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v2.1 Reference

Knowledge Before Action

Islamic Learning and Sufi Practice in the Life of Sayyid Jalal al-din Bukhari Makhdum-i Jahaniyan

In Knowledge before Action, Amina M. Steinfels examines medieval Sufism and its place in Islamic society by telling the story of the life and career of Sayyid Jal?l al-d?n Bukh?r?, a revered figure in Pakistan. Considered one of the most important Sufi masters of South Asia, Sayyid Jal?l al-d?n Bukh?r?, more popularly referred to as Makhd?m-i Jah?niy?n, is known for combining spirituality and scholarship in a formative period for Sufism. Steinfels assembles the details of Bukh?r?'s life from records of his teachings, dynastic chronicles, and correspondence to discover how he achieved his status and laid the groundwork for a devotional cult that has lasted seven centuries. Steinfels also examines Bukh?r?'s theories of the relationship between scholar and mystic. Bukh?r?'s teachings provide windows into the underlying concerns and themes of medieval Sufism.

Knowledge before Action describes Bukh?r?'s training as a scholar and a Sufi, his exercise of religious authority over his disciples, and his theories of the relationships between saint and shaykh. Knowledge before Action discusses ritual and contemplative practices, the economic bases of Sufi institutions, and the interconnectedness between Sufi masters, the 'ulama, and the political authorities by telling the story of Bukh?r?.


"Distinguished by its meticulous attention to primary sources, the book is among the most comprehensive, insightful, and thoroughly original resources on pre-modern Sufism in South Asia."—Robert Rozehna, ." -Robert Rozehnal, Religion

9781611170733 : knowledge-before-action-steinfels
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