Institutionalized Sufism and Non-Institutionalized Sufism: A Reconsideration of the Groups of Sufi Saints of the Non-Ṭarīqa Type as Viewed through the Historical Documents of Medieval Maghreb
Kyoto Bulletin of Islamic Area Studies, 2-1 (2008)
Perhaps the most important innovation in the 12th and 13th century Islamic world was the institutionalization of Sufism. During the years 1150 and 1250, especially with the crisis in Islam caused by the invasion of the Mongols and the fall of the Abbasid Empire, communities of mystics that were heretofore loosely organized groups of disciples following individual spiritual masters were transformed into corporate and increasingly hierarchical entities. The Qādirīya, Rifāʻīya and Suhrawardīya that were born as a result of this later developed into international orders, that would influence the whole Muslim world.