The Intellectual Tradition of Sufism and Ibrahim Abu-Rabi‘
Keywords:Sufism, intellectual traditions, Islamic philosophy, Arab-American intellectuals
While the public perception of Islam is currently dominated by fundamentalist and jihadist ideologies, American Islamic scholarship is not so defined. Rather there are important milestones that speak of broader and deeper awarenesses. One of those milestones is the life of Ibrahim Abu-Rabi‘. This article examines his contributions in an attempt to interrogate an alternative vision of Islam. We also wish to note his allegiance to an intellectual tradition that reaches much further back in Islamic history than the rather recent Islamist movement; it is Intellectual Sufism. Drawing from a rich vein of religious philosophy, Abu-Rabi‘ stands as a significant figure within recent Arab-American intellectual culture of our time. We examine some aspects of that tradition here.
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