Overview of the History of Sufi Studies
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This chapter summarizes the development of Sufi scholarship in European languages from the early nineteenth century till the present. It concludes that most scholarship regarding Sufism in European languages defines the Sufi interpretation of jihad as irenic (i.e. the greater or spiritual jihad). This chapter then considers contemporary Sufi scholarship in Arabic and concludes that Arabic Sufi scholarship consistently portrays Sufis as exemplifying both the greater jihad as well as the lesser (i.e. martial) jihad, with Muslim scholars writing in Arabic insisting that the spiritual jihad prepares Sufis for the martial jihad and religiously sanctioned warfare.