Offering new perspectives on the relationship between Shiʿis and Sufis in modern and pre-modern times, this book questions any supposed opposition between these two esoteric traditions in Islam by exploring what could be called Shiʿi Sufism and Sufi-oriented Shiʿism at various points in history. The essays collected here are based on new research, in textual studies as well as fieldwork, from a broad geographical area including the Indian subcontinent and Anatolia in addition to Iran. They cover a long period stretching from the early post-Mongol centuries, throughout the entire Safawid era (906–1134/1501–1722) and beyond, and are concerned not only with the sphere of the religious scholars, but also with different strata of society.

The first part of the volume looks at the diversity of the discourse on Sufism among the Shiʿi ʿulamaʾ, in the run up to and during the Safawid period. The second part focuses on the social and intellectual history of the most popular Shiʿi Sufi order in Iran, the Niʿmat Allāhiyya. The third part examines the relationship between Shiʿism and Sufism in the little-explored literary traditions of the Alevi-Bektashi and the Khāksāriyya Sufi order.