[Book Review] Rachida Chih, Sufism in Ottoman Egypt: Circulation, Renewal and Authority in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (New York: Routledge, 2019) | Reviewed by Ida Sofie Nitter

Rachida Chih, Sufism in Ottoman Egypt: Circulation, Renewal and Authority in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (New York: Routledge, 2019). 180pp., $39.16 (paperback), ISBN: 9780367730451 | Reviewed by Ida Sofie Nitter “The university was where…

History Speaks EP3 – Self and Society in Sufism

In this episode of History Speaks, Saadia Yacoob speaks with Oludamini Ogunnaike and Sara Abdel-Latif about the self and society in Sufi thought from its early formative period in Nishapur to the early modern and…

Self-Knowledge in the Sufi Tradition

We are living amid crises. The deterioration of the metaphysical universe under modernity and the current denigration of biological life at a planetary scale forces us to rethink who we are as human beings. The…

The UAE-sponsored “Islams”: Mapping the Terrain

Though we conceptualize the political and the religious as distinct, in practice, they remain very intertwined, especially in many Muslim-majority countries. Understanding one is crucial in understanding the other. In the case of Muslim-majority countries,…

Enchantment, Orientalism, and Modern Mysticism

In Charles Taylor’s magnum opus, A Secular Age, he makes a series of wonderful distinctions about the pre-modern and modern worlds. Among these is the idea that modernity entails a loss of enchantment, a move…

Four Khans Everyone Must Read

The name Khan is trending. One Khan – Imran Khan – is now the PM of Pakistan, another, Sadiq Khan, is the Mayor of London, and in the US, Khizer Khan, a five star dad,…

The Problem of “Political Sufism”

In my 2013 MA thesis entitled “Making Lite of Islam: Representations of Sufism in American Religion and the Public Sphere”, I devoted a chapter to the proceedings of the “Understanding Sufism and its Potential Role in US…