Ascetics and Sufis

Authored by: José Bellver

The Routledge Handbook Of Muslim Iberia

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138649149
eBook ISBN: 9781315625959
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The present chapter 1 summarizes the development of intellectual Sufism in al-Andalus from the Umayyad Emirate and Caliphate to the late Almohad period. Intellectual Sufism in al-Andalus evolved from a purely ascetic background linked to milieus of traditionists, and progressively incorporated different influences such as ascetic Sufism (which at the time was regarded as a purely eastern strand), Neoplatonic ontologies, mainly through the Rasāʾil of the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ, Ashʿari theology, and at a later stage, metaphysical terminology, particularly of an Avicennian tenor. From a proto-Sufi ascetic background later assimilating ascetic Sufism, Andalusi intellectual Sufism was the result of incorporating two major developments: iʿtibārism, a strand distinct for its methodology, blending Neoplatonic ontologies and Qurʾanic symbolic hermeneutics; and the “wujūdī turn”, which identified God with wujūd, where wujūd should be understood in its philosophical technical sense. A picture of the development of intellectual Sufism in al-Andalus would not be complete without considering the socio-political contexts of the process and bidirectional influences between the Maghreb and al-Andalus. The present chapter covers precedents such as Ibn Masarra or the Bāṭinī Maslama ibn Qāsim al-Qurṭubī, and major milestones in Andalusi intellectual Sufism, such as Ibn Barrajān, Ibn al-ʿArīf, Ibn Qasī, al-Ḥarrālī, Ibn ʿArabī and the Shūdhiyya with Ibn Dahhāq and Ibn Sabʿīn.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.