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New York University Studies in Near Eastern Civilization #0013: Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufismby Julian Baldick
Synopses & Reviews
The Uwaysis--who take their name from Uways, a contemporary of the prophet Mohammad who is reputed to have communicated with him telepathically--are Muslim mystics who look for instruction to the spirit of the dead or physically absent person. Julian Baldick here surveys the legend of Uways and the Uwaysi phenomenon within Sufism, Islam's main mystical tradition.
Baldick examines the Uwaysi movement in 16th-century East Turkistan (now Xinjiang in northwest China) and then discusses the book the central text in the development of the sect, History of the Uwaysis, written by Ahmad of Uzgen around 1600. Analyzing the intricate combination of Biblical motifs, shamanistic initiation rites, and Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist legends, Baldick argues that an understanding of the Uwaysi sect reveals many of the paradoxes which lie at the heart of Islam. The first definitive study of this important sect, IMAGINARY MUSLIMS will be of central interest to all those concerned with Islamic studies, the Middle East, and the history of religion
Sufism is Islams main mystical tradition. There are Sufi orders in almost all Muslim countries around the world, but not all Sufis accept the same beliefs and practices.
Mystical Islam offers an introduction that encompasses the full history and richness of the Sufi spiritual tradition over fourteen centuries of Islam. This accessible work covers the origins of Sufism and early influences, particularly from Christianity; the rise of the great Sufi organizations; the thought of Sufisms main theorist and systemizer, Ibn Arabi; Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes; relations with Shiism in Iran; Sufism in the heyday of the great empires in Iran, India, and Turkey; and relations with Turkey and Egypt during the nineteenth century as well as Sufi practices in the twentieth century.
In a new afterword, the author reflects on recent scholarship and offers fresh perspectives on this fascinating tradition of belief and devotion.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -193).
About the Author
Julian Baldick is Lecturer in Comparative Religion at King's College in London. He is the author of Mystical Islam, Homer and the Indo-Europeans, and Black God.
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