Opposition to Sufis in the formative period
DOI link for Opposition to Sufis in the formative period
Opposition to Sufis in the formative period book
Most historians of Sufism today would generally agree that the tradition we now know as Sufism emerged around the middle of the third/ninth century. This chapter explores early opposition to Sufis in the formative period of the tradition (the third/ninth-fifth/eleventh), first by looking at the first known official inquisition of Sufis in Islamic history, then exploring the broader methodological and contextual issues involved in how we understand and interpret the motivations for hostility towards Sufis. Hallaj is the one who had brought Sufism to the political plane as a social force, for he had given it an original theological and philosophical superstructure, but this also had made it vulnerable, exposed to theological charges of takfir, and even threatened by effective legal penalties. Sufism was as much opposed from within as it was from the outside. Contemporary scholarship has also increasingly taken into account the broader intellectual context within which Sufism and other related mystical traditions emerged.