Shiʿi-Sufi Relations: The Imams of the Shiʿa in the Works of the Sufis of Khurasan

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 University of Tehran, Iran

2 University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran

Abstract

The relation between Shiʿism and Sufism has been long a matter of discussion among scholars, leading to a spectrum of views: some maintain that the two are identical, and, on the other extreme, some believe that they are totally divergent. However, the love for the Imams of the Shiʿa is shared by all Sufi orders, including the Sufis of Khurasan. As the paragons of spirituality and representatives of Islamic esotericism, the Shiʿi Imams were highly regarded by the Sufis of Khurasan, so much so that their teachings were a major foundation for the formation of different aspects of this branch of Sufism.
         This article attempts to show the Khurasani Sufis’ great love for, and devotion to, the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt by referring to the early sources of this school and the sayings of its figures. This fact, on the one hand, points to a basis for the Iranian inclination to Shiʿism and, on the other hand, further reveals the common ground between Shiʿism and Sufism.

Keywords


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