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A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaikh Ahmad al-Alawi by Martin Lings

105772721_PK-1253382343

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'One of the most thorough and intimately engaging books on Sufism to be produced by a Western scholar.'


'A masterly study of a man whose sanctity recalled the golden age of medieval mystics. In this well documented book Dr Lings draws on many rare sources... and has made some important original contributions.'
--A. J. Arberry

'What Martin Lings adds by way of commentary is of the greatest significance and may serve as a key to a deeper understanding of Islam as a whole.'
--Titus Burckhardt

Martin Lings (born 1909) studied at Oxford and was a pupil and then friend of C S Lewis. He went to Egypt and taught Shakespeare at Cairo University. He then joined the British Museum and was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts from 1970-74. He has written many books and contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica and the New Encyclopedia of Islam.

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'Almost a prerequisite for any serious study of Sufism in European languages': this was the verdict of Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his review of the first edition of the book. According to the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, it is 'one of the most thorough and intimately engaging books on Sufism to be produced by a Western scholar'. Certainly there is nothing second-hand about it. The author lets Sufis speak for themselves and, in a series of unusual and absorbing texts mainly translated from Arabic, he gives a vivid picture of life in a North African Sufi order. Against this background stands the unforgettable figure of the Algerian Shaikh who was head of the order from 1909 until his death in 1934. The last few chapters are mainly devoted to his writings, which include some penetrating aphorisms, and which end with a small anthology of his remarkable mystic poems.

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