Talat's Reviews > Sufism: A Short Introduction

Sufism by William C. Chittick
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Aug 13, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: sufism
Recommended for: scholars, muslims, sufis
Read in March, 2008

Like my students, I found Chittick's introduction to Sufism captivating, compelling, immediate, and relevant to everday life. Chittick scales the heights of metaphysical Sufism, penetrates the heart of the path of love, and very securely grounds Sufism as the integral dimension of the Islamic tradition that it is. Like, Chittick and Sachiko Murata's "Vision of Islam," the book follows an outline from a classical and widely accepted sound "hadith of Gabriel" that identifies three dimensions of Islam: Islamic practice (expressed in Shari' a); Iman (Faith, expressed in theology); and Ihsan, (doing the beautiful). Chittick explains both the Islamic theory of the manifestation of appearances as either "signs" (of God) or "veils," treats the subject of the divine names with finesse, and crystalizes Ahmad Sam'ani's stunningly simple theory of the of the necessity of Adam's fall. This book is also filled with excellent translations of Rumi and Ibn 'Arabi. "There is no lover and no beloved but God." (Ibn 'Arabi, p. 80) "You are your thought brother, the rest of you is bones and fiber. If you think of roses, you are a rose garden, if you think of thorns, you're fuel for the furnace." (Rumi, on p. 20).
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