THE DOCTRINE OF THE SUFIS –
(Kitāb al‑Ta‘arruf li‑Madhhab ahl al‑Tasawwuf by Abu Bakr al‑Kalābādhi)
A. J. Arberry has presented English translation of a classic Arabic text in the history of Sufism, the Mystical aspect of Islam, which is perhaps the most valuable and authoritative compendium of Sufism in print.. It is important because it is the earliest extant text to reconcile the position of Sufism and orthodox Islam and will be of value not only to scholars but also to general readers interested in mysticism and, comparatives religion. The volume consists of five parts: a general introduction on the meaning of the term Sufi and an enumeration of the names of great Sufis; a statement of the tenets of Islam, as accepted by the Sufis; a discussion of the various ‘stations’ of the Sufis such as fear, hope and love: the expressions used by them to designate true mystical experience, union with God; and a discussion of the various phenomena of Sufism. This short work is perhaps the best of the early introductions to Sufi thought and history.