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The Way of the Sufi

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  411 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A selection of excerpts from Sufi masters clarifying the philosophy of Sufism.
Published September 1st 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1968)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,112)
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Oct 24, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
This book is a great source of information and history on Sufism. A scholarly work, published first in 1970, it is still pertinent to today.

It opens with an important chapter on the study of Sufism in the Western world -- and its limitations.

Shah raises questions about how much one can learn and understand about Sufism, using books and writings which may not fully understand how Sufism works. As one example, he uses modern Western debates on the meaning of the word "Sufi". Westerners, with our d
Kevan Bowkett
Apr 07, 2015 Kevan Bowkett rated it it was amazing
This text was called 'a key book' by Doris Lessing. Written by traveller and authority on the Sufis, Idries Shah, the volume contains a great variety of material concerning the people called the Sufis, what they study, and how and why. The collection includes essays, tales, jokes, themes for contemplation, statements by masters, poetry, information on Four Major Orders of Sufism and on classical teachers such as Rumi, Ghazali, Saadi, and Omar Khayyam -- in its variety the book seems more like Mi ...more
Sep 16, 2015 Ita rated it it was amazing
Eight centuries after El Ghazali wrote about it, Ivan Pavlov announced the results of his experiments on dogs, and was credited with the discovery of conditioning. Ghazali – a Sufi’s – work even exceeds contemporary knowledge, according to Idries Shah. He is one of a number of scientists and writers of astounding achievement, who depended for their accomplishments, not on the scientific method as we know it, or even on the intellect, but on the Sufi Way. ‘Man is made for learning,’ wrote El Ghaz ...more
Ulrika Eriksson
Jan 24, 2015 Ulrika Eriksson rated it it was amazing
It is easy to get lost in the jungle of texts that exists about Sufism and “some doesnt represent Sufism more than snake handling represents Christianity or Bingo represents Mathematics” writes the author. His book is meant to be an appropriate introduction with material specially chosen to be actual and suitable for our time and he wants to show the vastness and richness of Sufi ideas through the ages.
Sufism invites man to push forward his own evolution. It is a metaphysical system intermeshed
This is the Original Penguin Paperback Edition issued in 1968 by Idries Shah. It is a fine Book about what is called in Western terms Sufism. Sufism is a simplification of a very complex system of spiritual development. This is one of the best books I have found to clarify a lot of things taken for granted by people who use the term Sufi or Sufism.
Boreal Elizabeth
Aug 14, 2008 Boreal Elizabeth rated it really liked it
a friend reccommended this it was part of some metaphysical conversations we had about whirling dervishes, alcoholism, spirituality, gypsies, tibetan buddhism, old cars and betrayal by friends and lovers

it was above me at the time altho i did gain something by osmosis
love of life
drinking in the world and honoring it
Dan Sperling
May 19, 2016 Dan Sperling rated it it was amazing
Most people know little or nothing about Sufism, and what they may have heard about it here and there is likely to be erroneous. In THE WAY OF THE SUFI, Idries Shah does an excellent job of cutting straight to the chase to give the reader an unclouded glimpse of what Sufism really is. The result is a book that’s both eye-opening and fascinating. Reading it, one learns that Sufism is working towards a practical goal rather than propagating empty theory, and that the materials it makes use of must ...more
Mar 14, 2016 Robs rated it it was amazing
The author begins his introduction to this work with the statement - ''So many people profess themselves bewildered by the Sufi lore that one is forced to the conclusion that they want to be bewildered. Others, for more obvious reasons, simplify things to such an extent that their 'Sufism' is just a cult of love, or of meditations, or of something equally selective. But a person with a portion of uncommitted interest who looks at the variety of Sufi action can see the common characteristic stari ...more
Nurman Bani Sasmita
Menjadi seorang Sufi adalah menyisihkan apa yang ada di kepalamu - kebenaran, khayalan, prasangka, pengondisian dan menghadapi apa yang mungkin terjadi padamu. (Abu Said)

Semua agama, sebagaimana para teolog -- dan lawan-lawan mereka -- memahami kata, merupakan sesuatu yang lain dari yang diasumsikan.

Agama adalah kendaraan. Ekspresi (ungkapan perasaan), ritual, moral dan ajaran-ajaran lainnya di dirancang untuk menimbulkan pengaruh-pengar
Dec 19, 2015 Saman rated it really liked it
Practical sufi is more like it. Loved it because practical sufi myself.
Lenny Hall
Jul 28, 2011 Lenny Hall rated it it was amazing
I Enjoy Everything he's written.
Megha Guruprasad
Jul 12, 2015 Megha Guruprasad rated it liked it
Great primer to all things Sufi- Demolishes all the wrongly held notions of the origins and practices of what we call 'Sufi'. Introduces all the prominent Sufi thinkers, major Sufi orders and broad philosophy.

Throughout the text are brief excerpts from the instructional materials the Sufi schools used, which could be in the form of song, fictional tales or poetry. Most of it were tiny tidbits of absurdly calming wisdom, which may or may not seem coherent.

