In the Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism, a shath (plural: shathiyat) is an ecstatic utterance. Famous shathiyat include “Glory be to me” by Bayazid Bastami and “I am the Truth” by Mansur Al-Hallaj.
The heyday of shath occurred during the classical period of Sufism from the ninth to twelfth century AD (the third to sixth century by Islamic count). They later figured as topoi of Persian Sufi poetry (especially that of Farid al-Din Attar) before being reduced by later Sufis to mere allegories for Ibn Arabi's philosophy.
Shathiyat have traditionally been associated with great outrage among the Islamic cultures of their day, and many of their authors have been subject to religious persecution by Islamic courts. However, C.W. Ernst argues in his work on shath that such prosecutions were mostly political affairs, resulting from “personal vendetta, subversion of the state and party factionalism” instead of religious intolerance. Because of their opposition to religious norms, these ecstatic utterances play an important role in the conception of Islamic Antinomianism.
- Ernst (1985) 1-3.
- Ernst (1985) 4-6.
- Ernst (1985) 101, 109, 115, 117.
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