7. Sufism: The Mystical Strain in Islam
Muslim Identities - An Introduction to Islam Second Edition - Aaron W. Hughes
Aaron W. Hughes [+]
University of Rochester
Aaron W. Hughes is the Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and the Philip S. Bernstein Professor in the Department of Religion and Classics at the University of Rochester. His research and publications focus on both Jewish philosophy and Islamic Studies. He has authored numerous books, including Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline (Equinox, 2007); Theorizing Islam: Disciplinary Deconstruction and Reconstruction (Equinox, 2012); Muslim Identities: An Introduction to Islam (Columbia, 2012); and Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History (Oxford, 2012). He currently serves as the editor of the journal Method and Theory in the Study of Religion.
The chapter begins with a definition and understanding of mysticism in general before attempting to locate Islamic mysticism (Sufism) within this understanding. It provides various accounts for the possible origins of Sufism, and then surveys some of the main individuals and teachings associated with the tradition. The chapter ends by describing some of the criticisms of Sufism from more conservative interpretations of Islam.