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The Essence of Sufism by John Baldock

The Essence of Sufism

by John Baldock

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I am an atheist, but that doesn't prevent me from being deeply interested in the religious beliefs of others. Sufism is an exceptionally interesting religion, representing as it does the mystical arm of Islam. I had no idea that the Sufis had such a troubled and oppressed history, often at the hands of less understanding or compassionate Muslim rulers and demagogues.

Baldock's book is a good introduction to the area, although it reads too much in places like a glossary or encyclopedia. However, my interest is picqued, and I will look for books by the authors he mentions sometime soon. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Aug 4, 2011 |
Good overview of the mystical branch of Islam; positive and non-proselytizing. Here is where I first encountered the amazing quote from Rabi'ah, "O Lord! If I worship Thee in fear of Hell, burn me in Hell; and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, withhold not Thine everlasting beauty!"

She neglected to say anything about those motivated by seventy-two virgins. ( )
  mwhel | Apr 24, 2009 |
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