Sufi futuwwa: between Individual Sanctity and Recognition of the Other

Khenchlaoui Zaïm


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The concept of futuwwa can be observed from the period of the appearance of Islam. One of its central points is an inner energy. This spiritual potency is similar to the steps of evolution. It is founded on development of inner human live and human motion to spiritual perfection. The prophet Abraham was the personification of the futuwwa ideal in pre-Islamic time. This ideal was incarnated in «those of the cave» (ashab al-kahf) in Qur’an. Europeans acquainted with futuwwa connected with Persian jawanmardiyya in the age of the Crusades. Afterwards, the urban organizations of artificers were well-known under the name futuwwat. They spread a worship of saints who patronized certain crafts.


futuwwa; Sufism; ashab al-kahf; Abraham; jawanmardiyya; futuwat; saints