Article

Sufism

Marcia Hermansen

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online December 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0081
Sufism

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“Sufism” is the English term used to refer to mystical interpretations and practices of the Islamic religion. This mystical strand is designated in Arabic by the term tasawwuf, while in Persian the term irfan (gnosis) is also used. Proponents of Sufism see it as inextricably arising from the Qurʾanic teachings of an immanent divinity who is “closer than the jugular vein,” and whose “signs are on the horizons and in your selves” (41:53). For Sufis, the religious and mystical experiences of the Prophet Muhammad, such as his Night Journey (Miraj), establish a precedent for his followers to pursue mystical practice. Opponents contend that the term “Sufism” (tasawwuf) was not used in the Qurʾan or by the Prophet, and that Sufism excessively incorporated pre- and non-Islamic elements.

Article.  14065 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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