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Research Article |

Exploring Feminine Spirituality: Elif Shafak and Mohammed Alwan's Literary Portrayals of Women in Sūfī Tradition

Modern Arabic fiction has been known to skillfully depict women with contemporary meanings, frequently drawing on various contexts, including the Sūfī tradition. Women are portrayed as an all-encompassing symbol, playing a pivotal role in helping the protagonist achieve great ambitions and transform the world around them. This portrayal of women in Arabic literature draws inspiration from medieval Sūfī writers who assigned glamorous names to female characters, making them the central focus of their writings. Women were considered earthly mistresses in Sūfī practices, helping Sūfī practitioners reach their ultimate goal, God. This Sūfī tradition has had a profound impact on modern-day Middle Eastern writers such as Elif Shafak and Mohammed Alwan. They have utilized Sūfī practices in their novels, gaining new insights into the dynamic potential of the motif and a new critical approach. In Elif Shafak's novels, women are depicted as Sūfī figures with a transformative power that can change individuals and societies. In contrast, Mohammed Alwan portrays women in a more mystical light, embodying the divine and uniting the physical and spiritual. Both writers draw from Sūfī practices to create female characters who challenge traditional gender roles and promote a more inclusive and spiritual understanding of womanhood. By employing Sūfī practices, these writers provide a fresh perspective on the representation of women in modern Arabic literature. They highlight the empowering nature of Sūfī practices, where women are elevated to a central role, challenging patriarchal norms and providing a pathway for female empowerment.

Mystic Motif, Contemporary Arabic Literature, Critical Approaches, Female Protagonists, Elif Shafak, and Mohammed Alwan

APA Style

Assadi, J. A. (2023). Exploring Feminine Spirituality: Elif Shafak and Mohammed Alwan's Literary Portrayals of Women in Sūfī Tradition. Arabic Language, Literature & Culture, 8(3), 27-35. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.allc.20230803.11

ACS Style

Assadi, J. A. Exploring Feminine Spirituality: Elif Shafak and Mohammed Alwan's Literary Portrayals of Women in Sūfī Tradition. Arab. Lang. Lit. Cult. 2023, 8(3), 27-35. doi: 10.11648/j.allc.20230803.11

AMA Style

Assadi JA. Exploring Feminine Spirituality: Elif Shafak and Mohammed Alwan's Literary Portrayals of Women in Sūfī Tradition. Arab Lang Lit Cult. 2023;8(3):27-35. doi: 10.11648/j.allc.20230803.11

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