Sufism in the West

Front Cover
Jamal Malik, John Hinnells
Routledge, 2006 M04 18 - 214 pages

With the increasing Muslim diaspora in post-modern Western societies, Sufism – intellectually as well as sociologically – may eventually become Islam itself due to its versatile potential. Although Sufism has always provoked considerable interest in the West, no volume has so far been written which discusses this aspect of Islam in terms of how it is practised in Western societies.

Bringing together leading international authorities to survey the history of Islamic mysticism in North America and Europe, this book elaborates the ideas and institutions which organize Sufism and folk-religious practices. The chapters cover:

  • the orders and movements
  • their social base
  • organization and institutionalization
  • recruitment-patterns in new environments
  • channels of disseminating ideas, such as ritual, charisma, and organization
  • reasons for their popularity among certain social groups
  • the nature of their affiliation with the countries of their origin.

Providing a fascinating insight into how Sufism operates within different spheres of society, Sufism in the West is essential reading for students and academics with research interests in Islam, Islamic history and social anthropology.


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1 Literary productions of Western Sufi movements
Reflections on the Nimatullahi diaspora
Sulaymancis in Germany
4 Thirdwave Sufism in America and the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship
The Haqqaniyya
6 Aspects of the NaqshbandiHaqqani order in North America
Different ways of being a Sufi in Britain
The counterattack of new Sufi movements in the UK
9 Popular Islam in northern Pakistan and its reconstruction in urban Britain

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About the author (2006)

John Hinnells is former Professor and founding chair of the Department for the Study of Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. His main research interest is in Zoroastrianism and has also edited the New Penguin Dictionary of Religions and the New Penguin Handbook of Living Religions.

Jamal Malik is Chair of Religious Studies and Islamic Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. His areas of interest and research are Islamic Religion, Social History of Muslim South Asia, Colonialism and Political Islam, Islamic Mysticism and Muslims in the West.

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