Sufism in Ottoman Egypt: Circulation, Renewal and Authority in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sufism in Ottoman Egypt

Circulation, Renewal and Authority in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, 1st Edition

By Rachida Chih

Routledge

188 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367135898
pub: 2019-05-08
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Description

This book analyses the development of Sufism in Ottoman Egypt, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Examining the cultural, socio-economic and political backdrop against which Sufism gained prominence, it looks at its influence in both the institutions for religious learning and popular piety.

The study seeks to broaden the observed space of Sufism in Ottoman Egypt by placing it within its imperial and international context, highlighting on one hand the specificities of Egyptian Sufism, and on the other the links that it maintained with other spiritual traditions that influenced it. Studying Sufism as a global phenomenon, taking into account its religious, cultural, social and political dimensions, this book also focuses on the education of the increasing number of aspirants on the Sufi path, as well as on the social and political role of the Sufi masters in a period of constant and often violent political upheaval. It ultimately argues that, starting in medieval times, Egypt was simultaneously attracting foreign scholars inward and transmitting ideas outward, but these exchanges intensified during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a result of the new imperial context in which the country and its people found themselves. Hence, this book demonstrates that the concept of ‘neosufism’ should be dispensed with and that the Ottoman period in no way constituted a time of decline for religious culture, or the beginning of a normative and fundamentalist Islam.

Sufism in Ottoman Egypt provides a valuable contribution to the new historiographical approach to the period, challenging the prevailing teleology. As such, it will prove useful to students and scholars of Islam, Sufism and religious history, as well as Middle Eastern history more generally.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Circulation and Networks: The Role of Cairo and Al-Azhar

2. Education: How to Guide Disciples?

3. The Muhammadan Path and Sufi Renewal

4. Prophetic Heritage, Authority and the Intercession of Saints

Conclusion

About the Author

Rachida Chih is a Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and a member of the Center for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan, and Central Asian Studies, at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France.

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:
HIS009000
HISTORY / Middle East / Egypt (see also Ancient / Egypt)
HIS055000
HISTORY / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire
REL090000
RELIGION / Islam / Sufi
SOC053000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies