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Situating Al-Suhrawardī In Time, Space, And Text

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Chapter Summary

Suhrawardī engaged in an ambitious project which aimed to consolidate and perpetuate certain replicable, institutionalized forms of mystical theory and praxis, a system whose very structure would come to indelibly mark ṭarīqa--based Sufism throughout the central and eastern lands of Islamdom in the centuries following his death. Understanding the scope of such a project, however, requires that one first come to terms with the historical subtext which framed it. This chapter is devoted to mapping this subtext, identifying and discussing the contours of the social, political, and religious spaces within which Suhrawardī and his associates moved. Here, three primary, but interrelated, clusters of ?before? and ?after? which converged in Suhrawardī?s historical moment are analyzed: the dominance of political program, the structures and practices of certain ?educational? institutions, and, third, the discourse and authority of the text.

Keywords: ḥadīth; ṭarīqa; Islamdom; socio-religious space; sufism; Suhrawardī



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