Teachings of Sufism


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In Carl Ernst's well-received Shambhala Guide to Sufism, he laments the scarcity of traditional Sufi texts in English. In Teachings of Sufism, Ernst sets out to make amends. His reach is broad, spanning three languages, 10 centuries, and numerous countries and cultures. He divides his brief texts into sections such as Spiritual Practice, Mastery and Discipleship, and Lives of the Saints, with special attention given to his section on listening to sacred music, which "becomes a way of transporting oneself back to that moment of harmony with God in pre-eternity." Also included are selections on lives of Sufi women and the prominent role of the Qur'an in Sufi mysticism. A scholar first, Ernst never himself crosses the line into sectarianism or proselytizing in his introductions, but the unflagging devotion that imbues the pages of his translations is enough to attune anyone's ear to the divine music of life.


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