Beyond dogma : Rumi’s teachings on friendship with God and by Jawid Mojaddedi

By Jawid Mojaddedi

Regardless of Rumi's (d. 1273) fresh emergence as a best-selling poet within the English-speaking global, primary questions on his teachings, comparable to the connection of his Sufi mysticism to the broader Islamic faith, stay contested. during this groundbreaking research, Jawid Mojaddedi reaches to the guts of the problem by means of analyzing Rumi's teachings on walaya (Friendship with God) in gentle of past discourse within the wider Sufi culture and juridico-theological Islam. Walaya isn't just principal to Rumi's teachings, yet varieties the foundation for the occasion of intimacy, verbal exchange with the Divine, and transcendence of traditional religiosity in his poetry. And but walaya is the element of Sufism which has confirmed the main tough to reconcile with juridico-theological Islam.

In addition to its specialize in Rumi, Beyond Dogma provides a perceptive research of the ancient improvement of the discourse on walaya within the formative centuries of Sufism. this era coincides with the time whilst juridico-theological Islam rose to dominance, as mirrored within the harmonizing efforts of theoretical Sufi writings, specially the manuals of the 10th and 11th centuries. Mojaddedi's research enables a nuanced and contextualized assessment of Rumi's teachings on walaya, which had already attracted various perspectives ahead of his time: from arguments in desire of its superiority to Prophethood, to promises of subordinate deference in the direction of the Prophetic history interpreted through juridico-theological students. within the approach, Beyond Dogma allows a clean review of the influential early Sufi manuals of their ancient context, whereas additionally highlighting the importance for juridico-theological students of basic dogma within the technique of consolidating their very own dominance.

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This work indicates that he was first and foremost a Sufi, but had also studied the religious sciences; although a Hanafite rather than a Shafi’ite, he was well qualified to write this kind of book with a similar agenda to his contemporary Qushayrī ’s Risāla. Like the Risāla, the Kashf al-maḥjūb has thematic and biographical parts. However, Hujwīrī includes most of his discussions of Friendship with God in the biographical part. 83 While the attributions often correspond appropriately to the individuals concerned, when there are extant writings of theirs available for reference, the historical existence in Hujwīrī’s time of such groups is unattested elsewhere.

Muhammad is frequently described as the first among the Prophets by Rumi whose preferred interpretation of the title “Seal of the Prophets,” which is given to him in Qur’an 33/40,20 is that he surpassed the other Prophets: He was the seal (khatm): his generosity (jūd) Had not been matched, nor will it ever be. ”21 Further passages in the Fīhi mā fīh provide reinforcement of the view that Muhammad was the greatest of the Prophets. 24 That is certainly a notion to which Rumi alludes occasionally. 25 Therefore, the notion that Muhammad somehow preceded the rest of creation seems to be a concept which interested Rumi enough for him to make use of it for his own purposes, but not a doctrine to which he adhered absolutely.

However, it is important to recognize that the main reason not to call him a Sufi is to avoid anachronism, especially in view of the fact that Sufis in tenth-century Baghdad excluded him from their number for polemical reasons. 70 The academic world is indebted to the German scholar Bernd Radtke for a career devoted to the study of Tirmidhī ’s oeuvre. 71 This short work confirms what is evident from Tirmidhī ’s other writings regarding his background, namely that he was well educated in the religious sciences, and traveled as a young man westward toward Mecca.

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