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Sufism contra Shariah? Shāh Walī Allāh’s Metaphysics of Waḥdat al-Wujūd

Sufism contra Shariah? Shāh Walī Allāh’s Metaphysics of Waḥdat al-Wujūd This study analyzes the contested relationship between Sufism and the Shariah and Shāh Walī Allāh’s problematic of waḥdat al-wujūd. Some Sufis describe Sufism or taṣawwuf as the inner reality of the Shariah while others see it as the inward dimension of Islam. Drawing on a variety of classical sources, Walī Allāh stresses that accepting waḥdat al-wujūd does not mean one is being less faithful to the tenets of the Shariah, as it safeguards God’s transcendence vis-à-vis the world. Walī Allāh belabors to clarify various misconceptions that bedevil it. His views on waḥdat al-wujūd are largely in alignment with that of the school of Ibn ʿArabī, although he seems to add new dimensions to it at times. He also asserts that a Sufi sage’s (ḥakīm) understanding of the term differs from that of the uninitiate. In addition, he affirms that waḥdat al-wujūd does not negate the multiplicity of the cosmos, even though wujūd is one. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Sufi Studies Brill

Sufism contra Shariah? Shāh Walī Allāh’s Metaphysics of Waḥdat al-Wujūd

Journal of Sufi Studies , Volume 5 (1): 31 – May 23, 2016

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2210-5948
eISSN
2210-5956
DOI
10.1163/22105956-12341282
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study analyzes the contested relationship between Sufism and the Shariah and Shāh Walī Allāh’s problematic of waḥdat al-wujūd. Some Sufis describe Sufism or taṣawwuf as the inner reality of the Shariah while others see it as the inward dimension of Islam. Drawing on a variety of classical sources, Walī Allāh stresses that accepting waḥdat al-wujūd does not mean one is being less faithful to the tenets of the Shariah, as it safeguards God’s transcendence vis-à-vis the world. Walī Allāh belabors to clarify various misconceptions that bedevil it. His views on waḥdat al-wujūd are largely in alignment with that of the school of Ibn ʿArabī, although he seems to add new dimensions to it at times. He also asserts that a Sufi sage’s (ḥakīm) understanding of the term differs from that of the uninitiate. In addition, he affirms that waḥdat al-wujūd does not negate the multiplicity of the cosmos, even though wujūd is one.

Journal

Journal of Sufi StudiesBrill

Published: May 23, 2016

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