Despite Rumi's (d. 1273) recent emergence as a best-selling poet in the English-speaking world, fundamental questions about his teachings, such as the relationship of his Sufi mysticism to the wider Islamic religion, remain contested. In this groundbreaking study, Jawid Mojaddedi reaches to the heart of the matter, by examining Rumi's teachings on walaya (Friendship with God) in light of earlier discourse in the wider Sufi tradition and juridico-theological
Islam. Walaya is not only central to Rumi's teachings, but also forms the basis for the celebration of intimacy, communication with the Divine, and transcendence of conventional religiosity in his poetry. And yet walaya is the aspect of Sufism which has proven the most difficult to reconcile with
Beyond Dogma presents, in addition to its focus on Rumi, a perceptive analysis of the historical development of the discourse on walaya in the formative centuries of Sufism. This period coincides with the time when juridico-theological Islam rose to dominance, as reflected in the harmonizing efforts of theoretical Sufi writings, especially the manuals of the tenth and eleventh century. In this way, Mojaddedi's analysis facilitates a nuanced and contextualized evaluation of
Rumi's teachings on walaya, which had already attracted a range of views before his time, from arguments in favor of its superiority to Prophethood, to guarantees of subordinate deference towards the Prophetic heritage interpreted by juridico-theological scholars. In the process, Beyond Dogma enables a fresh evaluation
of the influential early Sufi manuals in their historical context, while also highlighting the significance for juridico-theological scholars of fundamental dogma, such as "the Seal of Prophethood," in the process of consolidating their own dominance.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 448 g
Dimensions: 236 x 164 x 22 mm
"In Beyond Dogma, Mojaddedi contextualizes Rumi's thought against the views of classical Sufi authors, and simultaneously offers a fresh alternative to prevalent narratives about the historical development of Sufism in the post-classical period. The first real attempt to situate Rumi within Sufi history, this superb book will make a major impact on Sufism studies."- Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Professor of History and Religious Studies, Washington University in St. Louis
"Beyond Dogma is an original and welcome contribution to the understanding of Sufi history in general and Jalaluddin Rumi in particular. Rumi is the embodiment of the essence of Islam: not an Islam that defers to a dry legalism determined by man-made concepts, but rather an Islam imbued with mercy, compassion, flexibility, and love."
- Kabir Helminski, author of Living Presence and The Knowing Heart