• Edited by Professor L. F. Rushbrook Williams During his lifetime Idries Shah published scores of books aimed at showing lesser-known layers and traditions of the East to the Occidental World. Forming an extraordinary corpus of work, his books span numerous distinct genres and together provide an inclusive course of study. First published almost fifty years ago, Sufi Studies: East and West is a collection of twenty-four papers commissioned at a major symposium in honour of Idries Shah’s services to Sufi studies, on the 700th anniversary of the death of Jalaluddin Rumi. Composed by an array of leading authors, scholars, and thinkers, the wide-ranging spectrum of articles reflect on Shah’s work and contribution to human thought. The documents in this remarkable book highlight Shah’s work from contrasting angles, creating a uniquely three-dimensional appraisal of the corpus – considering how it came to be, what it includes, and how best to harness its material.
  • The Idries Shah Anthology is a special collection of previously published work by Idries Shah, and was edited by Saira Shah. This title includes an Introduction by Saira Shah, as well as comments and annotations throughout the text. Each chapter includes a selection from the works of Idries Shah on topics such as Sufism, Nasrudin, fables, poetry, proverbs, and teaching stories. It includes methods of the masters and themes for study and contemplation. This new compilation of excerpts from the classic texts of Idries Shah will leave you with a new perspective on his work. From the introduction: In his writing about Sufism, Idries Shah did some revolutionary things. Critically, and almost alone, he said that it was possible to divorce the essence of Sufi philosophy from what he insisted were secondary accretions of islamic culture and religion. Moreover, he said, in making this material available to the West, you could not only do this, you must do it. This is because, he believed, you can only absorb materials that are designed for your own time and place. Sufism as an essence may be ‘truth without form’ but, in order to penetrate into the human mind, it must be delivered in a package shaped to fit the receiving culture. ‘When something new enters a culture, there is a period where, like a new object being thrown into the chimpanzee pen at a zoo, all the chimps rush over to touch it, throw it on the floor, fight over it and so on,’ he once told me. ‘We must wait until the dust settles; only then will people be in a position to assess this material.’ My father died in 1996 and the dust is settling fast. He leaves a body of work behind and, on this work alone, he believed, he should and would be judged. This anthology is intended to provide a basic sample of his work, an essential reader, to allow people to do exactly what he would have wished them to do: to think for themselves and to make up their own minds. — From the Editor’s Note, by Saira Shah
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  • ‘Perhaps the best introduction to the body of Shah’s work, the most comprehensively informative. And one is immediately forced to use one’s mind in a new way.’ - The New York Times When it first appeared in 1964, The Sufis was welcomed as the decisive work on the subject: rich in scope, clearly explaining the traditions and philosophy of the Sufis to a Western audience for the first time. In the five decades since its release, the book has been translated into dozens of languages, and has found a wide readership in both East and West. It is used as a text in scores of leading universities around the world, and the material contained within it has been applied by psychologists and physicists, by school teachers, lawyers, social workers, and by ordinary members of the public. Ted Hughes wrote of it: ‘An astonishing book. The Sufis must be the biggest society of sensible men on earth’; and Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said of it: ‘I had waited my entire life to read this book.
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  • Mulla Nasrudin, the wise fool of Eastern folklore, holds a special place in Sufi studies. The Sufis, who believe that deep intuition is the only real guide to knowledge, use the humorous stories of Nasrudin’s adventures almost like exercises. They ask people to choose a few which especially appeal to them, and turn them over in their mind, making them their own. Sufi teaching masters say that in this way a breakthrough into a higher wisdom can be effected. A single story can work on many levels, from great humour to initiating profound thought.
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  • Caravan of Dreams distills the essence of Eastern thought in a feast of stories, sayings, poems and allegories, collected by one of the world’s leading experts in Oriental philosophy. Idries Shah builds up a complete picture of a single consciousness, relating mythology to reality, illuminating historical patterns, and presenting philosophical legends in this unique anthology. Its title is inspired from the couplet written by the Sufi mystic Bahaudin: ‘Here we are, all of us: in a dream-caravan, A caravan, but a dream – a dream, but a caravan. And we know which are the dreams. Therein lies the hope.’
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  • The Way of the Sufi presents an unparalleled cross-section of material from Sufi schools, teachings and classical writings, as a basic course of Sufi study. The author begins with the outward aspects of the teaching most likely to puzzle the student coming fresh to the subject. He considers various attitudes to Sufi ideas, and evidence of their absorption into medieval Christianity, Hinduism, Jewish mysticism and modern philosophical teachings. The greater part of the book illuminates aspects of Sufi activity and practice relevant to the contemporary world.
