‘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.

With Sufi ideas under threat ISF is reseeding them through its translations project Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate for Peace 2014‘In many Islamic countries, the Sufi outlook is increasingly under threat.’ ISF is working to renew this ancient tradition. 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

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 Wayward Princess from Tales of the Dervishes


The Wayward Princess from Tales of the Dervishes

Although enormously attractive as sheer entertainment, Dervish tales were never presented merely on the level of a fable, legend or folklore. They stand in comparison in wit, construction and piquancy with the finest stories of any culture, yet their true function as Sufi teaching stories is so little-known in the modern world, that no technical or popular terms exist to describe them. The material in Tales of the Dervishes is the result of a thousand years of development, during which Dervish masters used these and other teaching stories to instruct their disciples. The tales are held to convey powers of increasing perception unknown to the ordinary man.

‘For every decade we live, we will find another meaning in each story’ – Desmond Morris, BBC The World of Books

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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