SOCIAL SCIENCES & HUMANITIES For the Love of an Ideal: Sufism and Renunciation of the Self in

George Shaw's Saint, Joan Taghizadeh, Mojtaba Jeihouni
According to the Sufi doctrine, a Sufi has to sacrifice his 'base self' for union with God. The Sufis maintain that this self could be summed up in all worldliness and physical passions. The object of the Sufi is to break away from such demands and fully entrust himself or herself to the hands of God. For the realisation of such a purpose, the Sufi is expected to pass some stages of spiritual illumination which will culminate in detachment from his or her desires and attain selflessness. In
more » ... ge Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan (1923), the seeker covets to recover the state of "union" with God and thus, renounces her physical safety to fulfil the will of the Seeked. By framing our interpretation based on the doctrines of Sufism, this paper aims to examine Shaw's portrayal of Joan of Arc in Saint Joan in order to emphasise that the fulfilment of divine union is the supreme ideal of the Sufi.