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Recommended sufi books

From: (Fouad Haddad)
Subject: Recommended sufi books
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 1996 16:21:24 -0500

>can anyone recommend me good books on tasawwuf for a beginner like myself? 
>all suggestions are most appreciated.

The following books related to tasawwuf in English are recommended:

As a very general and easy introduction there is this handsome
illustrated booklet:

        - "Sufism: The Alchemy of the Heart"
          The Little Wisdom Library.
          San Fransisco: Chronicle Books, 1993. hardback.

I. Books related to the person and manners of the Prophet (s)

Many masters have defined the essence of tasawwuf as the knowledge of
the states of the Prophet (s).  The best book in English on this topic is:

        - "Muhammad Messenger of Allah: ash-shifa of Qadi Iyad"
          Trans. Aishah Abdarrahman Bewley
          Granada, Spain: Madinah Press, 1991. hardback.

There is also the following book on the physical characteristics of the 
Prophet (s).  The English is not always readable, but it is a useful and 
unique compilation of a very specific kind of authentic hadiths:

        - "Shamaa'il Tirmidhi"
          [Hadiths on the Prophet's Characteristics compiled by Tirmidhi]
          Trans. Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelwi
          Delhi: New Era Publishers, 1994. hardback.
          U.S. and U.K. editions widely available.

On love of the Prophet (s) there is the following invaluable small book

        - "Muhammad the Beloved Prophet" by Muhammad Iqbal
          Trans. Khurshid Ahmad, Aftab Ahmad
          Montreal, Canada: Aftab Ahmad 1989, PO Box 273, Cartierville,
          Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4K 2J6. paper.

To many the best biographical work on the Prophet (s) in English is:

        - "Muhammad: His Life From the Earliest Sources" by Martin Lings
          0-04-297042-3. hardback.

II. Books related to the sayings of the sufi masters:

Of classical sufism:

        - "Revelations of the Unseen" by Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
          Trans. Muhtar Holland
          Houston: al-Baz Publishing, 1992. paper.

        - "The Book of Knowledge" by al-Ghazali
          Trans. Nabih A. Faris
          ISBN 0-935782-54-0. hardback.

        - "Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship" by al-Ghazali
          Trans. Muhtar Holland
          ISBN 0-86037-125-5. paper.

        - "Principles of Sufism by al-Qushayri
          Trans. B.R. von Schlegell
          ISBN 0-933782-20-9. paper.

        - "The Way of Sufi Chivalry" by al-Sulami
          0-89281-317-2. paper.

Of contemporary sufism:

        - "The Naqshbandi Sufi Way: History and Guidebook of the
          Saints of the Golden Chain" by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
          Chicago: KAZI Publications, 1994. Heavily illustrated, hardback.

        - "Mercy Oceans" Books 1-7 by Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi
          reprints by KAZI Publications. paper.

        - "Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi Master" by Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak
          Pir Books. hardback.

        - "Love is the Wine" by Shaykh Muzaffer.
          Pir Books. paper.

        - "A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi"
          by Martin Lings
          George Allen & Unwin, 1973. paper.

        - "Letters of a Sufi Master: The Shaikh al-`Arabi al-Darqawi"
          Trans. Titus Burckhardt
          Bedfont, U.K.: Perennial Books, 1987. paper.

        - "Key to the Garden" by Shaykh Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad
          (d. 1995)
          Trans. Mostafa al-Badawi
          London: Quilliam Press, 1990. paper.

        - "The Book of Assistance" by Imam Abd Allah ibn Alawi al-Haddad
          (d. 1720)
          Trans. Mostafa al-Badawi
          London: Quilliam Press, 1989. paper.

and many more.

Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his family, and his Companions

Fouad Haddad
Naqshbandi-Haqqani Foundation of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a

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