Idries Shah's definitive work, "The Sufis", completely overturned Western misconceptions of Sufism, revealing a great spiritual and psychological tradition encompassing many of the world's greatest thinkers: Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn El-Arabi, Al-Ghazzali, Saadi, Attar, Francis of Assisi and many others. The astonishing impact of Sufism on the development of Western civilization from the seventh century is traced through the work of Roger Bacon, John of the Cross, Raymond Lully, Chaucer and others. Many of the greatest traditions, ideas and discoveries of the West are traced to the teachings and writings of Sufi masters working centuries ago. But "The Sufis" is far more than an historical account. In the tradition of the great Sufi classics, the deeper appeal of this remarkable book is in its ability to function as an active instrument of instruction, in a way that is so clearly relevant to our time and culture. The spiritual and psychological tradition of Sufism was regarded, before this pioneering book was published, as the preserve of ecstatic religionists and a small number of Oriental scholars, who treated it in the main as a minority cult. The false image of Sufism as a mere Islamic sect was changed so much by this book that it is now given serious attention as a psychological and mystical system of extraordinary richness and importance. Today, studies in Sufism, notably through Shah's research and publication, are pursued in centers of higher learning throughout the world, in the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and many other areas of current human concern. "The Sufis" is the pivotal work which heralded the revelation of the astonishing richness and variety of Sufi thought and its contribution to human culture contained in Idries Shah's many books on the subject.
Religion-Spirituality, Islam, Sufism,