The Spirituality of the Sufi Path – William C. Chittick


I understand Sufism as a dimension of  the Islamic tradition that stresses the need to undergo spiritual transformation. Those who wanted to achieve transformation typically undertook specific practices and disciplines known as the Ṭarīqa (al-ṭarīqa), “the Path,” one of the words by which Sufism was commonly designated. Many guides on the Ṭarīqa never put pen to paper and were remembered only because of  their influence on contemporaries or later generations. Others entered into the ranks of  the most prolific authors of Islamic history. The primary literature is vast and extends into the modern period, with many Sufi teachers active today (Chittick 2000). Any attempt to survey the major branches of  the Ṭarīqa, not to speak of  the famous authors, would go far beyond the bounds allotted to this chapter. I can only hope to describe in barest terms the theory and practice of  the Sufi path as explained in classical texts.

The Spirituality Of The Sufi Path (Chittick)