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Glimpses into late-Safawid spiritual discourse: An ‘Akhbārī’ critique of Sufism and philosophy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSufis and Mullahs
Subtitle of host publicationSufis and Their Opponents in the Persianate World
EditorsReza Tabandeh , Leonard Lewisohn
PublisherSamuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California at Irvine:
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 May 2019


In the limited western-language study of him that has appeared to date Muḥammad Ṭāhir b. Muḥammad al-Ḥusayn al-Shirāzī al-Najafī al-Qummī (d. 1098/1687 ) occupies an interesting position. On one hand, he is known as a fierce critic of both Sufism and philosophy both generally and eleventh/seventeenth-century Sufi and philosophical discourse in particular. He is also known as an Akhbārī - Although this aspect of his work has been less explored - that is, a critic of the use of independent reasoning (ijtihad) as a source of the law on a par with reference to the Qur’an and, especially, the narrations of the Shī`ī Imams, both generally and as recourse thereto was manifest in the Safawid period (907/1501-1135/1722).

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