The luminous presence of women who follow the Sufi Way—the mystical path of Islam—is brought to life here through their sacred songs and poetry, their dreams and visions, and stories of their efforts as they witness the Truth in many realms. These writings reflect the honor and respect for the feminine in the Sufi worldview, and they are shared in the spirit of inspiration and hope for the flourishing contributions of women to the spiritual development of humanity. Spanning the centuries, from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day, the selections are by or about an array of Sufi traditions in different parts of the world, from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to Europe and America—from beloved members of the Prophet's family to the mystic Rabi'a al-Adawiyya to the modern scholar Annemarie Schimmel. Biographical anecdotes and personal memoirs provide a glimpse into the experience of great saints and contemporary practitioners alike, while providing an introduction to the principles and practices of Sufism.
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