The Nimatullahiya and Naqshbandiya Sufi Orders on the Internet: The Cyber-construction of Tradition and the McDonaldisation of Spirituality
Keywords:Sufism, Internet, McDonalidisation, consumerism, Nimatullahi, Naqshbandi
AbstractThis article is an exploration of the level of integration of Nimatullahi and Naqshbandi Sufi orders in the consumer culture of the West. One reason for comparing and contrasting these two orders is that they have originated in similar socio-political and religio-cultural climates within fourteenth century Iran, and have been affected by similar changes in their historical extension, persecution and migration. Notwithstanding, their relations to the West and to the ‘authenticity’ of their traditions appear to have been differently constructed on the Internet, the basis for which difference is the type of Sufism they each promote. The groups have been chosen because they are two of the most prominent in the West, and are useful in reflecting how Sufi groups in similar contexts can shift dramatically in adapting to a late modern climate. This article will address the Khaniqahi Nimatullahi branch of the Nimatullahiya and the two influential branches of the Naqshbandiya: Khalidi and Haqqani.
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