In the Garden of Myrtles: Studies in Early Islamic Mysticism

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1987 - Sufism - 157 pages
Here are the early Sufis themselves. Here are their ascetic practices; their attitudes toward women and marriage, toward food and drink, and toward music and poetry; and here is their ecstatic experience. This is a study in holiness and the love of God, but it is even more a study of men and women overcome by that holiness and love, and locked in the paradox of loving a God who makes vast demands on them. The early Sufis were not seeking consolation. Who they were and what they were after, the reader will discover here.

Topics discussed include the historical background of early Muslim mysticism and the relations between Muslim and Christian ascetics. Andrae suggests parallels drawn from his vast reading in the literature of religious experience, both East and West.

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Selected pages


Islam and Christianity
Solitude and Fellowship The Believer and the World
The Life of the Soul
God the Only God
Trusting and Loving God
Index of Proper Names
Index of Books and Articles
Index of Technical Terms

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Page ix - I am the Truth” was interpreted as ‘I am God' and seen as a stringent proof for his pantheistic outlook; his death at the hand of the government was taken as the model of the martyrdom of those who fight and want to die for an ideal, be it religious or sociopolitical. In fact, the suffering
Page xxii - he was not a man who carried his heart on his sleeve,

About the author (1987)

Tor Andrae was Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Uppsala.

Birgitta Sharpe is a translator and broadcaster, living in Sydney, Australia.

Annemarie Schimmel is Professor of Islamic Studies at Harvard University and author of The Mystical Dimension of Islam.

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