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Sources of Sufism: Transmission of the Prophetic Word

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1. Title Title of document Sources of Sufism: Transmission of the Prophetic Word - Unveiling Sufism
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Meena Sharify-Funk; Wilfrid Laurier University;
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country William Dickson; South Dakota State University; United States
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religion; Islamic Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) Qur’an; Muhammad; ‘Ali, Abu Bakr; Near East; Neoplatonism; Hermeticism; Zoroastrianism; Christian Mysticism
5. Subject Subject classification Sufism
6. Description Abstract In Chapter Seven we conclude our journey back through history to consider Sufism’s origin during the 7th and 8th centuries. The many principles and practices of Sufism explored in the book can be traced back to the Qur’an, the revelatory experience of the Prophet Muhammad. To understand the roots of Sufi hermeneutics and concepts such as kashf, we take a closer look at the interpretive approach of Ja‘far al-Sadiq, one of Islam’s early polymaths and mystics. His suggestion that kashf revealed deeper layers of meaning in the Qur’an would shape Sufi approaches to the text thereafter. We further consider those verses of the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad that have shaped later Sufism. Sufi understandings of the Qur’an were controversial, and their claim to have access to the Qur’an’s deepers meanings was contested by scholars who rejected the possibility of esoteric interpretation. This started a debate that continues to this day among Muslims over how to understand the Qur’an. We then explore Muhammad’s life and spiritual practices, which are exemplary for Sufis, and further consider the Prophet’s metaphysical status and meaning for Sufi practitioners. Attention also be given to Sufi use of Quranic calligraphy to beautify expression of the Divine word, and to the development of Sufi thought about the mystical significance of Arabic letters. Finally, we consider Sufism in larger world historical context. Although Sufism may not have originated outside of Islam, it has undoutedly integrated various mystical and philosophical systems prevalent in the Near East. As such, we look at the influence of some of these, including Christian mysticism, Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, and Zoroastrianism.

7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 15-Aug-2017
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.26333
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Unveiling Sufism
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) Near East,
historical; late antiquity
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd