Cultural Fusion of Sufi Islam
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It has been argued that the mystical Sufi form of Islam is the most sensitive to other cultures, being accommodative to other traditions and generally tolerant to peoples of other faiths. It readily becomes integrated into local cultures and they are similarly often infused into Sufism. Examples of this reciprocity are commonly reflected in Sufi poetry, music, hagiographic genres, memoires, and in the ritualistic practices of Sufi traditions. This volume shows how this often-side-lined tradition functions in the societies in which it is found, and demonstrates how it relates to mainstream Islam. The focus of this book ranges from reflecting Sufi themes in the Qur'anic calligraphy to movies, from ideals to everyday practices, from legends to actual history, from gender segregation to gender transgression, and from legalism to spiritualism. Consequently, the international panel of contributors to this volume are trained in a range of disciplines that include religious studies, history, comparative literature, anthropology, and ethnography. Covering Southeast Asia to West Africa as well as South Asia and the West, they address both historical and contemporary issues, shedding light on Sufism's adaptability. This book sets aside conventional methods of understanding Islam, such as theological, juridical, and philosophical, in favour of analysing its cultural impact. As such, it will be of great interest to all scholars of Islamic Studies, the Sociology of Religion, Religion and Media, as well as Religious Studies and Area Studies more generally.