Sufism and Early Islamic Piety: Personal and Communal Dynamics
offers a new story about the formative period of Sufism. Through a
fresh reading of diverse Sufi and non-Sufi sources, Arin Shawkat
Salamah-Qudsi reveals the complexity of personal and communal
aspects of Sufi piety in the period between the ninth and
thirteenth centuries. Her study also sheds light on the
interrelationships and conflicts of early Sufis through emphasising
that early Sufism was neither a quietist or a completely individual
mode of piety. Salamah-Qudsi reveals how the early Sufis'
commitment to the Islamic ideal of family life lead to different
creative arrangements among them in order to avoid contradictions
with this ideal and the mystical ideal of solitary life. Her book
enables a deeper understanding of the development of Sufism in
light of the human concerns and motivations of its founders.
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