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al-Baroud, Dalal Saleh (2022) Reflections on Dialogue with The Divine: A Comparative Study. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis tackles the controversial concept of dialogue with the Divine in Sufi literature and its use as an indirect vehicle to transmit a mystically camouflaged social message. The in-depth study offers a modern theoretical framework that examines hidden signs and unspoken messages masked by the gentle and winding arabesques of Sufi literary works, in an effort to explore their relation to power, authority and politics. The writing of certain mystical authors who have rarely been studied is explored, in particular the oeuvre of al-Suhrawardi and al-Niffari, whose work is introduced through a linguistic, literary and theological analysis and whose philosophical and mystical views are examined comprehensively through their special usage of language. The paper explores three different genres: a poem by al-Suhrawardi, two of al-Niffari’s Mawāqif and a play by Salah ʿAbd al-Sabur. It is a comparative study and the mystical texts involved are examined under the light of multiple Western theoretical frameworks for the first time. The milestone of the research study is its daring probing of the direct dialogue with the Divine, its forms, stylistics, implications and indications of how it could be viewed as a political text. The paper concludes that beyond being a devotional path, mysticism in literature can also be a spiritual and narrative revolution that threatens the legitimate authorities, as well as an approach to redefining the meaning of power, disguised in emotional expressions and intentionally complicated language.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Marle Hammond
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2022 15:03

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