The Problem of Early Islamic Diversity in Anatolia: Rethinking Dervish Piety Through Pantheistic Ideas


Muslim World, vol.113, no.3, pp.211-227, 2023 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 113 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/muwo.12472
  • Journal Name: Muslim World
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, ATLA Religion Database, Historical Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.211-227
  • Keywords: Alevism, Dervish Piety, Folk piety in Anatolia, Islam in Anatolia, Sufism
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The Islamic diversity that developed parallel to the Islamization of Anatolia from roughly the 12th century onwards and was called dervish religiosity, is often defined by its inattentive and indifferent attitude toward Shari‘a, although some of its other features are mentioned more or less. However, in this dervish-based religiosity, it draws attention that both the perception of Shari‘a and some other religiosity practices are more related to the tawhid beliefs in pantheistic sense. This paper aims to analyze how both dervish religiosity and folk religiosity, which developed largely under its influence, are shaped through some mystical thoughts and spiritual experiences such as ‘identification with God’, ‘immanence of God in man’ and ‘the human divinity’. The folk piety, which appears to be shaped within the framework of faith in saints, including high respect and various types of veneration that neglect the norms of Islamic worship, will be seen in relation to the pantheistic thoughts, as reflected in the understanding of seeing man as the qibla.