A new study model for Arabic Sufi prose

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This paper sheds light on Arabic Sufi prose from the third/ninth to the seventh/thirteenth centuries. It begins with the “Sufi act,” a wide range of conditions that the Sufi embarks upon under the influence of the mystical states in his life, codes of behavior, interactions with others as well as his writing skills and activities. The paper then proposes a general study model for approaching Sufi prose based on its complex links with both the Sufi act and Arabic literary art during early medieval Islam. This model is based on two dominant features. The first captures the spiritual basis of the mystical moment (“texts with lived-experience features”), and the second describes more “rational” attempts to canonize the Sufi experience (“texts with post-experience features”). These features are not strict paradigmatic categories but, rather, indicators to discern the general tone, style and discourse structures that dominates each text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-96
Number of pages18
JournalMiddle Eastern Literatures
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Sufi act
  • Sufi prose
  • classical Arabic literature
  • lived experience
  • post-experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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