Watch our animated ‘Tale of the Sands’

We all fear change and yet change is the very essence of life. How does a stream cross the mighty, desolate desert? Can it allow itself to change its very form to survive the journey?

Hand-Printed Idries Shah Teaching-Stories

Next year is the centenary of Idries Shah’s birth in 1924. To celebrate, we’re excited to announce the creation of five hundred hand-printed folios of Idries Shah’s best-loved teaching-stories. There are five stories in all and just 100 copies of each have been printed. Each is a Sufi classic tale collected and previously published by … Read More

Ibn El-Arabi: A Classical Sufi Master

Ibn El-Arabi: A Classical Sufi Master by Peter Brent Born into a Sufi family almost exactly a hundred years after El-Ghazali, almost exactly forty years before Rumi, Ibn el-Arabi, like them, displayed great gifts even in childhood. Brought up in the heyday of Arabic Spain (paradoxically, one of the most civilised societies in European history) … Read More

The Use of Sufi Stories by Idries Shah

The following excerpt is from a lecture by Idries Shah about the Sufi use of stories. It is a good example of how he used stories in context, in this case to explain something of the role of stories themselves – Saira Shah, Editor, The Idries Shah Anthology THE TEACHING STORY by Idries Shah I … Read More

Patti Schneider 1934-2023

We’re sad to announce the passing of ISF’s friend, Aubrey Davis, the Canadian writer and master storyteller.

A Modern Hagiography of Rumi: The Hundred Tales of Wisdom

In 1978 Idries Shah published The Hundred Tales of Wisdom, subtitled, “Tales, anecdotes and narratives used in Sufi schools for the development of insights beyond ordinary perceptions.” The work is a pastiche of snippets and vignettes from the life of Jalaluddin Rumi, and a handful of certain important stories from Rumi’s own canon of written … Read More

Rumi’s Enduring Influence

We visit the tomb of the 13th century Afghan-born Sufi, Jalaluddin Rumi, in Konya, Turkey. Idries Shah drew extensively from his teaching, adapting Sufism — just as Rumi did — to his time and environment. Watch the video below or in Full HD on YouTube

The Meaning of Rumi’s Work

The Meaning of Rumi’s Work by Peter Brent
Jalaluddin Rumi, whom Sufis call ‘The Master’ and Professor Fatemi entitles ‘The Light of Sufism’, was born in Balkh, now in Afghanistan, in 1207. His father was a famous scholar and theologian, so that Rumi’s early training was in the rigorously classical and logical modes.

Rumi in ‘The Way of The Sufi’

Jalaludin Rumi’s major work, generally considered to be one of the world’s greatest books, is his Mathnavi-i-Maanavi (Couplets of Inner Meaning). His table-talk (Fihi Ma Fihi), letters (Maktubat), Diwan, and the hagiography Munaqib el-Arifin, all contain important parts of his teachings. The following selections, from all of these sources, are meditation-themes which can be taken … Read More