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Muslim Saints and Mystics

The ascetic outlook and practice characterised the life not only of Prophet Muhammad himself, but many of his earliest followers. Even at the height of the spread of Islam and its astonishing military conquests, many leading men withstood all temptation to abandon the austere life of the desert, and their example was admired and emulated by multitudes of humbler rank.
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Details

  • Episodes from the Tadhkirah al-Awliya' of Farid al-Din 'Attar
  • Translated by: A J Arberry
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 388
  • Publisher: Islamic Book Trust (Islamic Book Trust (October 1, 2009))
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:9675062096
  • ISBN-13:978-9675062094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

The ascetic outlook and practice characterised the life not only of Prophet Muhammad himself, but many of his earliest followers. Even at the height of the spread of Islam and its astonishing military conquests, many leading men withstood all temptation to abandon the austere life of the desert, and their example was admired and emulated by multitudes of humbler rank. This book, abridged from the famous Tadhkirah al-Awliya by Farid al-Din Attar, one of Persia's greatest poets, devotes a short chapter to each of the early Sufis.

This book is intended to introduce to the readers such names whose lives reflected the light of the true spirit of Islam.

Sufism is said to be the cultivation of perfect human beings who are mirrors reflecting the Divine Names and Attributes. In Sufism, a perfected human being is also called a wall (saint), a word that literally means 'sincere friend'. All prophets have also been walls of Allah. The mission of Muhammad, peace be upon him, was both absolute sainthood and prophethood.

The saints, each according to his or her own capacity, have drunk from the fountain of Truth. Because they are known only by God, only God can truly know the differences between their spiritual stations. In a hadith qudsi, God says, "My friends (saints) are under my banner; no one knows them but me."

Most people do not have the patience necessary to know the saints, whose deep spiritual experience provided the foundation of their devotional life in Islam. The present work by Farid al-Din 'Attar, the great sufi poet of Iran, is undoubtedly an important one in that it throws much light on the teachings and practices of Sufism.

This book follows our earlier book Men Around the Messenger, and is part of a series of books Islamic Book Trust has started on great Muslims whose lives and teachings would inspire young Muslims to seek guidance from Islam.