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Sufism and Scripture

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This book aims to provide readers with a useful and up to date chronological introduction to Sufi approaches to Qur’an exegesis, spanning across a wide variety of languages and cultural contexts throughout Islamic history up to the modern period. Drawing on insights from the broader field of Islamic Studies as well as Comparative Religious Studies, it explores the degree to which a common Sufi hermeneutical methodology can be identified, revisiting the question of the existence of a distinct genre of “Sufi Qur’an commentary” or “commentary through allusion” (al-tafsīr al-ishārī). By providing a broad and comprehensive survey of Sufi writings and historical records, as well as the works of Qur’an commentators not typically associated with Sufism, it challenges the tendency to define Sufi Qur’an exegesis simply according to the evidence of Sufi Qur’an commentaries.

Published: Oct 1, 2020


Section Chapter Authors
Introduction Harith Bin Ramli
Conclusion Harith Bin Ramli
Part 1: The Formative Period
1. Mystical and Esoteric Scriptural Exegesis in Pre-Islamic Settings Harith Bin Ramli
2. Early Tafsīr and the Emergence of the Sufi Tradition Harith Bin Ramli
3. Qur’an Exegesis in the Writings of the Fourth/Tenth Century Sufis Harith Bin Ramli
Part 2: Sufism in the Muslim East
4. The Sufi Scholars of Khurasan: al-Sulamī, al-Qushayrī, al-Ghazālī Harith Bin Ramli
5. The Path of Love: Aḥmad al-Ghazālī, ʾAyn al-Quḍāt al- al-Hamadhānī, Ruzbihān al-Baqlī and Jalāl al-Dīn al-Rūmī Harith Bin Ramli
6. Central Asian Masters: The Kubrawiyya, the Khwājagān and the Rise of Sufi Orders on the Post-Mongol Era Harith Bin Ramli
7. Further East: Qur’an Exegesis in the Writings of Sufis in India, China and the Malay Archipelago Harith Bin Ramli
Part 3: Sufism in the Muslim West
8. al-Andalus Harith Bin Ramli
9. Ibn ʿArabī and the Akbarī School Harith Bin Ramli
10. Ibn ʿAjība and the Later Medieval North African Tradition Harith Bin Ramli
Part 4: Beyond East and West
11. Sufi Tafsīr in the Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras Harith Bin Ramli
12. al-Suhrawardī and the Ishrāqī School Harith Bin Ramli
13. Sufi Tafsīr in the Age of “Gunpowder Empires” Harith Bin Ramli
14. Contemporary Approaches to Sufi Tafsīr Harith Bin Ramli