SUFISM: The Heart of Islam

Sheikh Khaled Ben Tounes, Author, Khaled El Abdi, Translator, Khaled Bentounes, Author . Hohm $17.95 (260p) ISBN 978-1-890772-26-0

Translated from the 1996 French edition by Khaled Elabdi, this balanced book shows Sheikh Khaled Bentounès reflecting on Sufism (Tassawwuf), its relation to Islam and other religions and its relevance to world affairs. In addition to the usual fare of Sufic poetry and customs, contents include testimonials of personal spiritual development, expositions on Tassawwuf as the non-dualistic inner core of Islam and Qur'anic references in support of Tassawwuf's position within an unbroken line of transmission extending from the Prophet Muhammad through the generations (often designated, not necessarily blood line) to the author's own succession. Readers may find this richly developed material challenging as an introduction to either Islam or Sufism, but crisp and occasionally entertaining prose eases the endeavor . ("To have a totally naked master in the Himalayas is more original than a Rolls Royce," writes the sheikh.) Throughout, Sheikh Khaled presents a compelling case for the necessity of tolerance among world religions, which he says present "no contradiction." Tassawwuf, for example, recognizes both Moses and Jesus as Prophets who revealed a divine message appropriate to the age in which they lived. Despite a warm foreword by Father Christian Delorme, Sheikh Khaled is no advocate of syncretism, whatever universalistic claims are made for Tassawwuf. God's message can only be Allah's message. However, Sheikh Khaled's testimonial of a life lived peacefully and prosperously at the heart of Islam will appeal to readers of all faiths. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/28/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
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