SUFISM: A SHORT INTRODUCTION William C. Chittick The Sufi tradition commonly associated with the Whirling Dervishes and the profoundly beautiful poetry of the great mystic, is introduced here in a comprehensive and authoritative new guide. William C. Chittick, the leading scholar in this field, offers a compelling insight into the origins, context, and key themes of this fascinating aspect of Islam. After a general overview of the Sufi tradition, he draws upon the words of some of the greatest Sufi writers among them— Ibn ‘Arabi, Baha Walad and Rarni himself— to give a fresh and revealing perspective on the teachings and beliefs of Sufism and its proponents. Areas covered include: • The history and growth of Sufism, and its relationship to Islam. • Elucidation of the major themes of the Sufi worldview— Concept of God, Concept of Man, Sufi Cosmology etc. • The belief, practice and philosophy of Sufism as seen through the eyes of several major figures. • Sufism in the modern world. • The beautiful and captivating qualities of Sufi writings with many examples. • The mystical and spiritual properties of music and dance. This informed and sympathetic book will be appreciated by anyone interested in Sufism, from those who know nothing about it to students, scholars and experts alike


William C. Chittick

William C. Chittick received his education in the US. He holds a PhD in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran. He taught comparative religion in the humanities department at Aryamehr Technical University in Tehran and, for a short period before the revolution, was assistant professor at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He has served as Assistant Editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica at the Columbia University for three years. He has been Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook from 1983 to 1991 where he presently holds the post of the Professor of Comparative Studies. A greatly respected scholar, he has studied Sufism in theory and practice, and has written and translated widely about its various manifestations. He has published numerous articles and books, among them, A Shi`ite Anthology; Imaginal Worlds; Faith and Practice of Islam; The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-Arabi 's Metaphysics of Imagination; The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi; The Vision of Islam, The Heart of Islamic Philosophy and Me and Rumi—The Autobiography of Shams i Tabtki; Ibn Arabi— Heir to the Prophets; The Self Disclosures of God.


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