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  • The appeal of Nasrudin is as universal and timeless as the truths he illustrates. His stories are read by children, by scientists and scholars, and by followers of philosophy. Idries Shah assembled this collection of Nasrudin’s trials and tribulations from ancient manuscripts and oral literature, from sources in North Africa and Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia. Many were known to the great Sufi masters, Rumi, Jami, and Attar the chemist.
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  • Although enormously attractive as sheer entertainment, Dervish tales were never presented merely on the level of a fable, legend or folklore. They stand 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.
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  • Previously published only as separate essays, Sufi Thought and Action – assembled and introduced by Idries Shah – covers an extraordinary diversity of Sufi ideas and activities in many countries and cultures. Included in the volume are papers on Sufi Principles and Learning Methods; Ritual, Initiation and Secrets in Sufi Circles; and Key Concepts in Sufi Understanding. The volume stands as a clear and simple handbook to many facets of Sufi study and thought. Shah’s introduction begins, ‘The object of Sufi spiritual teaching can be expressed as: to help to refine the individual’s consciousness so that it may reach the Radiances of Truth, from which one is cut off by ordinary activities of the world’.
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  • Special Illumination is a term used by the great poet and mystic Jalaluddin Rumi to stress the importance of humour in metaphysical experience. Of it, Idries Shah says, ‘Rumi directly contradicts such numerous sour-faced religionists as, in all persuasions, find that humour disturbs the indoctrination which is all that they usually have to offer.’
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  • Traditionally known as The Hundred Tales of Wisdom, this collection comprises excerpts from the life, teachings and miracles of the Sufi teacher Jalaluddin Rumi, together with certain important stories from his works. As well as being part of the bedrock of classical Persian literature, these tales, anecdotes and narratives are believed, by Sufis, to aid in the development of insights beyond ordinary perceptions. Here, they are translated and presented by Idries Shah.
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  • Many countries claim Nasrudin as a native, although few have gone so far as Turkey in exhibiting a ‘grave’ of the wisest fool who ever lived, and holding an annual Nasrudin Festival. He is the greatest, most intriguing, character of folklore found in any Eastern land. Versions of his back-to-front thinking can be found in Morocco, Egypt and Russia, in Turkey, Greece, Albania and Afghanistan. Since Idries Shah made Nasrudin’s genius available to mainstream Western readers three decades ago, people from every walk of life have laughed at and learned from the wise fool’s inimitable escapades.
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  • Assembled by Idries Shah, The World of the Sufi is a comprehensive collection of learned essays and papers on the subject of Sufi thought. One of the book’s attractions is the way that it considers central questions and areas of study from different angles. Sufi literature, the use of humour, and Sufi communities in various cultural settings, are some of the many subjects discussed. In addition, experts in their fields comment on areas such as Sufism and Psychiatry, Indian Thought and the Sufis, and Therapy and the Sufi. Among the book's contributors are Idries Shah, Doris Lessing, Peter Brent and Dr. Arthur J. Deikman.
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  • Nasrudin is the greatest of all Arab folk heroes, and is found across the Islamic World, from Morocco to Pakistan, and beyond. He is said to have been the wisest fool who ever lived – that is if he ever did live at all. Stories of Nasrudin’s many incarnations are studied by Sufis for their hidden wisdom, and are universally enjoyed for their humour. Sometimes Nasrudin is an impoverished itinerant or stallholder, and at others, he is the mayor, judge, vizier, or even the King. The World of Nasrudin is the fourth book in the corpus written by Idries Shah, and is the last to be published by the celebrated Afghan author.

    Release date: June 2020

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  • Evenings with Idries Shah collected by R. Easterling and Kamil Hafiz The Sufis have been using carefully constructed stories for teaching purposes for thousands of years. Though on the surface these often appear to be little more than entertaining fairytales or folktales, they enshrine -- in their characters, plots, and imagery -- patterns and relationships that nurture a part of the mind not reachable in more conventional ways, thus increasing our understanding, flexibility, and breadth of vision. In this little book, Idries Shah explains the nature of the teaching-story and how the reader might approach this amazing material.

    Release date: August 2020


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  • According to the Sufis, human faculties, although perceptive, are limited: like a radio set, which can receive only certain electromagnetic waves and not other parts of this band. The inability to transcend the barrier of limited senses explains human subjectivity. The Sufis assert that through familiarization with concepts, patterns of thought, and ideas that form part of their contemporary literature, one can learn to penetrate beyond this apparent reality. In Letters and Lectures, the listener will become familiar with the Sufi teaching story and with some of the questions and answers exchanged between the Sufi teacher and his students.

    Release date: August 2020


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