Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism

Paperback | January 20, 1999

byVincent J. Cornell

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In premodern Moroccan Sufism, sainthood involved not only a closeness to the Divine presence (walaya) but also the exercise of worldly authority (wilaya). The Moroccan Jazuliyya Sufi order used the doctrine that the saint was a "substitute of the prophets" and personification of a universal "Muhammadan Reality" to justify nearly one hundred years of Sufi involvement in Moroccan political life, which led to the creation of the sharifian state.

This book presents a systematic history of Moroccan Sufism through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries C.E. and a comprehensive study of Moroccan Sufi doctrine, focusing on the concept of sainthood. Vincent J. Cornell engages in a sociohistorical analysis of Sufi institutions, a critical examination of hagiography as a source for history, a study of the Sufi model of sainthood in relation to social and political life, and a sociological analysis of more than three hundred biographies of saints. He concludes by identifying eight indigenous ideal types of saint that are linked to specific forms of authority. Taken together, they define sainthood as a socioreligious institution in Morocco.

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In premodern Moroccan Sufism, sainthood involved not only a closeness to the Divine presence (walaya) but also the exercise of worldly authority (wilaya). The Moroccan Jazuliyya Sufi order used the doctrine that the saint was a "substitute of the prophets" and personification of a universal "Muhammadan Reality" to justify nearly one hu...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:442 pages, 9.05 × 6.05 × 1.02 inPublished:January 20, 1999Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292712103

ISBN - 13:9780292712102

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsList of AbbreviationsTransliteration of Foreign TermsIntroduction. Morocco and the Problem of Sainthood in Islamic StudiesPart I. Sainthood and Authority in Morocco: The Origins and Development of a ParadigmChapter One. Sainthood in an Urban Context: Sulaha', 'Scholars, and "Anchors of the Earth"Chapter Two. Arbiters of the Holy in the Countryside: Rural Legists, Spiritual Masters, and MurabitunChapter Three. Knowledge, Power, and Authority in Monographic BiographyChapter Four. Qualifying the Ineffable: Sainthood in the Hagiographical AnthologyPart II. The Paradigm InstitutionalizedChapter Five. Moroccan Sufism in the Marinid PeriodChapter Six. An Emplotment of a Paradigmatic Saint: The Career of Muhammad ibn Sulaymán al Jazuli Chapter Seven. The Ideology of Paradigmatic Sainthood: The Jazfilite Doctrine of the "Muhammadan Way"Chapter Eight. Paradigmatic Sainthood in the Material World: The Jazuliyya and the Rise of the Sharifian StateConclusion. Power and Authority in Moroccan SainthoodNotesGlossary of Technical TermsSelected BibliographyIndex

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In premodern Moroccan Sufism, sainthood involved not only a closeness to the Divine presence (walaya) but also the exercise of worldly authority (wilaya). The Moroccan Jazuliyya Sufi order used the doctrine that the saint was a "substitute of the prophets" and personification of a universal "Muhammadan Reality" to justify nearly one hundred years of Sufi involvement in Moroccan political life, which led to the creation of the sharifian state. This book presents a systematic history of Moroccan Sufism through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries C.E. and a comprehensive study of Moroccan Sufi doctrine, focusing on the concept of sainthood. Vincent J. Cornell engages in a sociohistorical analysis of Sufi institutions, a critical examination of hagiography as a source for history, a study of the Sufi model of sainthood in relation to social and political life, and a sociological analysis of more than three hundred biographies of saints. He concludes by identifying eight indigenous ideal types of saint that are linked to specific forms of authority. Taken together, they define sainthood as a socioreligious institution in Morocco.This is the most significant study of the Sufi tradition in Islam to have appeared in the last two decades.... It equals in scope and significance Peter Brown's The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity. - Dale F. Eickelman, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, Dartmouth College