Sufism Part A
- Module Code:
- Module Not Running 2022/2023
- FHEQ Level:
- Year of study:
- Year 1 or Year 2
- Taught in:
- Term 1
This module takes an analytical and textual approach to medieval Sufism. It concentrates on, and contextualises, key figures, doctrines, practices and institutional structures, and introduces primary texts representing a range of literary genres. Attention is given to controversies and debates that surrounded specific figures or doctrines.
Enrolment on host programme.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
- Understand the historical form and content of the traditions of learning and modes of scholarship which feature in Sufi literary texts
- Read, translate and competently analyse selected Arabic Sufi texts
- Appreciate the written legacy of the medieval Islamic sciences
- Engage with the academic discourses and theroretical issues which feature in the analysis and study of Sufism
Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week, consisting of a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar.
Scope and syllabus
Part A of the module reviews literature and concepts from the early formative period of Sufism. This will range from the study of early ascetic tracts and treatises; materials which chart the emergence of formative Sufi works such as Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī's Qūt al-qulūb; al-Sarrāj's al-Lumaʿ and al-Qusharī's Risāla; it will also explore the development of Sufi biographical compilations such as the works of Abū Nuʿaym al-Iṣfahānī and al-Sulamī.
Method of assessment
One 3000-word essay submitted on Friday, Week 1, Term 2 (100%)
(a) In Arabic
- Al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111), Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad, Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din, edited by 'Abdullah al-Khalidi (5 vols., Beirut, Sharikat Dar al-Arqam Ibn Abi al-Arqam, 1998).
- al-Munqidh min al-Dalal (2nd edition, Beirut, al-Maktabat al-Sharqiyya, 1969).
- Al-Hujwiri (d. between 465/1073 and 469/1077), 'Ali b. 'Uthman al-Jullabi, Kashf al-Mahjub (Beirut, Dar al-Nahda al-'Arabiyya, n.d.). Al-Kalabadhi (d. 380/990), Muhammad b. Ishaq, al-Ta'arruf li Madhhab Ahl al
- Tasawwuf, ed. Ahmad Shams al-Din (Beirut, Dar al-Kutub al-'Ilmiyya, 1993).
- Al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072), 'Abd al-Karim b. Hawazin [Abu al-Qasim], al-Risala al-Qushayriyya fi 'Ilm al-Tasawwuf, ed. Ma'ruf Mustafa Zurayq (Beirut, al-Maktaba al-'Ashriyya, 2001).
- al-Risala al-Qushayriyya, translated as "Sufi Book of Spiritual Ascent" by Rabia Harris, edited by Laleh Bakhtiar (Chicago, ABC International Group Inc., 1997).
- Al-Sarraj (d. 378/988), 'Abd Allah b. 'Ali al-Tusi, al-Luma' fi al-Tasawwuf, ed. R. A. Nicholson (Luzac & Co., London, 1914).
- Zarruq, Ahmad b. Ahmad, Qawa'id al-Tasawwuf, ed. Muhammad Zuhri al-Najjar (Cairo, Maktabat al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyya, 1967).
(b) In English
- Abdel-Kader, Ali Hassan, The Life, Personality and Writings of al-Junayd (London, Luzac & Company ltd., 1976).
- Arberry, Arthur J., Sufism – An Account of the Mystics of Islam (London, Unwin Hyman Ltd., 1979).
- Attar, Farid al-Din, Tadhkirat al-Awliya, translated as "Muslim Saints and Mystics" by A. L. Arberry (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979).
- Al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naquib, The Nature of Man and the Psychology of the Human Soul (Kuala Lumpur, The International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation, 1993).
- Baldick, Julian, Mystical Islam (London, I. B. Tauris and Co. Ltd., 1989).
- Chittick, William C., Sufism - A Short Introduction (Oxford, Oneworld Publications, 2000). Ernst, Carl W., Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (Albany, SUNY, 1985).
- The Shambhala Guide to Sufism (Boston, Shambhala, 1997).
- Frager, Robert, Heart, Self, & Soul - the Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony (Wheaton, Illinois, Quest Books, 1999).
- Heer, Nicholas and Honerkamp, Kenneth L., Three Early Sufi Texts: "A Treatise on the Heart", "The Stumblings of Those Aspiring" & "Two Texts on the Path of Blame" (Fons Vitae, 2003).
- Al-Hujwiri (d. between 465/1073 and 469/1077), Ali b. Uthman al-Jullabi, Kashf al-Mahjub, translated from the Persian by Reynold A. Nicholson (Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1911).
- Jami, Abd al-Rahman b. Ahmad, al-Durra al-Fakhira, translated as "The Precious Pearl" by Nicholas Heer (Albany : State University of New York Press, 1979).
- Al-Kalabadhi (d. 380/990), Muhammad b. Ishaq, al-Ta'arruf li Madhhab Ahl al-Tasawwuf, translated as "Doctrine of the Sufis" by A. J. Arberry (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977).
- Knysh, Alexander D., Islamic Mysticism – A Short History (Leiden, Brill, 1999). Lewisohn, Leonard (ed.), The Heritage of Sufism (3 vols., Oxford, Oneworld Publications, 1999).
- Massignon, Louis, Essay on the Origins of the Technical Language of Islamic Mysticism, translated from the French by Benjamin Clark (Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1997).
- Nasr (ed.), Seyyid Hossein, Islamic Spirituality 1-Foundations / 2- Manifestations (London, SCM Press, 1989).
- Al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072), Abd al-Karim b. Hawazin [Abu 'l-Qasim], al-Risala al-Qushayriyya, translated as "Sufi Book of Spiritual Ascent" by Rabia Harris, edited by Laleh Bakhtiar (Chicago, ABC International Group Inc., 1997).
- Schimmel, Annemarie, Mystical Dimensions of Islam (Chapel Hill, The University of Carolina Press, 1975).
- Sells, Michael, Early Islamic Mysticism (New York, Paulist Press, 1996).
- Smith, Margaret, An Early Mystic of Baghdad (New York, AMS Press, 1973).
- Stoddart, William, Sufism - the Mystical Doctrines and Methods in Islam (Wellingborough, Thorsons Publishers Ltd., 1976).
(c) Note also: