Taṣawwuf
(31,497 words)

(a.), the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam. It is the maṣdar of Form V of the radical ṣ-w-f indicating in the first place one who wears woollen clothes ( ṣūf ), the rough garb of ascetics and mystics. Other etymological derivations which have been put forward in Western and, especially, Islamic sources, are untenable. Hence a mystic is called ṣūfī or mutaṣawwif , colls, ṣūfiyya or mutaṣawwifa .

1. Early development in the Arabic and Persian lands.

Already among the Companions of the Prophet Muḥammad there were persons who wanted more than just to strive after the out…

Cite this page
Massington, L. , Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong, F. de., Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O. Hunwick, “Taṣawwuf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 21 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1188>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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