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Sufism: The Essentials – Mark Sedgwick (2000)

  • history

Sedgwick wrote a few books about Sufism. I guess the title made me think that this is a book with Sufi texts. It is not really. The book is mostly an introduction to Sufism. Where in “Western Sufism“, obviously, the encounter with the West was central, here we have a little book with Sufism as it was and is in Muslim countries.

In this early book on Sufism you can read what Sufism is and how it came to be. The author has information about different branches and different orders and how these differences originated. Then there is a chapter about Sufism in Muslim societies and how that role changed from elite to pariah.

The book is interesting, but very basic and fairly thin (132 pages). There is some Sufi material to read, the Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata Allah, but these are only a few pages all the way at the end.

2000/3 American University in Cairo Press, isbn 9774248236

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