Feminist Theology 19 (3):255-285 (2011)

For this study, I especially have centred myself on the work of the doctor in psychiatry and professor of the University of Tehran, Javad Nurbakhsh. He was a Master of the Order of Sufi Shah Nematollah Wali and died a year ago. This work, which appeared in 1999, is titled ‘Sufi Women’ and in it, the author compiled the brief biographies, which were sometimes only slight glimpses of existence, of 136 women. I will focus on three principle questions: the women themselves, their relationships with their surroundings, and their relationships with God. I conclude that female Sufi Mystics’ bodies were soaked in tears and their souls in flames. They shed tears because of their distance from God and for being stuck in bodies and because of their desire for transcendence, to drown in Oneness. Since their bodies impeded this desire, they mortified them impiously with fasts and vigils and became unsightly to all who saw them. They did not take care of others, and they did not take care of themselves, they renounced all care.
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DOI 10.1177/0966735011401304
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