Sufism in America: The Alami Tariqa of Waterport, New York

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9781498533867: Sufism in America: The Alami Tariqa of Waterport, New York

Sufism in America sheds light on spiritual, mystical Islam in America. The Sufi path focuses on developing a personal relationship with God, doing what is beautiful in the sight of God, and struggling against the lower self to reach loving submission. Up to this point, very little has been written about the Sufi orders in America and those who participate in them.

This study focuses on the Alami Tariqa in Waterport, New York, which was started in the 1970s by a shaykh from the Balkans. The Alami Tariqa strives to uphold sharia while adapting to the Western setting. Its membership is diverse, consisting mostly of American-born participants from Christian and Jewish backgrounds, in addition to a few Muslim immigrants from South Asia. This study explores how this order has acculturated to the American setting, why individuals choose to join the tariqa, and what it means to pursue spiritual goals in a modern, Western society. Conclusions are drawn from interviews, a survey, and observations of teachings, plus the author’s experience working with this community for over ten years. The book interweaves personal stories and insider views with academic insight to provide a compelling and detailed picture of Sufism as a living and dynamic tradition in America.

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About the Author:

Julianne Hazen is founding director of the Department of Sufi Studies at the World Life Institute, Medina, New York. She also teaches religious studies at Niagara University.

Review:

Julianne Hazen's extensive study on the Alami Tariqa community in Western New York sheds a powerful light on Sufism in America. Through her intensive research, we learn of a community that represents not only a significant, yet understudied, element of Islam, its mystic strand, but also the vision of the Founding Fathers and the inherent pluralism of American society. Especially in a post-9/11 America, where tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims remain pervasive, this books permits all Americans the opportunity to learn more about the American Muslim community, its myriad forms, and how it fits into the American landscape. Anyone wishing to better understand Islam in America today and seek the knowledge necessary for building interfaith bridges should read this book. (Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University)

Julianne Hazen’s book adds to the emerging literature on Sufism in the Western world through a case study of the Alami tariqa in Waterport, New York. Such case studies are significant as they are gradually completing the jigsaw of academic knowledge in regard to the contemporary Islamic milieu. The book is important because, in spite of predictions of decline, in the 21st century Sufism has demonstrated extraordinary resilience in adapting to different societies and attracting new members. In addition, until recently, the study of contemporary Sufism in the US has been negligible. Hazen’s work explores the contemporary presence of Islamic Sufism in the US by looking at reasons why individuals are drawn to its circles.
Arguably, Sufism is filling a need for spiritual reconnection with the transcendent in an increasingly materialistic and secular society and serves to unite individuals across diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds. It might also reveal disenchantment with other forms of more exclusive and extreme versions of Islam and a return to the values of a more tolerant religious faith underpinned by universalist or perennialist narratives of unity. (Ron Geaves, Centre for the Study of Islam, Cardiff University)

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Book Description Lexington Books, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sufism in America sheds light on spiritual, mystical Islam in America. The Sufi path focuses on developing a personal relationship with God, doing what is beautiful in the sight of God, and struggling against the lower self to reach loving submission. Up to this point, very little has been written about the Sufi orders in America and those who participate in them. This study focuses on the Alami Tariqa in Waterport, New York, which was started in the 1970s by a shaykh from the Balkans. The Alami Tariqa strives to uphold sharia while adapting to the Western setting. Its membership is diverse, consisting mostly of American-born participants from Christian and Jewish backgrounds, in addition to a few Muslim immigrants from South Asia. This study explores how this order has acculturated to the American setting, why individuals choose to join the tariqa, and what it means to pursue spiritual goals in a modern, Western society. Conclusions are drawn from interviews, a survey, and observations of teachings, plus the author s experience working with this community for over ten years. The book interweaves personal stories and insider views with academic insight to provide a compelling and detailed picture of Sufism as a living and dynamic tradition in America. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781498533867

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Book Description Lexington Books, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sufism in America sheds light on spiritual, mystical Islam in America. The Sufi path focuses on developing a personal relationship with God, doing what is beautiful in the sight of God, and struggling against the lower self to reach loving submission. Up to this point, very little has been written about the Sufi orders in America and those who participate in them. This study focuses on the Alami Tariqa in Waterport, New York, which was started in the 1970s by a shaykh from the Balkans. The Alami Tariqa strives to uphold sharia while adapting to the Western setting. Its membership is diverse, consisting mostly of American-born participants from Christian and Jewish backgrounds, in addition to a few Muslim immigrants from South Asia. This study explores how this order has acculturated to the American setting, why individuals choose to join the tariqa, and what it means to pursue spiritual goals in a modern, Western society. Conclusions are drawn from interviews, a survey, and observations of teachings, plus the author s experience working with this community for over ten years. The book interweaves personal stories and insider views with academic insight to provide a compelling and detailed picture of Sufism as a living and dynamic tradition in America. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781498533867

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