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Article

The Economics of Female Piety in Early Sufism

Department of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
Academic Editors: Milad Milani, Zahra Taheri and Aydogan Kars
Religions 2021, 12(9), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090760
Received: 28 July 2021 / Revised: 6 September 2021 / Accepted: 9 September 2021 / Published: 13 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Female Mystics and the Divine Feminine in the Global Sufi Experience)
This paper examines the economics of female piety between the third/ninth and sixth/twelfth centuries. It traces Sufi approaches to poverty and working for a living (kasb) as well as kasb’s intersection with marriage and women. Rereading Sufi and non-Sufi biographies and historiographies reveals that there were wealthy women who initiated marriage with renowned Sufis to gain spiritual blessings, and others who financially supported their husbands. While the piety of male Sufis was usually asserted through material poverty, the piety of female mystics was asserted through wealth and almsgiving. This paper examines this piety through different female kinships—whether mothers, wives or sisters. Similar to the spousal support of wives for their husbands, sisters very often acted as an impressive backup system for their Sufi brothers. Mothers, however, effected a great socio-religious impact through the cherished principles of a mother’s right to control her son and a son’s duty to venerate his mother. This devotion was often constraining financially and Sufis needed to pay attention to the financial implications while still pursuing progress on the Sufi path. View Full-Text
Keywords: arfāq al-niswān (women’s donations); sisters; mothers; ḥaqq al-wālida (mother’s right); poverty; charity; khidma (service) arfāq al-niswān (women’s donations); sisters; mothers; ḥaqq al-wālida (mother’s right); poverty; charity; khidma (service)
MDPI and ACS Style

Salamah-Qudsi, A. The Economics of Female Piety in Early Sufism. Religions 2021, 12, 760. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090760

AMA Style

Salamah-Qudsi A. The Economics of Female Piety in Early Sufism. Religions. 2021; 12(9):760. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090760

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salamah-Qudsi, Arin. 2021. "The Economics of Female Piety in Early Sufism" Religions 12, no. 9: 760. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12090760

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