A Critical Literature Review on the Studies on the Zayniyya Order


This paper traces a literature review of works on the Zayniyya order. In this respect, four books, three theses and fifteen articles have been examined. Adopting a critical perspective to this literature, it raises three issues. One is related specifically to the studies on the Zayniyya order. It argues that there is still no monograph written on the relationship of the Zayniyya with other Sufi orders and political actors in light of the social and political context of the era. As a result, the question on the reasons for the rapid decline of the order after the 15th century has still not been completely resolved. The other two issues involve the more general studies on Sufism. It argues that the often employed dichotomy between orthodoxy and heterodoxy on the one hand and the purely descriptive approach lacking theoretical arguments on the other hand should be abandoned.

Keywords: Zayniyya Sufi Order, Literature, History of Sufism, Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy.

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