James Fadiman & Robert Frager
foreword by Huston Smith
"The Sufis are the mystics of Islam. Every upright Muslim expects to see God after death, but the Sufis arc the impatient ones. They want God now—moment by moment, day by day, in this very life. And they are willing to undergo the disciplines that make that possible. This book presents selections from a multitude of saints and sages whose hearts were opened through the Sufi path."
-Huston Smith, from the Foreword
Essential Sufism is the first broad-ranging, accessible exploration of the treasures produced by a faith that has touched a dozen cultures and endured for over fifteen hundred years. Presenting more than three hundred beautiful and inspirational works from all eras of Sufism, from thousand-year-old prayers to contemporary Sufi poetry, this beautiful collection embraces the full diversity of a rich tradition and reveals the heart of Islamic mysticism.
Written by Sufi prophets, saints, and teachers, these luminous stories, fables, and aphorisms help us to see the love and generosity of God in all of creation, and to experience the love for all things that embodies the Sufi's relationship with God. Voicing a passionate faith that aims to soften hearts hardened by daily life and open them to love, the Sufi tradition as illustrated in these pages teaches us to seek the Divine while remaining engaged in the world, to find our opportunities for spiritual growth, awareness, and generosity, and to realize that there is nothing in this world or the next that is not both loved and loving.
Accompanied by a thoughtful introduction and insightful commentary, Essential Sufism will reach the hearts of the faithful and the curious alike. Readers who fell in love with the joyful poems in The Essential Rumi will find Essential Sufism a delightful introduction to such moving writers as lbn al-Arabi, al-Ghazzali, Hafiz, and Attar. Those seeking instruction in the wisdom of this ancient faith will find Essential Sufism an invaluable companion.