Sufism: Love and Wisdom

"For hundreds of years, the inner spiritual core of Islam has been the focus of Sufi practitioners and thinkers. Those initiated into its mysteries have sometimes expressed them in ecstatic poetry, in a symbolic language of love, or in reasoned prose. These essays by such contemporary writers on Sufism as Seyyed Hossein Nasr, William Chittick, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, René Guénon, and Frithjof Schuon, allow the reader to understand the language, the wisdom, and the beautiful history of classical Sufism. Covering a wide range of topics related to the mystical aspect of Islam, Sufism, this book includes essays on spiritual thought and knowledge, many of which have been translated into English for the first time. Several of the contributions are from a new generation of interpreters and wisdom seekers of Sufism."

A collection of essays on the Sufi tradition by some of the best known contemporary writers on the subject.

“For hundreds of years, the inner spiritual core of Islam has been the focus of Sufi practitioners and thinkers. Those initiated into its mysteries have sometimes expressed them in ecstatic poetry, in a symbolic language of love, or in reasoned prose. These essays by such contemporary writers on Sufism as Seyyed Hossein Nasr, William Chittick, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, René Guénon, and Frithjof Schuon, allow the reader to understand the language, the wisdom, and the beautiful history of classical Sufism. Covering a wide range of topics related to the mystical aspect of Islam, Sufism, this book includes essays on spiritual thought and knowledge, many of which have been translated into English for the first time. Several of the contributions are from a new generation of interpreters and wisdom seekers of Sufism.”

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4 thoughts on “Sufism: Love and Wisdom

  1. Sufism at its best… MG Gupta’s Six volume translation of Maulana Rum’s Masnawi from Persian to English…

    “Maulana Rum’s great classic Masnawi Ma’nawi, in six volumes, is one of the four outstanding classics emanating from the same region (modern Iran) and which continue to exercise overwhelming influence on world mysticism – the other three being Diwan-i-Hafiz, Firdausi’s Shah Nama, and Gulistan-i-Sadi. But from the gnostic point of view the Masnawi excels these works. Like the Panchtantra, the Indian classic of 200 B.C., the Masnawi abounds in fables and parables through which Rumi deals with the abstruse aspects of religion, philosophy, and mystic experience, the nature of the Lord (verse 4291), the issue of freewill (ikhtiyar) versus necessitarianism (jabr), the capital importance of ibn-ul-waqt (the living master) for gnostic progress, the hallmark of charlatans, the need for discarding meaningless rituals and ceremonies which in verses 4543-4560 Rumi compares with stale bread only retaining its form and grossness, and dry and gross thistles which would scratch the eater’s palate and lips. And he gives a clarion call, ‘Whatever has become mixed with dust and turned dry and has become a thorn in your flesh, abstain from that herbage, O camel!’ Rumi stresses that every epoch in human history produces its own challenges which cannot be met by resorting to old values and methods but which can be tackled only with the aid of murshid-al-waqt (master of the age). One who lives a hesternal life is banished from the Divine court for as the Prophet (Mohammed) said, ‘One who’s any two days are wholly alike, he is always at a loss – a prisoner of doubt and suspense’ (verses 5341-47, Volume VI).

  2. Hello Leila, thank you for following both my blogs. It encourages me to start posting more often. I’m so busy writing my doctoral thesis at present that the blogs have been a bit neglected. May all be well with you – Yafiah

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