Sufism and the Way of Blame featured on the Ibn Arabi Society book Notices for 2011

I have had the chance to talk to Dr Toussulis and very rarely have I met someone as knowledgeable  about Sufism   His book has so much to offer please if you haven’t read it yet please pick it up.

Yannis Toussulis, Quest Books, Wheaton, USA, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8356-0864-0

Yannis Toussulis writes, “Over the last several decades, scores of books investigating the historical sources of Sufism have been published, and a few more popular writers have presented modern Sufi practices with varying degrees of psychological insight. So why, then, write an¬other book about Sufism? This interd

isciplinary work begins by critically examining popular and scholarly conceptions about Sufism as a whole and critiques some of them in an attempt to bring the study of Sufism up to date. Moreover – as far as I know – this is the first book to detail the relationship between Sufism and the controversial ‘way of blame’ in all its historical phases up to the present day.

The way of blame (Ar., Pers.malamatiyya) originally designated a group within larger Sufism that focused on the psychology of egoism and engaged in self-critique (Ar. malama, ‘to blame’). Later, the term malamati most often referred to those Sufis who incurred blame by shunning Islamic literalism and formalism. This book compares earlier findings on the malamatiyya with research conducted with one of its living representatives, Mehmet Selim Ozic (pronounced “Ozich”). In the closing chapters, I also present an up-to-date paradigm of psycho-spiritual development that is still being used by malamati Sufis currently. Before addressing this, however, I found it necessary to revisit the study of Sufism as a whole.” From the Preface.

“Truly the purpose of the malamati path is not human perfection or the attainment of the suprahuman, but rather a greater human relatedness, greater transparency, and a deeper relationship with the Divine. It may be appropriate to close with some lines from Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Meccan Revelations: ‘The relation of stations to a Muhammadan is like the relation of names to Allah. He is not determined in any station to which he may be related… ‘Every day he is in a different state’ [Qur’an 55:29]… The Muhammadan pole or individual changes perpetually… For transformation pervades the world entire and pervades him.'” p.200

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