Beyond Dogma: Rumi's Teachings on Friendship with God and Early Sufi Theories

ISBN : 9780195369236

Dr Jawid Mojaddedi
240 Pages
164 x 236 mm
Pub date
Jun 2012
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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 juridico-theological Islam. 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.


Note on the Text
Chapter One : The Sources
Chapter Two: Friendship with God in Relation to Prophethood
Chapter Three: Divine Communication
Chapter Four: The Friend of God and The Shariah
Chapter Five: The Friend of God and Miracles

About the author: 

Assistant Professor of Religion, Rutgers University

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