Sufism and Islamic Reform in Egypt: The Battle for Islamic Tradition

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byJulian Johansen

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One of the most important sects in the Islamic world, Sufism has had a long and active history. Yet it has been no stranger to controversy. This has been particularly pronounced in modern times, as radical Islamic groups and modernist reformers have sought to identify Sufism as a source ofeither unwelcome innovation or reactionary superstition. This book focuses on the efforts of the Sufis of Egypt, expressed in the writings of one of the order's sheikhs, to meet the critical challenge. The sheikh offers a vigorous defence of Sufism in the context of controversial issues such asfestivals, processions, congregational invocation, and the principle of guidance by the sheikh. He also touches on broader issues such as the metaphysical status of the Prophet and the question of miracles, considering these in a characteristically Sufi light. However, he also downplays or reworkscertain key elements of Sufi belief and practice in an attempt to forestall hostile criticism. In this book Dr Johansen discusses these ideas and places them in a broader context, basing his analysis on material recorded at Sufi gatherings in Cairo between 1988-90, as well as published andunpublished texts.

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From Our Editors

One of the most important tendencies in the Islamic world, Sufism has had a long and active history. Yet it has been no stranger to controversy. This has been particularly pronounced in modern times, as radical Islamic groups and modernist reformers have sought to identify Sufism as a source of either unwelcome innovation or reactionar...

From the Publisher

One of the most important sects in the Islamic world, Sufism has had a long and active history. Yet it has been no stranger to controversy. This has been particularly pronounced in modern times, as radical Islamic groups and modernist reformers have sought to identify Sufism as a source ofeither unwelcome innovation or reactionary supe...

Julian Johansen is a formerly Junior Research Fellow, St Edmund Hall 1991-1993; now Cataloguing and Imaging Projects Manager at Al-Furgan Islamic Heritage Foundation, London.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:332 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.94 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198267576

ISBN - 13:9780198267577

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From Our Editors

One of the most important tendencies in the Islamic world, Sufism has had a long and active history. Yet it has been no stranger to controversy. This has been particularly pronounced in modern times, as radical Islamic groups and modernist reformers have sought to identify Sufism as a source of either unwelcome innovation or reactionary superstition. This book focuses on the efforts of the Sufis of Egypt, expressed in the writings of one of the order's sheikhs, to meet the critical challenge. The sheikh offers a vigorous defence of Sufism in the context of controversial issues such as festivals, processions, congregational invocation, and the principle of guidance by the sheikh. He also touches on broader issues such as the metaphysical status of the Prophet and the question of miracles, considering these in a characteristically Sufi light. However, he also downplays or reworks certain key elements of Sufi belief and practice in an attempt to forestall hostile criticism. In this book Dr Johansen discusses these ideas and places them in a broader context, basing hi

Editorial Reviews

`No other monograph in English explores so fully the tensions between Sufi practitioners and self-styled reformers over textual interpretation, ritual observance, and miraculous events. The study is replete with primary source annotation and careful attention to major controversies...fineanalysis of modern-day Egyptian Sufism.'CHOICE