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Rare glimpses of two 20th-century Sufi saints are offered in this work: the eminent Shaykh al-Alawi and the lesser-known woman saint Fatima al-Yashrutiyya, both of whom continued on the Sufi path even as they watched their worlds crumble. Shaykh al-Alawi's influence was pivotal to the spiritual development of Thomas Merton, who looked to al-Alawi's writings and teachings in his own practice (see Fons Vitae's Merton and Sufism). Fatima al-Yashrutiyya is an example of a literate Muslim woman living a public spiritual life. Readers will see a new side of the Sufi Path from her uncompromising viewpoint, and can catch an uncommon glimpse of life in the early 20th century for a spiritual seeker, writer, and self-educated woman in the Muslim world. These translations represent Islam in its esoteric dimension and raise issues of regional unrest and colonial intervention that are still relevant. Through the words of these two saints, the world of the Sufi brotherhood is opened, revealing an underlying theme of the oneness of God.
Translated by Leslie Cadaver
Introduction by Seyyed Hossein Nasr