The book was first out in 1968, so look
Nick McRae
Aug 10, 2015 Nick McRae rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to Sufi thought, or so it seems to be. On one level, I come away from this book knowing very little, or even less than I did before, about Sufism. On another level, though, I think it's kind of the nature of Sufism to purposefully defy easy understanding and expose the inscrutability of most real knowledge, and as such this book enacts the teachings of the Sufi masters and exposes the heart of Sufi thought, which is what I came to this book for in the first place.
Ruhat alp
Nov 07, 2012 Ruhat alp rated it it was amazing
those who can see with the eye of the heart perceive all creatures as a manifestation of love. they observe that all creaturs are the outcome of love. ıf there hadnt been eternal love, the universe would not have come to be. The gnostics know that this world is an outcome of this eternal love and that is why it has been dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad.
ın the hadith ,we find the following: “I was a hidden treasure. I loved to be known. Thus, I created the universe so that I could be known.”
we u
Feb 28, 2016 WJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know how many incarnations there have been for The Way of The Sufi, but this 2015 edition is just as good. The title, of course, remains the same, but, like those numerous editions and cover designs, there are so many meanings for ‘Way’ that you’d think this Way or path, this word, was deliberately chosen to exemplify the opening quote for this book – “…detach from fixed ideas and from preconceptions…”. The book itself is the standard - (in concert with The Sufis) - for what the Sufis ar ...more
Ron Krumpos
Jul 09, 2014 Ron Krumpos rated it it was amazing
"The Way of the Sufi" 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. I have included five quotations of Sufis from his book in my ebook.
Apr 06, 2009 Rhesa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam
This is my first book of Idries Shah. Here he gathers some sayings from the prominent leaders of Sufism. For those who is new in this study, and wanting to embrace it by the way of reading [and pondering:] quotations, this is a good way to start. But for those who seek a systematic & analytical treatment, will be dissapointed [like me:].

Shah's exposition, argument & way of language sometimes loose and not really convincing. But maybe, like he says, sufism can't be [approached:] and unde
Nov 29, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing
Marvellous collection of stories
Aug 02, 2011 Cem rated it liked it
Doğan Egmont'tan geçen sene çıkmış Türkçe tercümesinin sefilliği ve editörün başıboş bıraktığı metnin son hali, bu değerli metni benim için bir okuma eziyetine çevirdi. Buradan yetkililere seslenmek istiyorum: Ayıp yahu, insan hiç olmazsa çevirinin tamamlanıp tamamlanmadığını kontrol eder! Bazı problemli terimler çevrilmeyip parantez içinde ingilizce bırakılarak (yanında da soru işaretleriyle) basılmış-tercümanın kaba ilk taslağını basmışsınız resmen. Yazıklar olsun size ve o güzelim baskılara h ...more
Oct 26, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing
"Yet the values of studying special collections of Sufi readings made by a Sufi cannot be exaggerated."
Hj Bombeck
Jun 21, 2015 Hj Bombeck rated it it was amazing
After reading this book several times:
This indebth collection of the methodology of the traditional islamic Sufi schools and their masters I found to not be light or heavy, with detail of the chronology of the teaching and the only work of it's kind to date; offering a good pre-read to Sufi thought and Action and Knowing How to Know. The Way of the Sufi in my opinion is beyond compare to any other work of it's kind.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a fairly detailed overview on what Sufism is, and who were some of the men instrumental within the belief system. I found it to be similar to Taoism, except with a Middle Eastern flavor. The author also discussed the influences Sufism has had on other religions, mysticism, and philosophies, as well as the sciences.
Sep 21, 2015 Toni rated it it was amazing
Knowledge Direction Profit.
By T.C. on 5 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback
An absolute favourite. Pays to read it and read it and read it. Answers questions you've forgotten you asked..
Jalaludin Rumi....
A Book.
The aim of a book may be to instruct,
Yet you can also use it as a pillow;
Though its object is to give knowledge, direction, profit.
Sep 02, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: sufism
Originally published in 1968, this book had a huge impact, particularly in England. It was the West's introduction to Sufism, and led to its acceptance in the English-speaking world. It contains stories, short histories of great Sufis, a few essays and a good section on the four largest Orders. This book is a must for any student of Islam.
Жанна Пояркова
Aug 20, 2013 Жанна Пояркова rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sufi
Никто не может считаться достигшим Степени Истины, пока тысяча честных граждан не засвидетельствуют, что он -- еретик. (Джунайд из Багдада)

Поразительно, насколько свободная, живая мысль обитала прежде в околомусульманском мире. Суфии - феномен, который требует изучения.
Apr 19, 2009 Vickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a professor in grad school who would read us these tales periodically. I really enjoyed them enough to get the book for myself.
Dec 07, 2007 Bria rated it really liked it
I feel very attached to Sufism, even though a lot of what it says kind of goes against my personal feelings and opinions.
Jan 24, 2010 Karin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
So far, exactly what I was hoping to find--a scholarly work speaking in code, in the manner of the Sufi.
Feb 12, 2012 Aran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The organization of the book made very little sense to me...Contents, a lot of it, interesting.
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  • Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn ʻArabī
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  • The Kashf Al-Mahjub (the Revelation of the Veiled) an Early Persian Treatise on Sufism ('Ali B. 'Uthman Al-Jullabi Al-Hujwiri)
  • Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the early Mystics to Rumi
Idries Shah (Persian: ادریس شاه), also known as Idris Shah, né Sayed Idries el-Hashimi (Arabic: سيد إدريس هاشمي), was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote over three dozen critically acclaimed books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies.

Born in India, the descendant of a family of Afghan nobles, Shah grew up mainly in England. His ea
More about Idries Shah...

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Your medicine is in you, and you do not observe it. Your ailment is from yourself, and you do not register it.

Hazrat Ali”
“To be a Sufi is to detach from fixed ideas and from preconceptions; and not to try to avoid what is your lot.” 8 likes
More quotes…