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Recommended Articles – Islamic and Sufi

Dervish Nation is compiling a list of recommended articles on Islam and Sufism. The articles appear in no particular order, as we come across them.

We hope this list will grow over time, to become a useful resource. If you would like to suggest a good article for us to add, please use the comments section below.

Recommended Articles - Islamic and Sufi

The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi
by Rozina Ali
Aphorisms attributed to Rumi circulate daily on social media, offering motivation. “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you ever get polished,” one of them goes. Or, “Every moment I shape my destiny with a chisel. I am a carpenter of my own soul.” Barks’s translations, in particular, are shared widely on the Internet; they are also the ones that line American bookstore shelves and are recited at weddings.
Rumi is often described as the best-selling poet in the United States. He is typically referred to as a mystic, a saint, a Sufi, an enlightened man. Curiously, however, although he was a lifelong scholar of the Koran and Islam, he is less frequently described as a Muslim.

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The Conversion of Iran to Twelver Shi’ism: A Preliminary Historical Overview
One of the most significant transformations that occurred in Islamic history, the legacy of which is apparent even in our own day, was undoubtedly the formal conversion of Iran to Shi‘ism during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Although there have been other instances throughout Islamic history of rulers seeking to bring about religious uniformity for political reasons ... the case of the Safavids in Iran is perhaps the only example where such a conversion of territory was largely successful, in terms of both the scale of the project and its permanence...
Extensive references included. 
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Review of 'Rethinking Ibn 'Arabi': Religion Between Modernism and Post-Modernism
by Dr. Ali Hussain
I believe that Lipton has masterfully engaged the Andalusian mystic in a meaningful conversation with contemporary thought, albeit only at the peripheries, through the mediation of western appropriations of the Sufi master's writings. Nevertheless, Lipton establishes a precedent unique in its brilliance of penmanship necessary to continuing the research found in works like Ian Almond's Sufism and Deconstruction and Peter Coates' Ibn 'Arabi and Modern Thought.
Second, regarding one of the central hypotheses...
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Thread(s) on Academic Islamic Studies
by Caner K Dagli
Advice to young academics: Too much “Islamic studies” today is 3rd-rate postmodern cultural critique — lazy riffing about Muslims as a variegated bundle of racial/gender/sexual groups with “Islam” as a symbolic cultural marker. Don’t be absorbed by that blob as many others have.
One witnesses the spectacle of tenured scholars at major research institutions who cannot even properly read classical Arabic subjecting a great Islamic polymath (or an entire field) to an analysis through a “Foucauldian” framework or “queer theory” or some other vanity project.
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Polish culture is full of Arabic influences, says fascinating new research
By Joanna Jasinska 
From the traditional clothing of the nobility, to designer and luxury goods, Arabic influences have left a visible mark on Polish culture. 
Through analysing manuscripts from early Arab travellers and the Middle Eastern travels of Polish pilgrimages a team of 38 researchers have found Arabic traces permeating every level of Polish culture.
They also looked at the memoirs left by Polish pilgrims, their participation in diplomatic relations with the Arab world, and clues in science, literature, and arts, as well as philosophy, religion, and language.
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The Mass Media Is Poisoning Us With Hate
by Chris Hedges
In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Mediapublished in 1988, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky exposed the techniques that the commercial media used to promote and defend the economic, social and political agendas of the ruling elites. These techniques included portraying victims as either worthy or unworthy of sympathy... The techniques also included both narrowing the debate in a way that buttressed the elite consensus and intentionally failing to challenge the intentions of the ruling elites or the actual structures of power.
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Social Sciences as Sorcery
by Stanislav Andreski

There is the case of Stanislav Andreski, for example, who has offered 15 insightful observations on such subjects as 'The Smoke Screen of Jargon', 'Quantification as Camouflage', 'Ideology Underneath Terminology', and most important of all, 'Techno-Totemism and Creeping Crypto-Totalitarianism'.
(Wolfgang Smith, "Progress in Retrospective".)

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You might also be interested in Recommended Films – Islamic and Sufi.

Featured Photo credit: Ewan Robertson

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