The exchange of letters in early Sufism: A preliminary study

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This paper introduces the exchange of letters in early Sufism, analyses the significance of these exchanges, and examines these documents not for their general literary qualities or for theoretical discussion of appropriate conduct but, rather, for actual data relating to personal and interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, this paper emphasizes the crucial need for creating a corpus ofSufi letters and pieces of correspondence. The discussion is divided into methodological and conceptual-historical perspectives. The methodological perspective includes a survey of sources, the question of transmission, letter fragment usage by later authors, and a reconstruction attempt of the actual circumstances of these documents. The conceptual-historical perspective analyses content, rhetoric, argumentation forms, and self-representation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-413
Number of pages23
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • Corpus of Sufi letters
  • Fragments of letters
  • Ikhwaniyyat
  • Maali
  • Mukatabat
  • Rasail
  • Rasail al-Junayd
  • Uberreste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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