This is a chronological history of the Sufi tradition, divided in to three sections, early, middle and modern periods. The book comprises 35 independent chapters with easily identifiable themes and/or geographical threads, all written by recognised experts in the field.

The volume outlines the origins and early developments of Sufism by assessing the formative thinkers and practitioners and investigating specific pietistic themes. The middle period contains an examination of the emergence of the Sufi Orders and illustrates the diversity of the tradition. This middle period also analyses the fate of Sufism during the time of the Gunpowder Empires. Finally, the end period includes representative surveys of Sufism in several countries, both in the West and in traditional "Islamic" regions.

This comprehensive and up-to-date collection of studies provides a guide to the Sufi tradition. The Handbook is a valuable resource for students and researchers with an interest in religion, Islamic Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

part One|200 pages

The early period

chapter 1|14 pages

The origins of Sufism

chapter 3|14 pages

Al-Junayd al-Baghdādī

Chief of the Sect

chapter 5|12 pages


In praise of Sufism

chapter 6|14 pages

‘Ayn al-Quḍāt’s Qur’anic vision

From black words to white parchment *

chapter 10|14 pages

Narrativizing early mystic and Sufi women *

Mechanisms of gendering in Sufi hagiographies

chapter 11|13 pages

Sufism and travelling 1

chapter 12|13 pages

Sufism and Qur’ānic ethics

chapter 13|15 pages

Love and beauty in Sufism

part two|232 pages

The middle period

chapter 15|14 pages

Sufi orders in the medieval period

chapter 16|16 pages

The Bektaşiyya

The formative period, 1250–1516

chapter 17|19 pages

The Chishtiyya

chapter 18|17 pages

The Qalandariyya

From the mosque to the ruin in poetry, place, and practice 1

chapter 19|14 pages

The Shādhiliyya

Foundational teachings and practices

chapter 20|33 pages

Sufism, tombs and convents

chapter 22|13 pages

Sufism and Christian mysticism

The Neoplatonic Factor

chapter 24|12 pages

Sufism and the Hindu dharma

chapter 25|17 pages

Sufism and the Safavids in Iran

A further challenge to “Decline”

chapter 26|12 pages

The Mughals and Sufism

chapter 27|19 pages

Sufism in the Ottoman Empire

chapter 28|15 pages

The Qāḍīzādelis and Sufism 1

part Three|98 pages

The modern period

chapter 29|14 pages

Sufism in modern Turkey

chapter 30|12 pages

Sufism in the UK

chapter 32|13 pages

A Sufism for our time

The Egyptian society for spiritual and cultural research

chapter 33|14 pages

Sufism in modern Morocco

chapter 34|13 pages

Sufism in Senegal

chapter 35|17 pages

Sufism in North America