The Emergence of Early Sufi Piety and Sunnī Scholasticism

ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mubārak and the Formation of Sunni Identity in the Second Islamic Century

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Feryal Salem
Islamic History and Civilization
  • Leiden, Netherlands: 
    Brill
    , June
     2016.
     166 pages.
     $120.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9789004310292.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In the figure of ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mubārak (118–181/736–797), we find a paragon of the fields ofḥadīth, zuhd, and jihād, as attested to by the large number of references to him in the classical Islamic texts. His superior rank as a ḥadīth transmitter earned him the title “commander of the faithful” in ḥadīth. He contributed to Islamic law at its early phases of development, practiced jihād, composed poetry, and participated in various theological discussions. In addition, Ibn al-Mubārak was a pioneer in writing on piety and was later regarded by many mystics as one of the earliest figures of Sufism. Ibn al-Mubārak’s position during the formative period of Islamic thought illustrates the unique evolution of zuhd, ḥadīth, and jihād; these form a junction in the biography of Ibn al-Mubārak in a way that distinctively illuminates the second/eighth-century dynamics of nascent Sunnī identity. Furthermore, Ibn al-Mubārak’s status as a fighter and pious figure of the Late Antique period reveals a great deal about the complex relationship between the early Muslim community and the religiously diverse setting which it inhabited. This critical and comprehensive monograph of ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mubārak situates him within the larger context of the social and religious milieu of Late Antiquity. It explores the formation of Sunnī identity in the second Islamic century and demonstrates the way in which it manifested itself through networks of pious scholars who defined, preserved, and passed on what they understood to be normative Islamic practice and beliefs from one generation of Muslim intellectuals to another.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Feryal Salem, PhD (University of Chicago, 2013) is Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Law at the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments