"...more extraordinary the more it is studied, because what it states about a subject which is by definition beyond verbalization." -- Doris Lessing, Encounter: Books & Writers, August 1972
"...the best introduction to the body of Shah's work...one is ... forced to use one's mind in a new way." -- Doris Lessing, New York Times Book Review, May 7, 1971
"...vastness of learning and exposition that calls to our patience - and perhaps to our loss if it calls in vain." -- Stevie Smith, The Observer, November 1, 1964
"Important historically and culturally." -- Los Angeles Times
"The book has flashes of what (without intending to define the word) I can only call illumination." -- D. J. Enright, New Statesman
"The first fully authoritative book on Sufism and the human-development system of the 'dervishes'..." -- Afghanistan News, May 1964
Idries Shah's definitive work, "The Sufis", completely overturned Western misconceptions of Sufism, revealing a great spiritual and psychological tradition encompassing many of the world's greatest thinkers: Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn El-Arabi, Al-Ghazzali, Saadi, Attar, Francis of Assisi and many others.
The astonishing impact of Sufism on the development of Western civilization from the seventh century is traced through the work of Roger Bacon, John of the Cross, Raymond Lully, Chaucer and others. Many of the greatest traditions, ideas and discoveries of the West are traced to the teachings and writings of Sufi masters working centuries ago.
But "The Sufis" is far more than an historical account. In the tradition of the great Sufi classics, the deeper appeal of this remarkable book is in its ability to function as an active instrument of instruction, in a way that is so clearly relevant to our time and culture.
The spiritual and psychological tradition of Sufism was regarded, before this pioneering book was published, as the preserve of ecstatic religionists and a small number of Oriental scholars, who treated it in the main as a minority cult. The false image of Sufism as a mere Islamic sect was changed so much by this book that it is now given serious attention as a psychological and mystical system of extraordinary richness and importance.
Today, studies in Sufism, notably through Shah's research and publication, are pursued in centers of higher learning throughout the world, in the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and many other areas of current human concern.
"The Sufis" is the pivotal work which heralded the revelation of the astonishing richness and variety of Sufi thought and its contribution to human culture contained in Idries Shah's many books on the subject. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
THE SUFIS by IDRIES SHAH
2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of "The Sufis" by Idries Shah -- an event which seems to have clarified a good many... Read more
Reading this book will put the reader in danger of becoming what he is afraid to be.Published 6 months ago by Radu Borcoman
I just read 10% so far...for me, this is not a book to read completely in a few days...I will read, enjoy, meditate, work and live... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jose Renato Toscano
Go on, wheel out the Phd's, the artificial controversies, the intellectuals with no spiritual aptitude but much bile and preconceptions. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alan Wrightson
What's important to understand is that in 1960, when this book was first published, traditional Sufism was virtually unknown in the West. In such a case . . . Read morePublished 13 months ago by Arbiter
This is Shah's first and fundamental presentation of Sufism in the West where in the last century only scarce authentic knowledge was available (like his father's books) or one... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steve Diput
I don't want to have a limit on how many words I have to write in a review, that is one of the reasons I don't take the time to do these on amazon.com. Read morePublished 24 months ago by sir john