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Los sufis

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  779 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
A fascinating journey through the history of Sufism, this classic volume recounts the spread of this religious tradition from the seventh century through the present. This history explains how the origin of Sufism is not solely based on Eastern philosophies but rather emerged from a mix of Eastern as well as Western religious influences. The study also explores Sufism as a ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Editorial Kairos (first published 1964)
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Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The prodigious Work of the Sufis:

The Sufis by Idries Shah offers a wide overview of the historical development of the Sufi Way, through the works of individual masters (many of whom were highly successful polymaths), schools and orders, and through a whole host of fields in which they were engaged or through which their work was projected, such as religion, ethics, learning, science, the arts, traditional psychology and (not least) humour. Though it came to maturity in the classical Islamic era,
منى الجبريني
الكتاب ممتع و شيق في بدايته ، به الكثير من المعلومات عن الصوفية و كذلك عدد من أهم أقطابها ، أيضًا يضم في رحابه الكثير من المعلومات عن ارتباط الصوفية بالماسونية ، الأدب الإسباني و تأثيرها على أوروبا بشكل عام ، كذلك علاقة الصوفية بالكابالا و السحر ، لكن يعيبه تكرار المعلومات في الكثير من الصفحات مما أدى إلى شعوري بالملل أحيانا ، كما أن هناك بعض الفقرات شعرت أنها غير مكتملة ، كذلك المعلومات عن أهم الشخصيات الصوفية ، سطحية و لا تقدم الجديد في ذلك المجال . عامة يُعد الكتاب مفيد بالنسبة لمن يرغب في ال ...more
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is THE book on Sufism as explained to the Western world. I originally read it several years ago, and this book is timeless. I highly recommend it to anyone who is wondering what Sufism is all about.
I loved this. I tend to love books that give me insight into words and the origins of phrases and organisations. At times I must admit that this did sound conspiratorial in places as Idries tried to link the origin of organisations like the Carboneri in Italy and the Freemasons and Knights Templar to Sufiism which I found a little dubious but the way he puts his arguments across it did sound reasonable in certain places. The book is one of the best I have read on the subject. It covers some of t ...more
Aubrey Davis
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Common  sense,  straight  thinking  and  evolution  are  not  typically  associated  with  religion  or  spirituality. But  it’s  scattered  throughout  this  50th  anniversary  edition  of  The  Sufis  by  Idries  Shah.  Not  simply  Islamic  mystics  or  “hairy-footed  metaphysicians”,  the  Sufis  and  their  teachings  took  many  forms  to  suit  the  time,  place  and  people.  Surprisingly,  their  many  insights  anticipate  current  social  scientific  research.  Shah’s  groundbreaking ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I do not recommend this book or this author anymore. Avoid him, in fact.
Without going into details but I have discovered far better, clearer, more closer to the source and available authors since (when referring to the English and French languages that is) namely Titus Burckhardt,Martin Lings,Faouzi Skali, Eva de Vitray-Meyerovitch- among others.

There is a certain smell of someone who doesn't not speak out of lived experience, but rather of books, and specific "romantic" or sentimental interpret
Kevan Bowkett
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

This year (2014) marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of "The Sufis" by Idries Shah -- an event which seems to have clarified a good many puzzles regarding this group of people. A new 50th anniversary edition has just been released by ISF Publishing (

In some ways it seems superfluous to attempt a review of the book. The best thing is to get it and read it. And perhaps reread it, as it includes materials that seem to have
Amira Isa
ليست مراجعة وإنما ملاحظاتي على الكتاب

- يحذر الكاتب من البداية بإنه مالم يكن القارئ صوفياً فلن يفهم الكتاب!!
- الكتاب يقدم ربط تاريخي لجميع الحركات او الجماعات "الصوفية" في العالم
- كثير كثير من التطويل والاسهاب احسست بالملل بعض الأحيان
- شيء من فلسفة وفكر الصوفية
- ركز على اللغة الرمزية للصوفيين وشرح بعض طرق التشفير
- وصف. لطريقة دخول "السالك" اي التلميذ الى جماعة صوفية والمراحل التي يمر بها
-خصص بعض الفصول لاهم الشخصيات الصوفية. لم تقدم جديداً بالنسبة لي
-في مواقع كثيرة من الكتاب المعلومات غير مكت
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam, islam-sufism
“The Sufis often start from a nonreligious viewpoint” says Idries Shah towards the beginning of this book. Religions after all are nothing more than languages, paths, symbols, collections of forms pointing towards something so real that it is beyond form, yet so intimate that it permeates all. Sufism as a name is perhaps unfortunate just as naming divinity carries its own inherent limitations. When we attempt to name or define “God”, we immediately create a set of conceptions, assumptions that a ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shah's first book, now 50 years old and republished, new jacket, new font, available as a PoD, and soon to be issued as an ebook.

