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Shi’i Islam and Sufism: Classical Views and Modern Perspectives

Offering new perspectives on the relationship between Shi’is and Sufis in modern and pre-modern times, this book challenges the supposed opposition between these two esoteric traditions in Islam by exploring what could be called “Shi’i Sufism” and “Sufi-oriented Shi’ism” at various points in history.

The chapters are based on new research in textual studies as well as fieldwork from a broad geographical areas including the Indian subcontinent, Anatolia and Iran. Covering a long period stretching from the early post-Mongol centuries, throughout the entire Safawid era (906–1134/1501–1722) and beyond, it is concerned not only with the sphere of the religious scholars but also with different strata of society.

The first part of the volume looks at the diversity of the discourse on Sufism among the Shi’i “ulama” in the run up to and during the Safawid period. The second part focuses on the social and intellectual history of the most popular Shi’i Sufi order in Iran, the Ni’mat Allahiyya. The third part examines the relationship between Shi’ism and Sufism in the little-explored literary traditions of the Alevi-Bektashi and the Khaksariyya Sufi order. With contributions from leading scholars in Shi’ism and Sufism Studies, the book is the first to reveal the mutual influences and connections between Shi’ism and Sufism, which until now have been little explored.

About the Editors

Denis Hermann is Director of the Institut Français de Recherche en Iran (IFRI) in Tehran and Associate Member of the Centre for Iranian Studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. His research is mainly concerned with Qajar Iran, Twelver Shi’ism and the Constitutional Revolution in Iran of 1906–1911. His most recent publication is Le shaykhisme à la période qajare: Histoire sociale et doctrinale d’une École chiite.

Mathieu Terrier is a research fellow at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. An historian of Islamic thought, his research deals mainly with the relationship between Shi’i Islam, philosophy and Sufism. His most recent publication is Histoire de la sagesse et philosophie shi’ite: “L’Aimé des cœurs” de Qu’b al-Dîn Ashkevarî.

Table of contents

Chapter I. ‘Classical Views and New Perspectives on Imami Shi’ism and Sufism Relations in Pre-Modern and Modern Periods’, Denis Hermann, Institut Français de Recherche en Iran, Iran; and Mathieu Terrier, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France

First Part: Alternative to anti-Sufi Discourses in Shi’i Pre-Modern and Modern Literature
Chapter II. ‘Defense of Sufism among Twelver Shi’i thinkers of the Pre-Modern and Modern Era: Topics and Arguments’, Mathieu Terrier, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
Chapter III. ‘The Limits of “Orthodoxy”?: Notes on the Anti-Abu Muslim Polemic of Early 11th/17th Iran’, Andrew Newman, University of Edinburgh, UK

Second Part: The Social History of a Shi’i-Sufi Brotherhood : The Ni’matullahiyya
Chapter IV. ‘The Ni’mat’ullahi Order in the Fifteenth Century: Institutionalisation and Patronage of Architecture’, Peyvand Firoozeh, Wissenschaft Koleg, Germany
Chapter V. ‘The Mujaddid and the Majdhub. Shah ‘Ali Rida (d. 1801) and the Different Narratives of the Ni’matullahi Renewal’, Fabrizio Speziale, University Sorbonne nouvelle – Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
Chapter VI. ‘The institutionalisation of Ni’matullahi Sufism during the Pahlavi era: a study of the establishment of the Husayniyya Amir Sulaymani as a waqf in Tehran’, Denis Hermann, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France; and Omid Rezai, Sazman-i Awqaf wa Umur-i Khayriyya, Iran
Chapter VII. ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: Secrecy, Occultation and the Cultivation of Private Archives’, Seema Golestaneh, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

Third Part: The Relations between Shi’ism and Sufism in other Literary Sufi Traditions
Chapter VIII. ‘Sufism and Shi’ism in South Asia: shahadat and the evidence of the sindhi marsiya‘, Michel Boivin, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
Chapter IX. ‘Red Sulphur, Great Remedy, and the Supreme Name: Perceptions of the People of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) and Twelve Imams in Alevi-Bektashi Faith’, Riza Yildirim, University of Ankara, Turkey
Chapter X. ‘The Khaksar Sufi Shi’i order: an updated introduction’, Alexandre Papas, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
Chapter XI. ”Ajam Sufis and Shi’i Spirituality in 19th Century Iran’, Lloyd Ridgeon, University of Glasgow, UK
Chapter XII. Two Khaksar treatises of the XIXth century (translated from Persian):
Risala-yi faqiriye (‘The Booklet of Poverty’), translated by Mehrdad Arabestani, University of Tehran, Iran
Risala-yi Chahardah Khanavadah (‘The Fourteen Families’), translated by Yaser Mirdamadi, University of Edinburgh, UK

Bibliographic Information

Title: Shi’i Islam and Sufism: Classical Views and Modern Perspectives

Editors: Denis Hermann and Mathieu Terrier

Publisher: I.B. Tauris

 Language: English

Length: 392 pages

ISBN: 9780755602315

Pub. Date: 26-12-2019

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