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AUC Press's Description
Sufism: The Formative Period is a comprehensive historical overview of the early development of Sufism, the major mystical tradition in Islam, from the ninth to the twelfth century CE. Through a fresh reading of the primary sources and integrating the findings of recent scholarship on the subject, scholar Ahmet T. Karamustafa presents a unified narrative of Sufism’s historical development within an innovative analytical framework.
Karamustafa gives a new account of the emergence of mystical currents in Islam during the ninth century and traces the rapid spread of Iraq-based Sufism to other regions of the Islamic world. He examines its fusion with indigenous mystical movements elsewhere, most notably the Malamatiyya of northeastern Iran. In this illuminating history, he analyzes extensively the formation of Sufi communities, the blending of Sufi sainthood with popular saints’ cults, and the non-conformist dimensions of Sufism. Drawing on the most recent scholarly work on this fascinating Islamic tradition, Sufism: The Formative Period fully explains the reasons for the increasing social prominence of the Sufi mode of piety during Islam’s early period.