Essential Sufism (Essential Series)

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9780062514745: Essential Sufism (Essential Series)

Foreword by Coleman Barks

Readers across the country have fallen in love with the joyous poetry of Rumi and other Sufi poets. Yet their poems are only a few of the jewels within the little-known treasure house of Sufi writings and wisdom – the sacred texts, exuberant verse, and profound meditations and prayers that are both the foundation and fruit of a rich and complex 1,500 year old tradition.

Drawing together the most important – and the most beautiful – poems, prayers, proverbs, essays and meditations from the many Sufi traditions, Robert Frager and James Fadiman guide readers through the basics – What is a Sufi? What do Sufis do? They also profile the key teachers, artists, and philosophers of Sufism, its history, its beliefs, and its modern-day flowering. Thoughtful commentary and a foreword by Coleman Barks (translator of The Essential Rumi) are provided for the reader knowledgeable in Sufism as well as a newcomer.

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Review:

‘A new resource, a treasure of jewels in the tradition of Sufi soulwork. I really love and value this book.’
Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi

From the Back Cover:

ESSENTIAL SUFISM

'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 helps 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 Ibn al-Arabi, al-Ghazzali, Hafiz, and Attar. Those seeking instruction in the wisdom of this ancient faith will find 'Essential Sufism' an invaluable companion.

"The Sufis are the mystics of Islam. Every upright Muslim expects to see God after death, but the Sufis are 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 Foreward

WHAT IS SUFISM?

"The Sufis have helped to open the world's heart. James Fadiman and Robert Frager have been loving and teaching this material for many years. The range and depth of understanding here is amazing. This is a new resource, a treasure of jewels in the tradition of Sufi soul-work. I really love and value this book."
COLEMAN BARKS, author of 'The Essential Rumi'

"Whatever you have in your mind – forget it; whatever you have in your hand – give it; whatever is to be your fate – face it!"
AB SA'D IBN AB-I-KHAYR

"The thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it."
BAYAZID BISTAMI

"The Sufis are folk who have preferred God to everything, so that God has preferred them to everything."
DH-I-NN

"I have heard tell of a seeker who went to ask a sage for guidance on the Sufi way. The old man said to him: 'If you have never trodden the path of love, go away and fall in love; than come back and see us.'"
ANONYMOUS

"According to many Sufis, the essential truths of Sufism exist in all religions. The foundation for all mysticism includes the outer forms of religious practice, plus a life based on moral and ethical principles. The roots of the tree of religion are founded in religious law…The branches of the tree are mysticism…The fruit of the tree is the Truth, or God."
from the Introduction

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