Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What is Sufism?” as Want to Read:
What is Sufism?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What is Sufism?

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Martin Lings provides an excellent and authoritative introduction to the mystical movement of the Sufis based on his lifelong interest in Islamic culture. His explanation derives from a profound understanding of Sufism, and extends to many aspects which are usually neglected. His illuminating answer to 'What is Sufism?' gives a taste of the very subject matter itself. What ...more
Paperback, 134 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by Islamic Texts Society (first published 1975)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What is Sufism?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What is Sufism?

Meeting of Two Seas by Saeed MalikA Perspective on the Signs of Al-Quran by Saeed MalikEssential Sufism by James FadimanSufism by Llewellyn Vaughan-LeeSufism by William C. Chittick
98 books — 12 voters
The Crisis of the Modern World by René GuénonThe Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times by René GuénonThe Sword of Gnosis by Jacob NeedlemanNihilism by Seraphim RoseKnowledge and the Sacred by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
71 books — 5 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 02, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing
If it wasn't for Sufism I wouldn't be a Muslim, and in my mind, it misses the point to think of any religion without it's own form of "Sufism". Sufism in Islam is quite simply the esoteric part of the faith, and an exoteric without an esoteric is a shell with no substance. This is a rather short work, but a perfect concise statement on the essentials of Sufism, including a list of essential Sufis and their respective works.
Joseph Lumbard
Aug 24, 2012 Joseph Lumbard rated it it was amazing
This is the most eloquent introduction to Sufism in any European language. Nonetheless, it is a somewhat difficult book to read. Those who are not already inclined to spiritual matters will find this a difficult read. Some aspects of the book also require some knowledge of Islam in order to penetrate them more completely. Still, anyone who is genuinely interested in Sufism should read this book.
Ahmed Kareem
Sep 16, 2016 Ahmed Kareem rated it liked it
ما الصوفية كتاب لـ مارتن لانج
وكما واضح من العنوان يتحدث عن الصوفية وما هي بصورة مختصرة ومكثفة
كذلك تنقسم الفصول حول تاريخ التصوف وتفسريتها من القرأن الكريم
وبعدها يتحدث حول الرسول وما الى ذلك ويستعرض كذلك التصوف عبر عصورها
وفي النهاية يذكر اهم علماء الدين الصوفيين مثل شيخ عبد القادر والغزالي وجلال الدين وغيرهم الكثير
Hoda Marmar
Aug 13, 2016 Hoda Marmar rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hoda by: Nabil
This book was quite valuable for my World Religions class project about Sufism. I cannot think my friend enough for lending me this book. It is not your average non-fiction book. This is a beautifully written book, that compiled rich information in an accessible manner. the writing style is SO BEAUTIFUL. I have consulted Titus Burckhardt's 'Introduction to Sufi Doctrine', and although his book is quite rich with information and methodical; yet the style isn't as 'magical' as Lings'.
I highly reco
Hanan Kat
Sep 24, 2015 Hanan Kat rated it really liked it
Very concise and helpful introduction to sufism
Shaimaa Ali
Apr 29, 2015 Shaimaa Ali rated it really liked it
مقدمة مختصرة ومكثفة جداً عن الصوفية .. وتاريخ التصوف
Jul 17, 2007 Nagena rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
good intro
Sep 05, 2010 Farrah added it
best guide to SUFI Making and practice to Ziker
Jan 01, 2017 Johannes rated it really liked it
I've always liked the poetry of Rumi, but so many of his metaphors were beyond me. This not-very-basic explanation of Sufism gave me some insight to the notions of paradisiacal sobriety and drunkenness within the Sufi spiritual tradition.
One of a few books I didn't finish, but feel I read enough of to qualify for this list. (See my "read-about-half-and-then-quit" bookshelf.) A concise, fascinating look at Islamic mysticism, categorized along the four main schools. I wanted to and should have finished this one, but was young when I attempted it.
Dec 09, 2013 Dean rated it really liked it
Decent summary of Sufism, taking into account the traditionalist view (ie. as a side-product of Islam), with a few snippets of comparative religion analysis here and there. Some great quotes from respect Sufi masters of the past. Quite dense, and covers a lot in a small space.
May 14, 2007 Rahma rated it it was amazing
One of the most comprehensive introductions to Sufism in the English language and the one that introduced me to Sufism from 'within' rather than through academic reading. Simple and inspiring.
Halil rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2012
Syafruddin rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2009
Xhevat rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2013
Moniur S Rohman
Moniur S Rohman rated it did not like it
Feb 06, 2014
Yazzster rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2014
A Lynch
A Lynch rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2016
Moinuddinchikhalia rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2013
Umar Rabbani
Umar Rabbani rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2013
Zahin rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2016
Brendan McSherry
Brendan McSherry rated it liked it
Nov 17, 2015
Hussein Gaafer
Hussein Gaafer rated it liked it
May 29, 2016
Fatima Zahra Hassan
Fatima Zahra Hassan rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2011
Amberafridi rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2016
Melissa Kabli
Melissa Kabli rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2015
Ata A
Ata A rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2014
Arif Setya
Arif Setya rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2014
Rana Amaar Faaruq
Rana Amaar Faaruq rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2012
Jane rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Lives of Man: A Guide to the Human States: Before Life, In the World, and After Death
  • The Kashf Al-Mahjub (the Revelation of the Veiled) an Early Persian Treatise on Sufism ('Ali B. 'Uthman Al-Jullabi Al-Hujwiri)
  • The Sufi Path Of Knowledge: Ibn Al ʻarabi's Metaphysics Of Imagination
  • Understanding Islam
  • The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam's Mystical Tradition
  • Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship
  • Mystical Dimensions of Islam
  • Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure
  • Hadith: An Introduction (Foundations of Islam)
  • Al-Shifa - Muhammad Messenger of Allah
  • Scattered Pictures: Reflections Of An American Muslim
  • الرسالة القشيرية في علم التصوف
  • تذکرة الاولیا
  • Remembering God: Reflections on Islam
  • The Way of the Sufi
Martin Lings was an English writer and scholar, a student and follower of Frithjof Schuon, and Shakespearean scholar. He is best known as the author of a very popular and positively reviewed biography, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, first published in 1983 and still in print.

Lings was born in Burnage, Manchester in 1909 to a Protestant family. The young Lings gained an introduct
More about Martin Lings...

Share This Book