The Magic Monastery by Idries Shah

‘…particularly and intriguingly informative…’

Doris Lessing

Available worldwide in all formats – including ebook and audio – on Amazon. In the USA go to, in the UK, in India You can also order The Magic Monastery in paperback and hardback from your local bookstore — and in the UK and USA we also recommend; and in Australia and New Zealand Booktopia. ISF also publishes an edition in Spanish.

A colourful compendium of tales, drawn from written and oral sources, which illustrate the instructional methods employed by Eastern wise men for thousands of years.

The Magic Monastery is a collection of entertaining teaching stories taken from the Sufi mystical tradition. The book differs from its predecessors in that it contains not only legends and fables, but also stories specially written by Shah to complete the book as a ‘course in non-linear thinking’.

The work, whose subtitle is ‘Analogical and Action Philosophy of the Middle East and Central Asia’, Shah tells us, ‘consists of a representative cross-section of Sufi teaching which constitutes a harmonised whole rather than a selection of typical extracts.’

As with all of his books, The Magic Monastery is rich in thought-provoking material, and can be read and enjoyed at many levels.

‘…an enormous amount of common sense.’

Worcester Evening News

‘You won't be quite the same person when you have read this book.’

Kingston Borough News

‘…remarkable for its precise response to the real and inner needs of the time.’

The Observer Review, Book of the Year

‘…offers much in the way of contemplation and hope, a respite from the ills of modern society.’

Huddersfield Daily Examiner

‘…the manner in which Sufi practice, with its devastating criticism of purely academic learning and its continuing Socratic search for truth at any cost, exercises a powerful appeal to many thoughtful people in the West.’

Journal of Asian Affairs

‘The Sufis transmit knowledge through direct intuition rather in the manner of the Zen masters, and one of the chief means of doing this is by means of brief stories and parables which work their way into the subconscious and activate its hidden forces.’

Colin Wilson