Spellman - Chapter 04 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Spellman - Chapter 04

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The tradition of Sufism has gained currency among some Iranians living outside of Iran. Sufism [tasavof] is a term applied to the mystical tradition within Islam which emphasises the love of God and the grasp of divine realities. Generally speaking, it teaches that 'Sufis are God's friends, perpetually engaged in remembrance [zekr] of him. Sufism also constitutes a Path [tariqat], which begins with repentance and leads through a number of "stations", representing virtues such as absolute trust in God, to a higher series of ecstatic "states".'

This chapter concentrates on the social significance of two London branches of the transnational Nimatullahi Sufi Order and the Maktab Tariqat Oveyssi Shahmaghsoudi (School of Islamic Sufism). The purpose is not to detail the various histories and lineages of these orders but to provide an overview of their trajectories which serve to illuminate contemporary developments. This examination sheds light on the processes whereby they simultaneously carve out a distinct Iranian place in London, and adapt to and make an impact on British society. It shows how Sufism, a culturally familiar Iranian tradition, provides a space for Iranians to shape and to express their Muslim identities, while staying clear of the politicised and culturally remote versions of Islam in both Iran and Britain.

The tradition of Sufism has gained currency among some Iranians living outside of Iran. Sufism [tasavof] is a term applied to the mystical tradition within Islam which emphasises the love of God and the grasp of divine realities. Generally speakin
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