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Publisher's Summary

When it first appeared in 1964, The Sufis was welcomed as the decisive work on the subject of Sufi thought. Rich in scope, author Idries Shah explained clearly the traditions and philosophy of the Sufis to a Western audience for the first time. In the five decades since its release, the book has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and has found a wide readership in both East and West. Containing detailed information on the major Sufi thinkers, and literary characters, such as Nasrudin, it is regarded as a key work on both Sufism and Eastern Philosophy. A text in scores of leading universities around the world for courses on Sufism, Eastern thought, and Islamic philosophy, The Sufis has been used by psychologists and physicists, by school teachers, lawyers, social workers, and by ordinary members of the public.

©1964 The Estate of Idries Shah (P)2016 The Idries Shah Foundation

What listeners say about The Sufis

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The Sufis is laudable and audible and readable

In my ongoing self-bettering work I have read The Sufis many, many times since the first in 1996. The Sufis is a book about Sufism from an inside perspective and when it first came out in the west 1964 there were no other books like it. What was written about Sufism was written by scholars and orientalists from an outside perspective.
The Sufis records Sufism's influence on human society in Asia, Europe, India, Japan and China, mainly from the 7th century and onwards but Sufism is part of human history right from its beginning. Some periods, like ours, it has been able to work more in the open than others. Important Sufis like Rumi, Ibn el Arabi, Saadi of Shiraz, Ghazzali, Khayyam and many others are presented.
Sufism is not accessible through ordinary rational and logical thinking and so it cannot 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 Shah. So I keep on reading. Shah also stresses the necessity for the seeker to find a guide, a task with many pitfalls.
Many thanks to The Idries Shah foundation for relaunching the works of Idries Shah, both in printed form and as eBooks.

9 people found this helpful

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Deep insightful book with knowledgeable interesting facts

The narrator of this book is awesome he conveys the knowledge information mood feeling and desire from the author. I highly recommend this book to anybody that wants information about the Sufis and about the path the narrator is fantastic and conveys the information accurately and easy to understand this was a great book great listen thank you audible thank you David

1 person found this helpful

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The book to read for those interested in the topic

Idries Shah's The Sufis is an absolute must read if you have a suspicion that we are living in a world of more than three dimensions and we aren’t aware of a lot of it. Or, if you like the poetry of Sufis like Rumi or Khayyam and would like to know more about what they portray. It is a large, lively tour de force by a real Sufi who has firsthand knowledge. In a variety of ways, the book provides tons of interesting information about familiar and unfamiliar people and concepts but doesn’t devolve into intellectualism or emotionalism. The subject matter covers an expanse of thousands of years and predates the categories that it is often pigeonholed into.

I've read the print version several times since the 1970's and just finished the Audible version read by David Ault. The book is long and was a good companion on my walks. Ault has a nice voice and it was nice to hear the proper pronunciation of some unfamiliar words.

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Simply Remarkable

Story, history, and truth all waved together for the consumption of the seeker. Thank you!

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Incredibly INsightfull and illuminating Sufism

I first read this in the mid 1970’s. Powerful then and after all these years and all the spiritual practices this body has been through, even more powerful!

I highly recommend this for any seeker of Truth/GodAnswers. Interfaith inclusion is beautiful.

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One of the most interesting books eve

This is one of my favorite books ever. It’s so long and detailed that I have been listening to it for more than a year when I can’t sleep. It has so much information in it and is so dense and thorough that I am starting to get a real feel for the Sufi’s. I feel like I could listen to it for years and keep learning something new.

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David butchers names, Persian and Arabic lines

That is the only and a big problem. He simply cannot say Muslim names, Persian and Arabic lines he quotes. It is such a pity because he has done really well otherwise.
About the book, I believe Shah spends way too much time about the meaning and origins of the names of the Sufis he talks about. Really who cares so much about that.
Other than that, book is great after one painfully passes the initial few chapters that are dry and technical about the topic of Sufism.

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  • BEHNAZ
  • 02-02-17

One prespective

I usually have problem when people try to describe sth through one prespective! For e that becomes superstitious! and I think the reader should be a person who knows how to read persian poet!