tatçı that a sizeable amount of the poems in the Dīwān are adaptations of the ghazal form. However, going beyond Tatçı’s analysis, I contend that Yūnus not only attempted to adapt the form of the ghazal when he composed his poetry, but also