The Friend of God and the Shariah

Jawid Mojaddedi

in Beyond Dogma

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369236
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933471 | DOI:
The Friend of God and the Shariah

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This chapter explores the relationship between Friendship with God and the legal formulations of religious scholars. Rumi frequently stresses that the Friend of God is not bound by the latter, or any other theoretical system, being compelled instead to act specifically according to God’s direct command in the manner of the Qur’anic Khiḍr. He also occasionally asserts that aspirants should strive to act increasingly according to direct communication from God rather than theory on the spiritual path, a path designed to overcome the self and not equatable with the Shariah. Conventional thinking has judged this a later deviation from Sufism’s foundation in the Shariah. However, the oldest sources not only corroborate Rumi’s teachings with their critiques of the Shariah and its risk to sincerity, but they also indicate that the irenic Sufi writings that stress the Shariah’s importance emerged in a specific historical context, only after previous traditions, including one comparable with chivalry codes, had been used.

Keywords: Shariah; Khiḍr; compulsion under God; jabr; spiritual path; ṭarīqat; chivalry code; sincerity; Friend of God

Chapter.  19908 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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