A fascinating insider's account of Sufi life in contemporary Egypt
For centuries Sufism—Islamic mysticism—held a major place in Islamic spirituality, intellectual life, and popular religion. While many scholars have commented on Sufism's decline, few have delved deeply into present-day Egyptian Sufism or considered it as a system in its own right. Drawing on her detailed fieldwork and a variety of little known literary sources, Valerie J. Hoffman presents Sufism as it exists in Egypt today, in the vivid experiences of its adherents. With an array of conclusions that overturn widely held beliefs about modern Sufis, Hoffman argues that the apparent assimilation of Egyptian Sufism masks a thriving movement hidden from the Western world. From her experiences as a quasi disciple of a Sufi master, she offers new insights into the movement's evolution, the vital role of women in Sufism, and Sufi perspectives on gender and sexuality.
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461 pp, Indexed, Illustrations
University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC, 2009
17 x 24 cm
Sufism / Egyptian Mysticism
Contents: Sufism in an age of change Among the Sufis : experiences, methods, and approach The Prophet Muhammad and his family in Egyptian Sufism The Saints : Bearers of the Prophetic Light The Sufi Orders
About the Author: Valerie J. Hoffman is an associate professor of religion at the University of Illinois and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.