Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(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…

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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 23 September 2019 <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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