This concluding chapter recounts the overall arc of this book to show how colonial scholarship interpreted the precolonial, and then inflected particular strands of reformist Sufi self-critique into modernist discourse. The introduction of formalized techniques of Sufi learning was often tied to scholarly intolerance of popular variance that perhaps began as emulation of regal prerogatives. By the eighteenth century, increasingly intense connections between Asian courts and Middle Eastern centers of learning engendered appeals to the principle that normative legal practices should define the standard of Islam for most believers. Such appeals were accompanied by the embrace or rejection of foreigners and attempts to restrict Sufi knowledge to a learned elite who could sit in judgement over them.
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