Sufism in the Light of Orientalism

Algis Uždavinys


Research Institute of Culture, Philosophy, and Arts, Vilnius

This article offers a discussion of the problems regarding different interpretations of Sufism, especially those promoted by the 19th century Orientalists and modern scholars. Contrary to the prevailing opinions of those European writers who “discovered” Sufism as a kind of the Persian poetry-based mysticism, presumably unrelated to Islam, the Sufis themselves (at least before the Western cultural expansion) regarded Sufism as the
inmost kernel of Islam and the way of the Prophet himself.

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