It's challenging to review a book in which the author states, ''... All descriptions are useless distortions of the facts. ...'' but anyway.

Within its covers Shah introduces the reader to Sufism, which some take to mean 'Islamic mysticism' yet the author opines, that while many of its leading lights have been members of the Muslim faith, metaphysics actually precedes r
Andrew Boden
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few books I can say definitively changed my life for the better. I remember reading it in university, when I was in the firm grip of western analytic philosophy. I picked up Shah's book and immediately started dissecting it as I would any other academic text. But I'd gone camping alone on an isolated beach and, as I read the first chapter it was as if something in me -- something obscuring, like wearing someone else's glasses -- fell away. I realized, at once, that every philo ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A massive book in terms of ideas and insight, impossible to reduce the content to soundbites in a short review . I first read this book back in the late seventies and it had a major influence on me. It was a a real gem in a time of peculiar cults and superficial views of spirituality. The book is an experience to read and reread and does lead to glimpses of a different way of seeing and experiencing the world. It clearly has a place now in a time perhaps even more full of pointless distractions ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new paper back and e book edition is now out. Paper back Oct 2014 and The e-book just now April 2015.

A compass of learning and teaching impossible to encompass. A book that both by passes and contains the intellect. A book that has changed the way the world looks at the world.
It has cerrtainly changed the way I look out from the 'prison bars,' containing within itself a myriad twinkling stars ready to shine a millimetre further at each reading.
I remember the impact it had on me in the early se
الشناوي محمد اسماعيل  جبر
الكتاب يقع في 600 صفحة، ظننت حينما بداته أنني ساقرأ شيء جديد عن الصوفية إلا أنني للأسف لم أجد الجديد، . الكتاب يبدأ بحكاية رمزية عن الصوفية باعتبارهم ملاك الحقيقة دون غيرهم، وان نسيان الناس للحقيقة الصوفية لا يعني انتفاء وجودها.
ووتحدث عن الصوفية الغربية.
قدم الكتاب سيرة لعدد من أهم أقطاب الصوفية
الكتاب به الكثير من الغرائب، كالعلاقة بين الصوفية والماسونية.
اهتم المؤلف بالنفاذ إلي رمزية قصص وحكايات الصوفية ومن أشهر أصحاب القصص التي شرحها، الشهير (جحا)، فالكاتب يري أن وراء الظاهر للقصص أمور رمزية خ
Dan Sperling
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Until Idries Shah’s seminal book THE SUFIS was published more than a half-century ago, most people in the West knew next to nothing about the subject – and what little they did know was likely to be erroneous. THE SUFIS remedied that so effectively that it remains the definitive work on Sufism to this day, and the world into which it gives a tantalizing glimpse is one of unsuspected breadth, sophistication and relevance to the human condition. With deft scholarship and eloquent prose, Shah shows ...more
Rob Springer
The book review has it wrong. It describes Sufis as "A unique and little-known religion..." Sufism is an outgrowth of Islam. I'm not conversant enough with either to say that Sufism is to Islam as Buddhism is to Hinduism, but the historical connection is there.

As for the book, I read it in 1977 and remembered it for the Nasrudin stories. I bought it recently, and as I started reading it, I realized all the wisdom thyat I remembered must have been in the Nasrudin stories. Outside of those, as mu
Mar 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the pure of heart
One comes away with the idea of Sufi thought, while now closely associated with Islam, as pre-dating and encompassing all known religious thought. Written from the point of view of an adept, one feels one has touched but a tiny piece of something pure and sacred.
سلمى العاقل
وقت طويل ..حتى تمكنت من اكمالهـ
الترجمة سيئة، وهناكـ اطالة في أجزاء كثيرة منهـ..

الصوفيون.. الماسونية... المنظمات السريّة.. كلهم مترابطون.. حتى وإن لم أفهم كيف ذلكـ.؟؟!!.. برابط قديم ؛ وقديم جدا!!!؟؟؟

