From Publishers Weekly
Despite the popularity of Sufism, few books provide an overview of this mystical branch of Islam— a void Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, fills nicely, albeit briefly, with this concise primer. Sufism teaches that all aspects of life—from nature to other people—are signs of God, and yet the grandeur of God is beyond human comprehension. The goal of each Sufi is to take an inner journey to transcend the human state, to illuminate the dark corners of our soul and reconnect with the inner divinity implanted by God at creation. Nasr's book is not a how-to introduction on removing the veils erected by imperfection, which manifest as evil and block our divine roots, but a wise and tantalizing overview. He also includes a detailed and rare history of the Sufi movement and a brief catalogue of the various Sufi orders. Although readers with no prior background in Sufism may struggle with this rather dense intellectual study of the movement, it provides valuable information about the often overlooked philosophical underpinnings of Sufism along with obscure details that will be fascinating to more advanced practitioners. (Sept.)
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“Despite the popularity of Sufism, few books provide an overview of this mystical branch of Islam— a void Nasr fills nicely with this concise primer. . . . a wise and tantalizing overview.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Sufi mystical heart of Islam is one of the few antidotes to fundamentalism in the Muslim world, and here Nasr looks at the human spiritual quest for the paradisiacal divine garden from a Sufi perspective . . . Eloquent, elegant, and lucid. (Library Journal)