The Garden Of Truth The Vision And Promise Of Sufism Islam’s Mystical Tradition
THE GARDEN OF TRUTH
The present book is the result of over fifty years of both scholarly study of an existential participation in Sufism.
Providence has made it possible for me to visit many Sufi sites from the Atlantic to the Pacific, to encounter numerous Sufi masters, to participate in almost countless Sufi gatherings, and to read and study many Sufi works and scholarly writings about Sufism by scholars of both East and West.
My goal in this book, however, is not to present a history of Sufism or just an academic work on the subject, although I have sought to be scholarly to the best of my ability.
My aim is rather to present to the reader a Sufi text written in English and using contemporary language.
In purely academic works, one relies only on written sources or field reports based on external observation, whereas this book, while using written historical sources, issues from the lived reality of Sufism, the experience of Sufi spirituality, the all-important centuries-old oral tradition, and truths that are metahistorical.
I felt obliged to write this book because I believe that after some two centuries of study of Sufism in the West, with the appearance of many translations, analyses,
histories, and some profound expositions of Sufi metaphysics, and given an ever greater interest in Sufism by certain Westerners, it is necessary to write, not just another book about Sufism, but a Sufi book.
It is necessary to present the reality of Sufism as did the authorities of old but in a manner accessible to the present-day serious Western seeker or Western-educated Muslim seeker, even if such a person has no previous knowledge of the subject.
In this book I have dealt with universal truths of interest to those attracted to the life of the Spirit and in light of the human condition in general, presenting them from within the spiritual and intellectual universe of Sufism while providing a means of access to that universe and revealing some of its riches.