This book is a comprehensive historical overview of the formative period of Sufism, the major mystical tradition in Islam, from the ninth to the twelfth century CE. Based on a fresh reading of the primary sources and integrating the findings of recent scholarship on the subject, the author presents a unified narrative of Sufism's historical development within an innovative analytical framework. Karamustafa gives a new account of the emergence of mystical currents in Islam during the ninth century and traces the rapid spread of Iraq-based Sufism to other regions of the Islamic world and its fusion with indigenous mystical movements elsewhere, most notably the Malr cultural context
Ahmet T. Karamustafa is an Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of God's Unruly Friends: Dervish Groups in the Islamic Later Middle Period, 1200-1550 (University of Utah Press, 1994) and an editor of Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies (University of Chicago Press, 1992).