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Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The luminous presence of women who follow the Sufi Way—the mystical path of Islam—is brought to life here through their sacred songs and poetry, their dreams and visions, and stories of their efforts as they witness the Truth in many realms. These writings reflect the honor and respect for the feminine in the Sufi worldview, and they are shared in the spirit of inspiration ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Shambhala
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Huma Rashid
Absolutely gorgeous. This book offers a brief survey of important Muslim women, from Ummul Mu'mineen to women like Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, aka Nora Baker, aka Madeline, who was among the first woman to infiltrate occupied France as an Allied spy, and was kept in head to toe chains by the Germans after her capture, and later executed. In addition to the survey of Muslim women, the book offers valuable spiritual insights and tales from the Islamic mystics, including heavy emphasis on one of my p ...more
I had a bit of hesitance buying a book that seemed to be written for college classes. I wasn't sure if I could really get myself to read the full thing. Once I began reading the book I couldn't stop. It took a full month, but it was a great month! The use of the women's own writing is really what made this great. There is a difference between reading the poem of a woman mystic from over a thousand years ago and being told about what to see in the poem. This book does a marvelous job of not over ...more
Ron Krumpos
"Women of Sufism" is one of the books in the primary bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism. "The greatest achievement in life" at has been reviewed on Goodreads.

It is essential reading for those who are interested in female mystics, from ancient to modern times. Camille Helminski has more than 10 books on Goodreads, some written in conjunction with her husband Kabir Helminski.
5 stars because of the subject matter.

But wow, the way Helminski organized each chapter irked me. I needed more structure. As I read the book, I found myself thinking: "CAH has to know that this is confusing" or "CAH has to know that this isn't working."


If this were any other book, I probably would've stopped reading it on account of how annoying the organization of the book is/presentation of material. I wanted to read the book.

I should check out the publisher.

I've read some horridly wri
Jul 22, 2007 Lubna rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in Islam, Sufism, women
If you are looking for spiritual inspiration, this is a very helpful book. I felt very humbled in reading about the awesome spiritual lives of such a varied number of Muslim women - the book contains biographies, stories, and poetry & covers Sufi women from the Indian subcontinent to the Western world. Its not a book to read in 1 sitting but is probably best read slowly, with contemplation, and interspersed with other reading.
Aug 27, 2007 Amelie added it
Interesting information and quotations from Sufi women. Some prior knowledge of Sufism might be useful, but this book is fairly accesible to general readers, and feels comprehensive, though not exhaustive.
Great information about women and their role in mysticiam and early Islamic faith communities. It was a bit dry in parts as it is written in a very academic manner.
Ayesha Sabir
May 10, 2011 Ayesha Sabir marked it as to-read
i think this book is related to my course .
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  • Sea Without Shore: A Manual of the Sufi Path
  • Journey to the Lord of Power: A Sufi Manual on Retreat
  • Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam
  • The Kashf Al-Mahjub (the Revelation of the Veiled) an Early Persian Treatise on Sufism ('Ali B. 'Uthman Al-Jullabi Al-Hujwiri)
  • Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi
  • Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart
  • Instruction of the Student: The Method of Learning

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