Saturday, August 26, 2006

Reality without a Name

Reality without a Name is a critical examination of a variety of themes and principles that are of relevance to exploring the Sufi mystical path. Using Sufism: A Short Introduction by Professor William C. Chittick as a case study, the present work takes the shortcomings, problems, and errors of the latter book as a starting point for explicating an array of misunderstanding concerning the Sufi spiritual tradition which are prevalent inside and outside of academia. In addition, the present case study seeks to utilize the ensuing discussion to develop a constructive approach to engaging – at least in conceptual terms – the Sufi path. Reality without a Name provides readers with a wealth of material that may, God willing, be of value to readers from various background.

On the one hand, this book will serve as an excellent introduction to the basic teachings of the Sufi path for those with little knowledge of this spiritual tradition. On the other hand, this work offers, hopefully, numerous insights for more advance understandings, as well. God willing, readers, whatever their backgrounds, will be provided with a great many issues upon which to reflect.

The present critique is potentially significant in several respects. Perhaps most crucial among these considerations is that Reality without a Name serves as a warning. All too many students are at risk of being misled and miseducated in relation to both Islam and the Sufi path when books like Sufism: A Short Introduction are permitted to go unchallenged with respect to the problematic and error-filled manner in which the Sufi mystical path is being "explained" through such books. Sufism: A Short Introduction is only one book, but it is emblematic and, therefore, instuctive, concerning much of what is wrong with the way in which certain facets of academia approach 'undrstanding' tasawwuf.

If you would like to order this book, click on the following link:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! William Chittick's books on Islam and Sufism are among the most articulate, accurate, and spiritually inspired to have appeared in the West. I think you have greatly underestimated his work and his level of understanding, which is not simply academic. He has also studied with traditional scholars in the Muslim world. His and his wife's book "The Vision of Islam" is used by the Zaytuna Institute to teach their community about islam, iman, and ihsan. Take a look at a recent review of his "Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul" by another perspicacious Muslim:

I think it is worth revising or abandoning your somewhat pedantic and petty critique of "Shaykh Chittick's" work. He has done so much to revive the Islamic intellectual and spiritual tradition for Muslims and non-Muslims. In fact, we have seen a greater scholar of Islam come from the West

wa'Llahu 'alam,
Abu Abdallah