Historicizing Sufism: A Critique of Marshall Hodgson on Muslim Personal Piety

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July 12, 2018

Bilal Muhammad is a Fellow and Research Assistant at the Berkeley Institute For Islamic Studies. He is also an MA Candidate at the University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, B.Ed at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and Honors BA in Political Science and History at the University of Toronto. He is an educator and researcher based in Toronto, Canada.

Summary

Marshall Hodgson identifies two major components in the development of Islam’s earliest denominations: (1) the kerygmatic component, which is a spiritual approach that is sought in datable historical events, and (2) the mystical component, which is centered on personal piety. Hodgson then compartmentalizes Ḥadīth-folk Jamāʿī-Sunnism, Twelver Shīʿism, and Ismāʿīlī Shīʿism under the former category, and Sufism under the latter. This article argues that such a categorization is an oversimplification of a polymorphous tradition, and that Sufism also carries the kerygmatic component.

2018-07-12T22:57:12+00:00

Bilal Muhammad

Bilal Muhammad is a Fellow and Research Assistant at the Berkeley Institute For Islamic Studies. He is also an MA Candidate at the University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, B.Ed at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and Honors BA in Political Science and History at the University of Toronto. He is an educator and researcher based in Toronto, Canada.
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