Books on Sufism: Recommended by Dr. Abou El Fadl

Note: [Republished from the Scholar of the House website] The books listed below were selected by Dr. Abou El Fadl from a comprehensive bibliography of Islamic Studies books compiled by Professor Patrick O'Donnell, published in 2003. Books published after 2003 are not included. [Go to the complete comprehensive bibliography by Professor O'Donnell.] 


Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced designations were determined by Dr. Abou El Fadl. Placement of a book within this section was determined by Professor O'Donnell.





Baldick, Julian. Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufism. Washington Square, NY: New York University Press, 1989.

Chittick, William C. Sufism: A Short Introduction. Oxford, England: Oneworld, 2000.

Chittick, William C., trans. and ed. The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1983.

Ernst, Carl W. Words of Ecstasy in Sufism. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1984.

Lings, Martin. A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, Shaikh Ahmad al-'alawi: His Spiritual Heritage and Legacy. London: George Allen & Unwin, 2nd ed., 1971.

Lings, Martin. What is Sufism? Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1993 (reprint ed.).

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Sufi Essays. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2nd ed., 1991.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. Dogs from a Sufi Point of View. London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 1989.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. The Psychology of Sufism. New York: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 1992.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. Spiritual Poverty in Sufism. London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 1984.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. Sufism: Meaning, Knowledge and Unity. New York: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 1981.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. Sufi Symbolism, 5 Vols. London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 1984-1995.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. Sufi Women. London: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 2nd ed., 1990.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. In the Tavern of Ruin: Seven Essays on Sufism. New York: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publ., 2nd ed., 1992.

Sells, Michael A. Early Islamic Mysticism: Sufi, Qur'an, Mi'raj, Poetic and Theological Writings.Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1996.




Abdel-Kader, Ali Hassan. The Life, Personality and Writings of al-Junayd: A Study of a Third/Ninth Century Mystic with an Edition and Translation of his Writings. London: Luzac & Co., 1976.

Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. The Tijaniyya: A Sufi Order in the Modern World. London: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Addas, Claude. Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn 'arabî. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1993.

Affifi, Abu'l-A'la. The Mystical Philosophy of Muhyîd'Dîn Ibnul-'arabî. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1936.

Andrae, Tor. In the Garden of Myrtles: Studies in Early Islamic Mysticism. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1987.

Chittick, William C. Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-'arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995.

Chittick, William C. The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-'arabi's Cosmology. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1997.

Chittick, William C. The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-'arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1989.

Chittick, William C., ed. Faith and Practice of Islam: Three Thirteenth Sufi Texts. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Chittick, William C. and Peter Lamborn Wilson, trans. Fakhruddin 'Iraqi--Divine Flashes. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1982.

Chodkiewicz, Michel. The Seal of the Saints: Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn 'arabi. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1993.

Coates, Peter. Ibn 'arabi and Modern Thought: The History of Taking Metaphysics Seriously. Oxford, UK: Anqa Publ., 2002.

Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'arabi. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Corbin, Henri (Nancy Pearson, trans.). The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism. Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 1978.

Corbin, Henry (Joseph H. Rowe, trans.). The Voyage and the Messenger: Iran and Philosophy.Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1998.

Cornell, Vincent J. Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1998.

Cornell, Vincent J. The Way of Abu Madyan. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1996.

Eaton, Richard M. Sufis of Bijapur, 1300-1700: Social Roles of Sufis in Medieval India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978.

Ernst, Carl W. Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1992.

Ernst, Carl W. Ruzbihan Baqli: Mystical Experience and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism.London: Curzon Press, 1996.

Ernst, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1997.

Ernst, Carl W. and Bruce B. Lawrence. Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South Asia and Beyond. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Ibn 'ata' Allah al-Iskandari (Mary Ann Koury-Danner, trans.). The Key to Salvation: A Sufi Manual of Invocation. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1996.

Knysh, Alexander. Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2000.

Lawrence, Bruce B., ed. Nizam ad-din Awliya--Morals for the Heart. New York: Paulist Press, 1992.

Lawrence, Bruce B. Notes from a Distant Flute: Sufi Literature in Pre-Mughal India. Tehran: Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, 1978.

Mason, Herbert. The Death of al-Hallaj: A Dramatic Narrative. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991 (originally published, 1979).

Mason, Herbert W. Al-Hallaj. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1995.

Murata, Sachiko. Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light: Wang Tai-Yü's Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chih's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000.

Netton, Ian Richard. Sufi Ritual: The Parallel Universe. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000.

O'Fahey, R.S. Enigmatic Saint: Ahmad Ibn Idris and the Idrisi Tradition. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1990.

Renard, John, S.J., trans. Ibn 'abbad of Ronda: Letters on the Sufi Path. New York: Paulist Press, 1988.

Renard, John. All the King's Falcons: Rumi on Prophets and Revelation. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994.

el-Sakkakini, Widad. First Among Sufis: The Life and Thought of Rabia al-Adawiyya, the Woman Saint of Basra. London: Octagon Press, 1982

Schimmel, Annemarie. As Through a Veil: Mystical Poetry in Islam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.

Schimmel, Annemarie. I Am Wind, You Are Fire: The Life and Work of Rumi. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1992.

Schimmel, Annemarie. Mystical Dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

Schimmel, Annemarie. The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi. London: Fine Books, 1978.

Schimmel, Annemarie. A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.




Ibn al-'arabi (R.W.J. Austin, trans.). Bezels of Wisdom. New York: Paulist Press, 1980.

Ibn al-'arabi (Cecilia Twinch and Pablo Beneito, trans.). Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries.Oxford, UK: Anqa Publ., 2001.

Ibn al-'arabi (Rabia Harris, trans.) Journey to the Lord of Power: A Sufi Manual on Retreat.Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1981.

Ibn al-'arabi, Muhyiddin (Raghavan Iyer, ed., with introductory essay by Elton Hall). The Seals of Wisdom (ten selections from the Fusus al-Hikam). Santa Barbara, CA: Concord Grove Press, 1983.

Ibn al-'arabi (Pablo Beneito and Stephen Hertenstein, trans.). The Seven Days of the Heart: Prayers for the Days and Nights of the Week. Oxford, UK: Anqa Publ., 2000.

Ibn al-'arabi (R.W.J. Austin, trans.). Sufis of Andalusia: The Ruh al-quds and Al-Durrat al-Fakhirah.London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971.

al-Jilani, Hadrat 'abd al-Qadir (Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, interpretative trans.). The Secret of Secrets. Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 1992.

Milson, Menahem, trans. A Sufi Rule for Novices: Kitab adab al-muridin of Abu Najib al-Suhrawardi.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973.

Siraj ad-Din, Abu Bakr. The Book of Certainty: The Sufi Doctrine of Faith, Vision and Gnosis.Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Texts Society, 2002.

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