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The Iranian MetaphysicalsExplorations in Science, Islam, and the Uncanny$
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Alireza Doostdar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163772

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163772.001.0001

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The Politics of Veneration

The Politics of Veneration

(p.199) 22 The Politics of Veneration
The Iranian Metaphysicals

Alireza Doostdar

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines one key question haunting modern Shiʻi hagiographies and its political implications: what qualifies a person as a friend of God or, better, what disqualifies him from achieving such a station? If occult practices are a subject of dispute, there are other accusations leveled at some ostensible friends of God that incite strong vehemence. Chief among these is the charge of Sufism. Whenever governmental or nongovernmental actors draw on mysticism to promote Islamic piety, they are forced to reckon in some fashion with anti-Sufi rhetoric. This chapter considers the criticisms against Shaykh Jaʻfar Mojtahedi and Shaykh Rajab ʻAli. It also discusses another topic of contention over the friends of God: their political allegiances.

Keywords:   hagiographies, friends of God, Sufism, mysticism, piety, Shaykh Jaʻfar Mojtahedi, Shaykh Rajab ʻAli, political allegiance

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