|Other Titles:||Analytical Framework of Sufism|
|Author's alias:||TONAGA, Yasushi|
|Abstract:||This article seeks to reconsider the question of Sufism in order to attain a better understanding of it, as well as an understanding of the matters of saint worship and .tar¯ıqa. Although Sufism is generally translated as 'Islamic mysticism, ' such a translation reveals only a partial aspect of it. After examining the questions as to what is Sufism and who are Sufis, I intend to point out that 'Sufism' is not a substantial notion. I further declare that this notion was first invented by the orientalists as something alien to Islam. Therefore, we can use this notion only as an analytical concept. Here I propose an analytical framework of Sufism in order to replace the former definition of Sufism as 'Islamic mysticism.' My analytical framework consists of three poles. The first is a mystical pole, and we must admit that Sufism does possess such an aspect. At the same time however we are aware that Sufism also has an ethical aspect which is the second pole, and the third is that of folk religion. The merits of this tripolar framework are as follows. 1. This schema clearly shows that Sufism is an analytical concept. 2. It shows that 'Islamic mysticism, ' which has been regarded as equivalent to Sufism, is merely a part of it. 3. When we discuss Sufism, we should always be careful to specify which aspect(s) of Sufism we are talking about. Constant reference to this framework will make us conscious of the subtle differences during discussion. The next step is to consider the frameworks of saint and .tar¯ıqa. This will lead to an understanding of the relationship that exists between the concepts of Sufism, saint and .tar¯ıqa.|
|Appears in Collections:||No.2|
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