Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Origins and Development of the Office of the “Chief Sufi” in Egypt, 1173–1325

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Sufi Studies

In 969/1173, Saladin endowed a khānqāh in Cairo for the use of foreign Sufis arriving in that city. This khānqāh, known as the Saʿīd al-Suʿadāʾ, also included a stipendiary position for a “Chief Sufi” (shaykh al-shuyūkh), who would direct the day-to-day operations of the khānqāh and guide the Sufis who lived there. However, virtually nothing is known about the origins and development of this elite position. In this article I reconstruct the roster of individuals who held the office of Chief Sufi in Egypt between 969/1173 and 724/1325, when the office of Chief Sufi was moved to a new khānqāh outside Cairo. I trace the origins of the office in Seljuk Baghdad and its subsequent development in Syria and Egypt. These findings show that the Chief Sufi was almost always from the East, typically Iraq or Khurasan. He was nominally a Sufi, but was known primarily for being a jurist, having trained in Shāfiʿi jurisprudence and Ashʿari theology. Perhaps most interestingly, the position was ineluctably tied to the politics of the Ayyubid and Mamluk states. The position was thus often unstable and the object of fierce competition among other elites.

Affiliations: 1: University of MissouriUSA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Sufi Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation