Tracing the history of Sufism in Australia is a challenging task. The reasons for this include the wide dispersal of source materials, the primarily oral transmission of Sufism and the diversity of the manifestation of Sufism.
For Muslims generally, and Sufis in particular, the Sufi Centre is often the heart of a community across the Muslim world. Known variously as a zawiya, ribat, khanaqah, tekke, and dargah, the development of these institutions shows some historical diversity that has converged into a soteriologically significant place for individual development and congregational worship. In tracking the historical development of these institutions, this paper highlights how the once literal meanings have retained symbolic significance in referencing the functions of a Sufi Centre. There have been some scholarly attempts to make specific distinctions between these institutions. However, the convergence with regard to function and content has meant the differences are often indicative of location and/or cultural heritage, and the titles used to refer to a Sufi Centre have become almost equivalent.
This book is the first study to highlight the constant interconnections between Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah’s works. While the bulk of this work covers the worldview of Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah, it begins more generally with some comments on the need for reappraising approaches to Sufism and its relation to Islam. Accessible for anyone interested in Sufism, this work will appeal to scholars of religion in general and Islam in particular.
Abu Bakr Sirajuddin Cook is a Research Fellow at Almiraj Sufi and Islamic Study Centre, Australia. He received a doctorate from the University of Tasmania in 2014 and has furthered his Islamic Studies with Charles Sturt University. Abu Bakr has published on Ibn Sab’in in the Journal of Islamic Philosophy and on various aspects of … Continue reading About Me
In 1924 Rene Guenon first published East and West and as we approach the 100th anniversary of its publication it is beneficial to review this work and remind ourselves of the content and purpose of this work. In examining the content of this work, we hope to provide more than a mere book review. For this purpose, this reminder will be divided into three sections. The first section will provide a brief introduction to Rene Guenon and situate East and West within his wider literary production. The second section will examine the content of this book, attempting to highlight Guenon’s views. The third section will examine the validity of Guenon’s assertions and assess what, if any, relevance that East and West may have for the modern reader.