Spritual genealogy: Sufism and saintly places in the Nile Delta

El Sayed el-Aswad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Although spiritual realities do not find a place in the explanatory scheme of modern science, they nevertheless play a significant role in the everyday life of people. This article discusses the interrelationship between blood and spiritual genealogies among Sufi orders in the Muslim world in general and in the Nile Delta of Egypt in particular. Contrary to theories of geographic reductionism that highlight the geographical features of the Delta, this research sheds light on the impact of cultural and religious factors, such as regional Sufi orders and related saint cults, on the inhabitation and perpetuation of the local landscape. Moreover, compared with the rich scholarship of the grand Sufi orders and saints, studies that deal with local branches of dominant Sufi orders are sparse. The relationship between Sufi beliefs and practices in local contexts and in broader national or global (Muslim) worldviews is also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-518
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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