Al-Qushayri’s EPISTLE ON SUFISM -(Al-Risāla Al-Qushayriyya fī ‘lm al‑Tasawwuf by Abu ’l-Qāsim al-Qushayri)
His Epistle is probably the most popular Sufi manual ever. Written in 437/1045, it has served as a primary textbook for many generations of Sufi novices down to the present. In it, Al-Qushayri gives us an illuminating insight into the everyday lives of Sufi devotees of the eighth to eleventh centuries C.E. and the moral and ethical dilemmas they were facing. One of the most widely read Sufi treatises in Arabic, the Riseila defines classical Sufism through the use of quotations from the Qur’an, the Prophetic Traditions and reference to the exemplary behavior of the ascetics and saints. Al-Qushayri illustrates the principles of Sufism with tales and sayings of the first generations of Muslims and of his contemporaries in the 5th/11th century. Epistle on Sufism is the first complete English translation of the famous compendium of Sufi knowledge and practice by Al-Qushayri. Readers are given a rich account of what Sufism as a way of life implied for the early Muslims. Scholars and students of Islam religion and mysticism will welcome this important new work.