The Shambhala Guide to Sufism  The Shambhala Guide to Sufism  Carl W. Ernst Ph.D.  Books



It's difficult to find a more meticulous introduction to Sufism than the Shambhala Guide. Professor of Islamic studies Carl W. Ernst shows us the many facets of Sufism, from the time of Mohammad to contemporary Sufic leaders. He introduces both the political sphere of Sufism--how the orders have played significant social roles and because of this are persecuted by modern fundamentalists--and the personal sphere--the relationship between master and disciple, the sacred texts, the mystical experience. Ernst also provides critical background information for poetry, music, and dance that is difficult to find in the many Sufi literary anthologies. Shambhala Publications may have gotten more scholarship than they expected from Ernst, but the occasional hairsplitting is welcome for its absence elsewhere in English Sufic literature.

Product Description
The soaring voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the ecstatic dance of the Whirling Dervishes, the rapturous verse of Jalaluddin Rumi—all are expressions of Sufism, often regarded as the mystical tradition of Islam. Who are the Sufis? They are more than mystics; they are empowered by the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad. They are guided by saints and masters. They belong to orders ranging from North Africa and Turkey to India and Central Asia. In addition to prayer and fasting, they practice techniques of meditation. They recite poetry, delight in music, and perform dance, all towards one goal—union with God, the Divine Beloved. This comprehensive introduction clarifies the concept of Sufism and discusses its origin and development. In addition, the author discusses the important issues of Sufism's relationship with the larger Islamic world and its encounters with fundamentalism and modern secularism, along with the appropriation of Sufism by non-Muslims and the development of Sufi traditions in the West.


3 comment (s):

  1. Mo'in said...

    Dear Maryam,

    Thank you very much for sharing this.

    Professor Ernst teaches here in my state of North Carolina, USA. Perhaps I can one day get over his way to listen to a lecture.

    In this book, there is a nice quote from Shaykh Ibn al-'Arabi on the topic of tombs of saints. Professor Ernst, quoting Shaykh Ibn al-'Arabi, writes, "The finding of our hearts in some places is greater than in others...The Saint knows that this is on account of the one who has lived in that place."

    On the page opposite this quote is a very beautiful photograph of the tomb of M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, buried in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. My introduction into sufic Islam took place there. It is a very special place out in the country near Philadelphia.

    Thank you again.

    Kindest wishes,


  2. Maryam said...

    Dear Mo'in,

    Very interesting comment! Thanks. And for sharing where your introduction to Islam happened. All the best always to you,

    Ya Haqq,


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