Thursday, 14 October 2010

Morals and Mysticism in Persian Sufism: A History of Sufi-Futuwwat in Iran

By Lloyd Ridgeon
* ISBN: 978-0-415-54434-4 * Publish Date: May 12th 2010 * Imprint: Routledge *
Pages: 240 pages

Sufism is often understood to be the mystical dimension of Islam, and many works have focused on the nature of "mystical experiences" and the relationship between man and God. Yet Sufism was a human response to a wide range of contexts and circumstances; the fact that Sufis lived in society and interacted with the community necessitating guidance on how to behave.

This book examines the development of Persian Sufism, showing it to be a practical philosophy of the everyday rather than just a metaphysical phenomena. The author explores the ethic of futuwwat (or jawanmardi), an Iranian code of honour that emphasised loyalty, humility, generosity and bravery. Although inevitably some Sufis spiritualised this code of honour and applied it to their own relationship with God, the ethic continued to permeate Sufi behaviour on a more mundane level, typified by the strong links between Sufis and certain trades.

Drawing on field research in Iran, as well as detailed analysis of both Arabic and Persian texts and new materials that have been published in Iran in recent years, this is the first book in English to provide a history of Persian Sufi-futuwwat, As such, this book is an important contribution to the study of Persian Sufism, and to the fields of Islam, history and religion.

**Dr. Ridgeon is a Reader in Islamic Studies at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow. He teaches courses on Classical Islam, Modern Islamic Thought, Modern Iran, etc. His research interests comprise Persian Literature, Iranian History and Culture, Classical and Modern Sufism and Islamic History.

1 comment:

  1. Sufism in often misunderstood, not only by other religions but also by many Muslims. I have studied its mystical aspects with the help of Shayaks in Iran and Egypt and two eminent scholars of Sufism in the USA for my e-book on comparative mysticism.

    Sufis have played an important social role, too and continue to do so. The expansion of Islam in South and Southeast Asia, where the greatest numbers of Muslims live, was to a great extent due to the influence Sufis. Sufism is still under attack by radical elements of Islam, but lives on in the hearts and minds of its followers.