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Development and Initial Validation of a Scale to Assess Sufi Beliefs

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Summary Although the beliefs that Sufis (Ṣūfī) have introduced and promoted in the Islamic world seem to have had far-reaching influence on the way Muslims think and act, neither theorizing nor empirical research in the psychological literature has as yet focused on such beliefs and their impact on Islamic societies. Furthermore, although intellectual controversies about the functionality of Sufi beliefs abound, there is no instrument to address the existing issues empirically. The purpose of the three studies presented here is to identify major domains of Sufi belief, to describe the development and factor structure of a scale used to assess them, and to test the internal consistency, temporal stability (Study 1), and the convergent validity of this scale’s scores (Studies 2 and 3) in three samples of Iranian Shiʿite university students. The combined findings from the three studies reported here provide initial evidence that the Sufi Beliefs Scale is reliable, valid, and can be used in further studies.


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