Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South Asia and Beyond

Front Cover
Palgrave Macmillan, 2002 - 241 pages
For many in the West, the ecstatic dancing ritual of whirling dervishes is
the most recognizable aspect of Sufism. Sufism is the mystical branch of
Islam, with which Muslims throughout the world identify. It emphasizes
direct knowledge of the divine within each person. Its adepts see
meditation, music, song, and dance as integral to the spiritual quest.
The Chishti Sufi order is among the oldest and most popular of all Sufi
traditions. Though most often identified with South Asia, today its devotees
can be found from California to Kuala Lumpur. What are the distinctive
practices of the Chishtis, and how do they differ from other orders? Who
were the founding figures, and what were the seminal texts that provided the
basis for this tradition? And how has this legacy continually been
reinterpreted until the present day?
Sufi Martyrs of Love provides access to the voices of Sufi authorities
through the translation of texts being offered in English for the first
time. It also offers a critical perspective on Western attitudes toward
Islam and Sufism, confronts the prejudices of the academy and the media, and
offers a clarification of the contemporary importance of Sufism from Asia to

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About the author (2002)

Carl W. Ernst is Zachary Smith Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of Teachings of Sufism; The Shambhala Guide to Sufism; and Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center.

Bruce B. Lawrence is the Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor Islamic Studies in the Department of Religion at Duke University. He is the author of Shattering the Myth: Islam Beyond Violence; New Faiths, Old Fears: Muslims and Other Asian Immigrants in American Religious Life; and the translation of Morals for the Heart: Conversations of Shaykh Nizam ad-Din Awliya.

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