Repentance and the Return to God: Tawba in Early Sufism
Conventionally translated as "repentance," tawba includes the broader sense of returning to God. Khalil examines this wider notion in the early period of Sufism with a particular focus on the formative years of the tradition between Muhasibi and Abu Talib al-Makki.
Beginning with an extensive survey of the semantic field of the term as outlined in Arabic lexicography, Khalil offers a detailed analysis of the concept in Muslim scripture. He then examines tawba as a complex psychological process involving interior conversion and a complete, unwavering commitment to the spiritual life. The ideas of a number of prominent figures from the first few centuries of Islam are used to illuminate the historical development of tawba and its role in early praxis-oriented Sufism.