AbstractThis study investigates the Deobandī engagement with classical Sufi thought through the writings of one of modern South Asia’s most influential Sufi thinkers, namely Ashraf ʿAlī Thānavī (d. 1943). The article brings to focus Thānavī’s contributions to South Asian Sufism by showing how he sought to preserve, defend, revive, and disseminate classical Sufi teachings in a climate of social reform. The article documents how Deobandī scholars such as Thānavī – far from being propagators of shallow fundamentalist discourses – immersed themselves in the ocean of some of the most sophisticated strands of Islamic learning such as Sufi metaphysics that often employ rational methods of argumentation, alongside symbols and imageries to articulate complex metaphysical doctrines in both prose and poetry.
Journal of Sufi Studies – Brill
Published: Jun 30, 2021