The Way of the Sufi by Idries Shah

‘Like a door opening where one least expects it.’

The New York Times

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 Way of the Sufi 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 Limited Edition, Spanish, Dari, Farsi.


The Way of the Sufi is the best-selling follow-up and complimentary work to Idries Shah’s first landmark book on the subject, The Sufis.

Idries Shah’s, The Way of the Sufi is a compendium of traditional tales, poetry, epigrams, anecdotes and sayings from individual Sufis and Sufi schools over the last millennia. Shah’s work presents an unparalleled cross-section of Sufi teachings—from Morocco to Indonesia—as an introductory and basic course of Sufi study.

Included are biographical sketches of some of the best-known Sufi masters from the classical Islamic period, and descriptions of four of the major Sufi orders: the Chisti, Qadiri, Suhrawardi and Naqshbandi schools. Shah considers attitudes to Sufi ideas, and evidence of their existence in other traditions. Medieval Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jewish mysticism and various modern philosophical teachings, the author shows us, all bear some imprint of Sufi influence.

Shah’s comprehensive and well-sourced introduction conveys the essentially undefinable nature of Sufism, both through what outside observers have in part believed it to be, and also what it is not.

Forming a matrix of disparate yet synergistic materials, The Way of the Sufi illuminates aspects of the Sufi tradition relevant to the contemporary world.

‘[Shah’s] work is as exciting as a good novel.’


‘More wisdom than I have found in any other book this year.’


‘It’s seminal stuff, springing mines of suggestive ideas… A key book.’


‘A great many common Western distortions and misinterpretations are cleared away, and much valuable source material anthologized.’


Additional information

The Way of the Sufi Audiobook: The complete audiobook of The Way of the Sufi, by Idries Shah. Read by David Ault