• ‘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.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
    Audio Playlist
  • 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.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook   Audio Playlist
  • 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.’
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
    Audio Playlist
  • Small in size, but with a powerful punch, Idries Shah’s Reflections is a collection of fables, aphorisms, and statements that challenge the conditioned mind. The book confronts the reader with unaccustomed perspectives and ideas, in an attempt to set the mind free, to see how things really are. As the book’s foreword states, ‘Do you imagine that fables exist only to amuse or to instruct, and are based upon fiction? The best ones are delineations of what happens in real life, in the community and in the individual’s mental processes’.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook   Audio Playlist
  • 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. This booklet was later included as the introduction to The Way of the Sufi, although Idries Shah regarded it as very important, singling it out as a title to stand on its own.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook   Audio Playlist
  • 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.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook   Audio Playlist
  • In Idries Shah’s Wisdom of the Idiots, the ‘idiots’ are Sufis, called this because their wisdom penetrates to a depth which renders it inaccessible to the merely intelligent or academically-knowledgeable. The exercise-stories of the Sufis are tools prepared for a specific purpose. On this level the movements of the characters in a story portray psychological processes, and the story becomes a working blueprint of those processes. Wisdom of the Idiots has been awarded many prizes, including two gold medals, one for being ‘Best Book’, in conjunction with UNESCO’s World Book Year.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
      Audio Playlist
  • Oriental Magic is recognized as a brilliant study of how, what and why people think, in territories extending from North Africa to Japan. Profusely illustrated, the book is the product of years of research and field-work in a dozen different cultural regions. Its scholarly accuracy and genuine contribution to cultural understanding have made it a key text for anyone interested in informal beliefs, and esoteric practices. The work includes material on Indian alchemy, the Arabian Abjad system, on divination and talismanic charms, and it even contains an ancient Brahmin spell for immortality. "The main purpose of my books on magic was to make this material available to the general reader. For too long people believed that there were secret books, hidden places, and amazing things. They held onto this information as something to frighten themselves with. So the first purpose was information. This is the magic of East and West. That's all. There is no more. The second purpose of those books was to show that there do seem to be forces, some of which are either rationalized by this magic or may be developed from it, which do not come within customary physics or within the experience of ordinary people. I think this should be studied, that we should gather the data and analyze the phenomena. We need to separate the chemistry of magic from the alchemy, as it were."
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
  • A serious, yet entertaining, look at the impediments in current thought which prevent certain forms of understanding between people. The title story was made into an award-winning film with script by Idries Shah, and chosen as an Outstanding Film of the Year. The Dermis Probe comprises a collection of extracts from the written and oral tradition of Eastern thinkers. In his preface, Shah notes, ‘In this book you can find illustrated some of the peculiarities of thought in the country which is today’s world, seen by its inhabitants and by those who call themselves visitors.’
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
  • In a darkened room a group of men once sought to examine an elephant. Taking hold of a different part – an ear, a leg, the tail – each one mistook his particular part for the whole. In the darkness, each of the men became convinced that the elephant was the object he himself had felt – a fan, a rope, a pillar – and so on. With this ancient fable, first described by the Sufi Master Jalaluddin Rumi, Idries Shah presents the Sufi perspective that Christianity and Islam stem from one, inner, origin. Based on Shah’s celebrated Geneva University lectures, this book dazzles with the breadth of its scholarship, and the profound depth of its message. In a world riven by cultural and religious differences, The Elephant in the Dark offers fresh thinking, hope, and the ability to look at what we think we know in new ways.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook   Audio Playlist
  • First published in 1957, Destination Mecca was both an ambitious travel book and a work of ethnographic and cultural research. Shah documents a wide range of fascinating journeys, from his quest for the Gold Mines of King Solomon on Sudan's Red Sea Coast, to encounters in desert caravanserais and sojourns with Mediterranean contraband smugglers, to his time as a personal guest of the elderly King Ibn Saud. As readable now as it was more than fifty years ago, Destination Mecca acts as a beacon for young adventurers and for more sedate armchair travellers.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
  • Thinkers of the East is a collection of anecdotes and ‘parables in action’ illustrating the eminently practical and lucid approach of Eastern Dervish teachers. Distilled from the teachings of more than one hundred sages in three continents, this material stresses the experimental rather than the theoretical – and it is that characteristic of Sufi study which provides its impact and vitality. The emphasis of Thinkers of the East contrasts sharply with the Western concept of the East as a place of theory without practice, or thought without action. The book’s author, Idries Shah, says ‘Without direct experience of such teaching, or at least a direct recording of it, I cannot see how Eastern thought can ever be understood’.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook Audio Playlist
  • First published in 1957, The Secret Lore of Magic contains within it a series of major source-books of magical arts. Many of them translated into English for the first time, these works are annotated and fully illustrated. The book’s title in itself signalled the fact that the bulk of material in this bibliographical study had never been published openly before. Together with Oriental Magic which appeared in the preceding year, it provided a complete survey of fundamental magical literature, and thus a comprehensive reference system for psychologists, ethnologists and others interested in the rise and development of human beliefs. Both books also introduced the general reader to dependable information about what was a shadowy and confusing subject.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
  • 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.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
  • Used for more than seven hundred years as a teaching story, The Book of the Book is one of the most compelling and astonishing texts ever to emerge from the Orient. Its central premise is the simple phrase: ‘When you realize the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.’ When the book first appeared in English thirty-five years ago, its printers questioned how it could be a book, as did reviewers, scholars, and people who paid money to buy it. The Book of the Book is now in its seventh impression, and is studied at university level, appreciated by all for its simple brilliance.
    Available in the following formats:
    amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook
  • Many of Idries Shah’s books are comprised of tales and teaching stories taken from both written and oral sources, which illustrate the instructional methods employed by Eastern wise men for thousands of years. The Magic Monastery differs from its predecessors in that it contains not only traditional tales, mostly unpublished – but also stories specially written by Shah to complete the book as a ‘course in non-linear thinking’. As with all of his works, The Magic Monastery is rich in thought-provoking material, and can be read and enjoyed at many levels.
    Available in the following formats:
      amazonukbuy-button
    Read it for Free
    OPEN BOOK
    openbook