Sufis and Anti-Sufis: The Defence, Rethinking and Rejection of Sufism in the Modern World, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sufis and Anti-Sufis

The Defence, Rethinking and Rejection of Sufism in the Modern World, 1st Edition

By Elizabeth Sirriyeh


190 pages

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Despite its continuing appeal in the Muslim world, Sufism has faced fierce challenges in the last 250 years. This volume assesses the evolution of anti-Sufism since the middle of the eighteenth century and Sufi strategies for survival. It also considers the efforts of a few significant Muslim intellectuals to contemplate a future for a mystical approach to Islam without traditional Sufism. Many studies of Islam in the modern period have focused on the attempts of Muslim 'modernists' or 'fundamentalists' to come to terms with western modernity, and Sufis have often been marginalised in the process. Elizabeth Sirriyeh redresses this neglect by assigning to Sufism a central place in the broader history of Islam in the modern world and by examining how changing understandings of Sufism's role in modern conditions have affected Muslims of all shades of opinion.

Table of Contents

1. Sufis and their Critics before the Impact of Europe 2. The Challenge of European Anti-Sufism 3. Traditional Sufism or a Religion of Progress? 4. The Sufism and Anti-Sufism of the Salafis 5. Strengthening the Soul of the Nation 6. Contemporary Sufism and Anti-Sufism. Conclusion: Many Ways Towards the One

About the Author

Elizabeth Sirriyeh teaches in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Leeds.

About the Series

Routledge Sufi Series

The Routledge Sufi Series provides short introductions to a variety of facets of the subject, which are accessible both to the general reader and the student and scholar in the field. Each book will be either a synthesis of existing knowledge or a distinct contribution to, and extension of, knowledge of the particular topic. The two major underlying principles of the Series are sound scholarship and readability.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / Sufi
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies