The impact of the figure of Khidr on medieval Sūfī thought

Tamtam, Hamza Elhadi Mohamad (2019). The impact of the figure of Khidr on medieval Sūfī thought. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines the effect of the figure of Khidr on medieval Sūfīs, who claimed that Khidr had provided them with a microcosm of the heart of the Sūfī path. It has sought to answer the following questions: who is this servant of God (Khidr), who specifically is it that is mentioned in the short story with a lack of information in the Chapter of the Cave in the Qur’ān (18:60-82), and how have medieval Sūfīs analysed his story with the Prophet Moses? This study also explores the reasons that Sūfīs have been criticized for their understanding of Khidr’s story. In pursuing these questions, this study will attempt to shine a new light on these debates. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the most important relevant literature to the research questions. Chapter 2 gives an overview of Sūfī sources for understanding the figure of Khidr in order to gain insight into what makes Khidr important. Prophet Muḥammad’s evaluation of both Khidr and Moses in the story is also discussed. In Chapter 3, the study debates the matter of how could Khidr teach Prophet Moses knowledge that the latter did not have. Does this refer to or necessitate Khidr having a higher rank than Moses? What is the knowledge that was bestowed on Khidr? And can it be revealed to other than Khidr? Chapter 4 concentrates on the relationship between the knowledge of Khidr and the Sūfī method of interpretation on one hand, and how Sūfī exegetes read the story of Khidr, on the other hand. Chapter 5 aims to explore the impact of Khidr on medieval Sūfī literature, in addition to the broader literary impact of Sūfī heritage during and after that period in an effort to answer the question of Khidr’s place within this tradition. Chapter 6 presents the key findings and the contribution of the study.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Libyan Embassy of London
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc


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