Key Figures of Islamic Tradition, According to Marshall Hodgson (6)

Sufis of the Earlier Middle Period


fl. 961, al-Niffari, "intoxicated" wandering darvish who wrote an analysis of his ecstatic experiences

1021, al-Sulami, moderate Sufi; wrote -- in additiona to a Sufi exegesis of Quran ("first' Sufi exegesis by al-Tustari, d. 896) -- the "first" register of Sufis

1049, Abu-Said b. Abil-Khayr, influential preacher, presumed writer of quatrains (rubaiyyat), sometimes called "first" Sufi poet in Persian

1072, al-Qushayri, "classical formulator" of Sufi doctrine

c. 1075, al-Hujviri, wrote systematic treatise on lives and doctrines of Sufis, "first" treatise on Sufism in Persian

1089, Abdullah al-Ansari, Hanbali anti-kalam Sufi writer in Persian poetry and prose, systematizer

1111, Muhammad al-Ghazali, systematizer of knowledge, harmonizer of Sufism with Sunnism, writings of great importance to later generations

1126, Ahmad al-Ghazali, brother of Muhammad, popular Sufi teacher emphasizing love

1130, al-Sanai, "first" great Sufi (Persian) poet

1166, Abdulqadir Gilani, Hanbali anti-kalam revivalist preacher; Qadariyyah order organized about his teaching

1167, Abd al-Qahir al-Suhravardi, uncle of Abu-Hafs Umar, for whom Suhravardiyyah order is named, important teacher

1191, Yahya Suhravardi al-Maqtul, Faylasuf, cosmologist, executed for heresy, founder of Illuminationist school (Ishraq)

c. 1200 Attar, Persian writer of important Sufi allegory

1221, Najmuddin Kubra, student of Abd al-Qahir al-Suhravardi, Kubraviyyah order organized about his teaching; possibly directly influential on father of Jalaluddin Rumi

1235, Ibn-al-Farid, most important Arabic language Sufi poet

c. 1235, Abu-Hafs Umar al-Suhravardi, student of Abd al-Qahir al-Suhravardi and of Abdulqadir Gilani, pir of the caliph al-Nasir and of Sadi

1240, Ibn-al-Arabi, cosmologist, one of the greatest Sufi theoreticians, developer of Ishraqi ideas

1258, al-Shadhili, founder of a Sufi tariqah

1273, Jalaluddin Rumi, one of the four or five "greatest" writers in Persian, author of the Masnavi; Mevleviyyah order organized about his teaching 


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