‘A beacon of sanity in our age of polarity’*

The Idries Shah Foundation is a charity dedicated to publishing and disseminating the works and ideas of the writer and thinker Idries Shah — and to connecting ideas across disciplines, cultures and history to help bring about a deeper insight into human thought and behaviour. Besides publishing, we are also engaged in a wide range of charitable projects, from supporting education in deprived societies to collaborating with UNESCO to promote stories as the essence of culture.

*John Zada, Los Angeles Review of Books.

Winners of The Horrible Dib Dib Halloween Drawing Competition! Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014We’ve received entries from India and Pakistan, Japan, Germany, the United States. Even Iceland! Explore the largest collection of Sufi literature and teaching-stories in the world Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014For over 40 years, Shah collected and published centuries of Sufi literature, and offered an interpretation of this invaluable resource uniquely framed for our time We publish timeless, beautifully-illustrated stories for children Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014‘These stories…nurture a part of the mind that is unreachable in more direct ways...’
– Robert Ornstein, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Many of Idries Shah’s seminal works have been translated into Dari, Farsi and Turkish Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014You can read all our translations for free on our website. We are working to reseed the material Idries Shah drew upon from the Islamic world Watch ISF’s UNESCO webinar on the Power of Stories hosted by Saira Shah Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014How do stories affect the mind? A diverse group of educators, scientists, therapists and writers address how stories can help us better understand how we think

Tales of the Dervishes Special Edition Hardback by Idries Shah


50% off Tales of the Dervishes Limited Edition Hardback

Get 50% off on our hardback edition of Tales of the Dervishes direct from the Idries Shah Foundation. And remember you can also read the books for free on your tablet or phone via our website wherever you find yourself this autumn.

Explore more from the Idries Shah Library

All Idries Shah titles are available in hardback, paperback, ebook and as audio books. Recent new editions include a selection of illustrated teaching stories for children and The Idries Shah Anthology. Shah’s ground-breaking works on Sufi Studies and Traditional Psychology, including The Commanding Self, can be purchased as bundles.

The True and the False from The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin


The True and the False from The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin

From Idries Shah's The Mulla Nasrudin Corpus

The appeal of Nasrudin is as universal and timeless as the truths he illustrates. His stories are read, enjoyed and shared by children, scientists, scholars and followers of philosophy the world over. Idries Shah assembled perhaps the largest collection of Nasrudin’s trials and tribulations from sources across North Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia. Gradually, these are being absorbed into Western culture. Some are no longer identified as Nasrudin stories at all!

Today’s story is taken from one of Shah’s four collections of infectious Nasrudin stories. ‘The Sufis, who believe that deep intuition is the only real guide to knowledge, use these stories almost like exercises,’ wrote Shah. ‘But [they] concur… that everyone can do with the Nasrudin tales what people have done through the centuries – enjoy them.’

Latest from The Idries Shah Foundation

Find out about our latest projects and exciting publishing initiatives, read our blog – and listen to our popular podcast

Our Impact

Books for Afghanistan

Books for Afghans

We are distributing copies of our Dari translations to Afghans who have fled Afghanistan. 1,000 copies of our children’s books are being printed in the UK for immediate distribution. And 500 copies of our Nasrudin Dari editions are going to local councils, charities and military bases in the UK and USA.

UNESCO Collaboration

UNESCO Collaboration

Thousands of children between the ages of 12 and 18 participated in the ISF-UNESCO’s short story competition. The theme ‘Once Upon a Time in My Future…’ drew entries from as far afield as Chile, Iran and Mongolia. The winners won bespoke medals, ipads and copies of our children’s books for their school libraries.

Taking Sufi Literature ‘Home’

Taking Sufi Literature ‘Home’

The Idries Shah Foundation is making Idries Shah’s books available to readers in Asia and the Middle East, thereby ‘returning’ them to the societies that birthed much of the material he drew from. They are reaching refugees from Afghanistan and Iran – and now Turkish readers.

Explore the Idries Shah Library

Wisdom of the Idiots by Idries ShahWisdom of the Idiots by Idries Shah insert_link Thinkers of the East by Idries ShahThinkers of the East by Idries Shah insert_link Sufi Thought and Action by Idries ShahSufi Thought and Action by Idries Shah insert_link Tales of the Dervishes by Idries ShahTales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah insert_link The Way of the Sufi by Idries ShahThe Way of the Sufi by Idries Shah insert_link The Sufis by Idries ShahThe Sufis by Idries Shah insert_link Caravan of Dreams by Idries ShahCaravan of Dreams by Idries Shah insert_link

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