‘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.

The Horrible Dib Dib Halloween Drawing Competition! Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014If you can draw a really scary, dastardly, horrible Dib Dib in time for Halloween, then this is the competition for you! 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

Reflections by Idries Shah


40% off Reflections

Get 40% off on our paperback pocket-size edition of Reflections 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 summer.

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 Lamb with the Golden Fleece from World Tales


The Lamb with the Golden Fleece from World Tales

Once upon a time – in 1979 to be exact – Idries Shah published a remarkable volume of 65 stories, entitled World Tales. He had collected them from around the world – some from ancient sources, others from contemporary ones. Yet they all shared one common factor: in each case, the tale could be found in similar forms in disparate cultures that appeared to have no connection with one another. One story, for example, was popular in Scotland and also pre-Columbian America simultaneously. ‘One feels a truly living element in them which is startlingly evident when one isolates the “basic” stories; the ones which tend to have travelled farthest,’ wrote Shah. Today’s story is drawn from this timeless collection. Read it, pass it on – and become a part of its journey. Who knows where it will travel next?

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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Some of the organisations with which we collaborate and whose work is important in the fields of Literacy, Imagination and the Humanities