Q: What is your opinion of the theory that Sufism has its roots in the Ancient Egyptian Kemetic religion?
The Tailor: The connection to Egypt has been documented in the Holy Books in the journeys of the Prophets, in particular, those of the Prophets Abraham, Joseph and Moses.
More obscurely, it goes further back still, to the Prophecy of Idris and the Divine origin of the writing of signs.
These are Prophets of Islam and inasmuch as Sufism “is” Islam, there
is within it a direct connection, a root in Egypt (though not a central root because the tree of life is a rhizome).
But as Sufism is also all about deconstructing assumptions, before pursuing this line of inquiry as Sufis, we also need to question what “cultural and religious practice” is, what “having roots in something” means and what “Egypt” is!
Yes, I was asking more from a historical perspective of lineages and origins of practice, rather than actual Sufi spiritual metaphor.
The Tailor: The Hermetica is a safe place for you to start with if you wish to be remain, for the moment, conservative in your investigation. The recent CUP translation is excellent.
The authors you refer to, however, are somewhat less conservative and perhaps even disingenuous. We might argue that they have conflated a “spiritual” perspective with an “historical” one but are either unaware of or insincere to this fact. The insincerity would source from the utilization of a particular objective-historical position to empower an essentially spiritual perspective. All the while with the implicit distinction between history and spirituality remaining unquestioned! This is a problem if you are seeking Truth, because ultimately no one understands the (shifting) grounds of power over which they are playing a game.
You have brought to light a good example, because a lot of standard Muslim Prophetic biographies fall into the same trap.