Top positive review
A MUST read in these troubled times. The way Muslims used to be before usurped by the Salafists
2 February 2011
I wrote the following review back in 2001
It is shown here but states 'A Customer', so i've decided to add to it, and of course credit myself (as Amazon removed users after an upgrade of software a while back)
"...Professor Schimmel has wriiten an excellent book detailing all aspects of Islamic Mysticism and Sufism. Covering major figures, ideas, philosophies, comparisons, politics, mystical poetry, extensive bibliography, footnotes and full appendix. Informative to an extreme and possibly the best book ever written on the subject - with the author being a renowned respected scholar. Not a 'sufis guide to sufism' or critical 'hate mongers' analysis - it is a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of Islamic Mysticism and proves it in the bare informative and enlightening way it is written...."
I would like to add that I read this book, and used it to study, as part of my 2nd Year at SOAS in 1994.
Since the review was written I have re read it, and have marvelled over the way in which Professor Schimmel (the Late Great) has written gems of knowledge either forgotten or unknown amongst the youth and younger persons of today.
The fact that 'Classical' Islam is the focus here is very important. Modern Muslims, especially the younger generations, moved by Politics and Wahabist Salafist Saudi ideology are ignorant of Classical islam and I'm sorry to say Hostile to it too.
Reading such a beautifully written book about aspects of a religion which Gnostics and Christians as well as Hindu's, Shamans, Buddhists and Zoroastrianss can relate to would be beneficial to anyones life and will give an insight into the truth behind a religion which is demonised, and which springs to mind images of veils, burka's, zealotry, jacked up trousers, beards, mullahs and nutters!
There's much to be marvelled at and wisdom to be gained, and further information to be sought for, after reading this book.
I believe there are elements of truth in all religions, and the fact that Islamic Mysticism has much in common with beliefs around the four corners of the globe make one into a Deist for sure, and no amount of Dawkins or Hitchens can sway ones thoughts ever again.