Introduction to Suhrawardi's <i>Kitab fi'l-futuwwat</i>

Lloyd Ridgeon

in Jawanmardi

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641826
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653249 | DOI:
Introduction to Suhrawardi's Kitab fi'l-futuwwat

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This chapter discusses Shihab al-Din Abu Hafs ،Umar Suhrawardi, one of the towering figures of medieval Sufism. It discusses his Persian works on futawwat, the Kitab fi،l-futawwat and the Risalat al-futawwat, with its central focus on his latter work. Suhrawardi's futawwat was marked as rigorously sober and was devoid of any mention of potentially dangerous Sufi rituals or activities that would have left the groups open to criticism, instead focusing on the outer attributes of the fata because of the communal nature of the futawwat. For instance, Suhrawardi advocated for immaculate appearance, and proper conduct at the communal eating. Although he focused on the outer dimensions of act, he also placed an emphasis on the inner dimension to achieve perfection. Suhrawardi focused on spiritual enlightenment. While other jawanmardi groups aimed for tajrid or a state of separation and tafrid or seclusion, Suhwardi focused on delineating jawanmardi as a communal association for urban and artisanal workers who wished to participate in the less arduous forms of Sufi activity. He also focused on ،Ali and made him exemplar of compassion, mercy, bravery, and loyalty to God. Three hundred years after Suhwardi, his treatises were the core of the futawwat namas of this period. Three main elements that recur in the futawwat namas of this era are: the theme of mercy and compassion; attempts to illustrate the linkages of futawwat and Sufism; and the desire for scrupulousness in observing the correct procedures in ritual activity.

Keywords: Sufism; futawwat; Kitab fi،l-futawwat; Risalat al-futawwat; fata; Suhrawardi; communal association; mercy and compassion

Chapter.  7407 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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