أسوأ جزء.. أن على المريد أن يتبع شيخهـ الصوفي؛ اتباع أعمى..مهما فعل هذا الشيخ من منكرات؛ فكل مشايخ الصوفية هم سيدنا الخضر.. بالرغم من أن القصة تقول: أن سيدنا موسى، ورغم أن الله هو من أوصاهـ أن يتبع هذا الرجل العليم..مع ذلكـ، لم يمنع هذا سيدنا موسى، من استنكار أفعاله..ولم يرد أي لوم ، لسيدنا موسى على ا
Ulrika Eriksson
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read The Sufis by Idries Shah, 1924-1996, many times since the first time 1996 in my ongoing self bettering work. It was thanks to Doris Lessing, who I also admire immensely, that I found my way to Idries Shah. Sufism is not accessible through ordinary rational and logical thinking and so it can not be understood just by reading books but they can serve as a bridge leading from the ordinary, attenuated or embryonic human consciousness into greater perception and realization, writes Idries ...more
John Richards
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost two decades ago, Doris Lessing wrote: 'I met Idries Shah because of 'The Sufis', which seemed to me the most surprising book I had ever read, and yet it was as if I had been waiting to read just that book all my life. It is a cliché to say that such and such a book changed one’s life, but that book changed mine. That was in 1964. It is a book that gives up more of itself every time you read it, and this is true of his other books, which all together make up a phenomenon like nothing else ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to read this book when I first got it. Quite a few people that I know talk about Indries Shah and his writing. The way the book is written wasn't really all that interesting to me and eventually I became bored. I don't want to be offensive here. There are wonderful parts of this book, but there are also a good number of parts in this book where my eyes glazed over a little bit (especially the many parts where the numerical values and many many definitions of words were laid ...more
Jul 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this interesting, especially with the introduction by The Classicist R. Graves, but the Marx quote referring to religion as the opiate of the masses made me refuse to embrace this middle eastern mindset.

What also brought caution to approach the languages and cultures immediately south and east of the Mediterranean was an innate fear of foreigners, even if couscous tastes nice and Yury taught me how to write allahu akhbar in Farsi so it's not as scary.

What might help assuage my nerves a
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remember Socrates who used to say: “I only know that I know nothing.” The less one knows the easier it is to judge!??:) So, let me say this: I personally love to see Sufism as an organic and evolutionary school of practical philosophy directed by the Teacher of the Age – the most enlightened human being of any particular moment in time. Idries Shah must have been such a teacher. And The Sufis may well be an example of a book written by the Sufi Teacher of the Age. Go now, judge.
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam, sufi-islam
Idries Shah's interesting and sometimes complex book gives a kind of history of Sufism along with some of Christianity's similarities to Sufic thought.
Lenny Hall
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books by Idries Shah
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I checked out The Sufis by Idries Shah on a whim. I ran across it while looking for his English translations of the “Tales of Nasrudin”.

I’ve long been fascinated by the Sufi. The works of Rumi and Omar Khayyám, of Hafiz, Ibn el-Arabi, Ghazali, and Averroës, all had powerful effects on me when I first read them, and each time I reread them. The Sufi exerted a powerful and largely unappreciated influence over the course of Western culture and history.

Mr. Shah is an esteemed author and a Sufi. I th
Aug 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
يحاول إدريس أن يكشف عن جوهر الصوفية التي يرى أنها تتبع كل الديانات دون تفريق بين رسالة سماوية أو غيرها أو بتعبير الحلاج هي «الحقيقة الجوانية لكل الديانات الصادقة» وبالتالي تكون الصوفية دعوة للحب والتسامح في ظل عقيدة الحب بحيث لا يكون هناك غير المساواة والتآخي وفي نهايته سلام، فيتحقق الهدف النهائي للصوفية وهو الارتقاء بالإنسان.
أول ما يلفتنا في هذا الكتاب هو الطابع المعلوماتي الموسع للكتاب حيث يقدم لنا المؤلف رؤية تتسم بالاحاطة ومشهدا ثريا متنوعا حول تجليات الظاهرة الصوفية شرقا وغربا وعبر الأزمنة،
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sufism is a beautiful area of Islam, and for me, this book offered one of the best descriptions of it that I’ve read. I found it quite a heavy read, and had to re-read more than a few sentences, but such is the nature of a book that tries to elucidate in mere words the deeply spiritual Islamic sect of Sufism, which speaks the language of the heart. For that reason, I did find it a difficult read and many of the stories of Nasruddin were a bit beyond me, but it’s a fault I cannot attribute to the ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A comprehensive work with many intriguing historic details, traditional proverbs, tales and sayings. It offers a fascinating and beguiling new perspective on things. Very insightful and thought-provoking.
Mengran Xu
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more I have read on different religions, the more similar they appear to be. My temperament draws me to religions that are intuitive, holistic, and unorthodox. I dislike rigid doctrines, rules, structures, or anything that is too abstract and intellectual. The danger of such an approach is that by systematic training, one only replaces one faulty system with another, albeit less dysfunctional. Truth does not need to be learned—I would argue that truth is always with us, but we need to open o ...more
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Other books on sufism 1 5 Dec 23, 2014 11:53PM  
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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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“It is the message, not the man, which is important to the Sufis.” 109 likes
“The sufis believe that they can experience something more complete.” 42 likes
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