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The Sufi Orders in Islam [Paperback]

J. Spencer Trimingham , John O. Voll
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 July 1998
is one of the earliest modern examinations of the historical development of Sufism. Trimingham offers a clear and detailed account of the formation and development of the Sufi schools and orders (tariqahs) from the second century of Islam up until modern times.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (16 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195120582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195120585
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 846,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Praise for the previous edition "An extremely useful general history of the Sufi orders...it fills a notable gap."--American Anthropologist

About the Author

J. Spencer Trimingham was Professor at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. John O. Voll is Professor of History at Georgetown University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE term sufi was first applied to Muslim ascetics who clothed themselves in coarse garments of wool (suf). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought this as a present 27 Dec 2013
By Kingram
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a present to one of my friends who is writing a book on comparative religions. I will not read this book as it has gone already
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, Scholarly, and Difficult to Read 7 Jan 2007
By Mark T. Sorna - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a very interesting book about a much misunderstood area of Islam. It is comprehensive in that it covers the intellectual aspects of Sufism as well as the organizational aspects. Many books are available that cover the teaching and beliefs of Sufis (the intellectual aspects) and still others cover the tariqas and different orders of Sufism (the organizational aspects) but Trimingham's text covers both aspects together in one volume. The reason for my 4 star rating is that the text is a very difficult read. It tends to jump around a bit and it incorporates a lot of Arabic terms that require the reader to bounce back and forth between the section they are reading and the glossary of Arabic terms. I guess one can look at this as a positive as well because it forces a better understanding of Arabic terms but it tends to make the reading slow.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but can be lacking 5 July 2007
By Gogol - Published on Amazon.com
This book almost set the standard. While there are many books of its kind in say Arabic or Turkish there are not many in English that cover a brief history of all of the major Sufi orders.

The book details the history of Sufism, the early Sufis and then the establishment of the Sufi orders to the present day (or to be more exact the late 60s which it seems this is all the book goes up to)

I would not say this book is difficult to read unless you know almost nothing concerning Sufism in which case A Schimmel Mystical Dimentions of Islam or one of the books of William Chittick or R.A Nicholson may be of more use to you.

One slight problem though, there are a few errors in this book and very little covers Sufism in Turkey or the Ottoman Empire. There is some interesing passages concerning Sufism in Africa though which judging by his other works is his main field.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aimed at Experts 4 Sep 2010
By Will Jerom - Published on Amazon.com
Much of this book, especially in the beginning, reads like a jargon-filled, complicated encyclopedia. Trimingham crams much information in here without successfully elaborating upon it or illustrating the points of highlights and importance. Only the patient, academic reader will come away with some real increased knowledge. If Trimingham is an expert on Sufism, he is not an expert in being concise, simple or direct. So - if you're an expert you may give this book 3 or 4 stars for its comprehensive details - but you'll have to look past the jargony, technical, and cramped style in which it is written. Those interested in a simple or concise introduction to Sufism should look elsewhere.
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