Investigating, Explaining and Analyzing the Critique of Sufism in the Book Jonun al-Majanin

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Islamic Sufism and Mysticism, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran,

3 Professor, Department of Theology, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran,


Sufism has received many confirmations, rejections and criticisms throughout its ups and downs. One of these critiques is the internal critique of Sufism by Ghavam al-Din Sanjani, the eighth and ninth century Khorasan mystic. Although he is a Sufi himself, he takes a critical look at Sufism in his book Jonun al-Majanin, trying to address its strengths and weaknesses, and to distinguish between true and false Sufis. Sanjani's critique in the theoretical aspect of Sufism includes disregard for the traditional sciences, religious and doctrinal deviation, the superiority of guardianship over prophecy, the removal of speech and duty, and following the devil. In practical Sufism, he also criticizes issues such as abandoning scholarship, humiliating scholars, antinomian, the removal of religious duties, heresy, asceticism, lust, the cloak of salus, dancing and singing, sheikh-centeredness, discipleship, hypocrisy, arrogance, laziness, and poverty. Despite strong criticism, Sanjani believes that Sufism is rooted in the original Islamic tradition, and that Sufis are the true followers and revivers of the tradition of the divine prophets, and that most of the deviations and criticisms are directed at false Sufis. Finally, his critiques are corrective and do not undermine the foundations of Sufism.


Main Subjects

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