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Sufi Orders and Movements: Egypt

(1,168 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Medieval historians were uninterested in recording women's participation in Sufi orders which must be inferred from incidental references to shaykhs in Mamluk and Ottoman Egypt who catered to women and admitted them into their orders – controversial topics among Sufi men – and from denunciations of women's participation in dhikr , the ritual “remembrance” of God through repeated chanting of some of His Names. There are rare notations of women who became shaykhas, such as Zaynab Fāṭima bt. al-ʿAbbās (d. 1394), head of a women's retreat house in Cairo founded in 1285 …

Festivals and Commemorative Days

(3,292 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Periodic celebrations held either to honor the memory of particular individuals or to remember or mark events important in sacred history. The Qurʾān does not use the word holiday ( ʿīd), but this word has come to be employed for two feast days: the breaking of the fast of Ramaḍān ( ʿīd al-fiṭr), and the “great ʿīd,” the feast of sacrifice ( ʿīd al-aḍḥā) at the end of the rites of the pilgrimage to Mecca ( ḥajj, see ¶ pilgrimage ). To these two feast days Muslims later added other celebrations and commemorative days, including the celebration of the Prophet's birthday, thos…

Intercession

(2,922 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Prayer or pleading with God on behalf of someone else. In addition to the references to those gods, humans or images who will be unable to intercede with God on behalf of humankind (cf. q 19:87; 36:23; see idols and images ) and the guilty ( al- mujrimīn, q 74:41) who will not benefit from the assistance of any intercessors ( al- shāfiʿīn, q 74:48), intercession ( shafāʿa) is mentioned in the Qurʾān with respect to angels (see angel ) praying for the believers and the Prophet praying for erring but repentant Muslims. It has become a cardinal belief in Islam that Muḥammad w…

Hospitality and Courtesy

(2,696 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Conventions of generosity, favor and respect to be observed while receiving and entertaining guests or in social relations in general. Although the Qurʾān places a great deal of stress on the need to be charitable to the poor (see poverty and the poor; almsgiving), the enormous emphasis on hospitality in Islamic culture seems to be derived from pre-Islamic Arab values ¶ (see arabs; pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān) and draws its greatest validation in ḥadīth (see ḥadīth and the qurʾān ), where it is seen as an integral part of faith (q.v.). The practice of courtesy is enjo…

ʿAbāṭa, Muḥammad Ḥasan

(750 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Muḥammad Ḥasan ʿAbāṭa (d. 1941) was an Egyptian Ṣūfī and patron saint of Bayt ʿAbāṭa, an Egyptian branch of the Rifāʿiyya, a Ṣūfī order founded in lower Iraq by Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-Rifāʿī (d. 578/1182). ʿAbāṭa is recognised as a majdhūb (lit. “attracted”, a term referring to an eccentric, ecstatic, and love-maddened mystic). ʿAbāṭa (“stupidity”) is a nickname attributed to Muḥammad Ḥasan because of his foolishness during his years of jadhba (“attraction”), a mental derangement resulting from the shock of mystical revelation. He wore his hair long and in braids and so…
Date: 2019-11-11

Burhān al-Amawī

(571 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Burhān b. ʿAbd al-Azīz al-Amawī (1861–1935) was a highly respected Shāfiʿī legal scholar of Zanzibar, a shaykh of the Qādiriyya Ṣūfī order, and a close advisor to sultans Ḥamūd b. Muḥammad (r. 1896–1902) and ʿAlī b. Ḥamūd (r. 1902–11) (the Qādiriyya is a widespread Ṣūfī order of which ʿAbd al-Qādir Jīlānī, d. 561/1166, a Ḥanbalī scholar active in Baghdad, became, after his death, the namesake and patron). Burhān was the eldest son of another famous scholar of Zanzibar, originally from Brava (Barāwa), ʿAbd al-ʿA…
Date: 2019-11-11

Burhāniyya

(1,557 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
The Burhāniyya (officially al-Burhāniyya al-Dasūqiyya al-Shādhiliyya) is a Ṣūfī ṭarīqa (lit., way, hence order) based in Sudan that combines the teachings of Abū l-Ḥasan al-Shādhilī (d. 658/1258) and Ibrāhīm al-Dasūqī (d. 676/1278). According to the teachings of the ṭarīqa, Abū l-Mawāhib, a “grandson” of al-Shādhilī, was the first to carry the banner of the combined ṭarīqa from Egypt to Morocco, where he taught it to the Shādhilī shaykh Aḥmad Zarrūq (d. 898/1493), who later carried it to Sudan, where he taught the ṭarīqa to one Abū Danāna, whose son was ordered by Zarrūq to g…
Date: 2019-11-11

Abū l-ʿAẓm, Maḥmūd

(684 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Maḥmūd Abū l-ʿAẓm (1910–1983) was an Egyptian Ṣūfī shaykh. He was born with the name Muḥammad ʿAbdallāh in Kafr Brāsh, a village in the Delta province of Sharqiyya, to a family with no known Ṣūfī connections; he is said to have been renamed by the legendary al-Khiḍr. He is also said to have memorised the entire Qurʾān by the age of six and to have avoided eating at home as, given that his father worked for a foreign-owned wine company, the family's income was dependant upon a substance prohibited …
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Amawī

(363 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Amawī (1250–1314/1838–96) was a Shāfiʿī scholar, Qādirī Ṣūfī shaykh, and adviser to the sultans of Zanzibar. Born and raised in Barawa, Somalia, he moved to Zanzibar in his early teens to study with Somali scholar Muhyī l-Dīn al-Qaḥṭānī (c. 1788–1869), the chief Shāfiʿī qāḍī of Zanzibar. Al-Amawī was appointed judge in Kilwa in 1266/1849–50 at age sixteen and soon transferred to Zanzibar, where he served until the early 1890s, when his son Burhān took the position. Al-Amawī wrote on theology, law, Ṣūfism, grammar, rhetoric…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, ʿĀʾisha

(1,060 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
ʿĀʾisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (1913–98), was an Egyptian writer and professor of Arabic language and literature and Qurʾānic studies. Under the pseudonym “Bint al-Shāṭiʾ” (“Daughter of the shore”), ʿAbd al-Raḥmān wrote more than sixty books on Arabic literature, Qurʾānic interpretation, the lives of early Muslim women (especially members of the Prophet’s family), contemporary social issues, and fiction. Raised in Dimyāṭ, she learned the Qurʾān and classical Arabic literature from her father, an al-Azhar-educated teacher at a mosque-based religious institute…
Date: 2019-11-11

Abū ʿAmmār ʿAbd al-Kāfī b. Abī Yaʿqūb

(703 words)

Author(s): Hoffman, Valerie J.
Abū ʿAmmār ʿAbd al-Kāfī b. Abī Yaʿqūb Yūsuf b. Ismāʿīl b. Yūsuf b. Muḥammad al-Tanāwutī al-Wārglānī (d. before 570/1174) was the pre-eminent Ibāḍī scholar of the Algerian oasis town of Wārgla (Ouargla) during its intellectual heyday in the sixth/twelfth century. Abū ʿAmmār was born in the village of Tanāwut, in Wārglān, where he studied with Abū Zakariyyāʾ Yaḥyā b. Abī Zakariyyāʾ (d. 571/1175–6) and Abū Sulaymān Ayyūb b. Ismāʿīl al-Yazmātī al-Mazātī (d. 550/1155), before pursuing further studies in Arabic grammar in Tunis, then under …
Date: 2019-11-11