يا رب إجعل إرادتنا من الأشياء و الأسباب لا قشورها بل جوهرها، و أنزع لنا كئوسنا لتتوهج أكواننا الصغيرة كالمصابيح الكبيرة، ويصير في وسع كل واحد منها أن يضيء ألف مصباح

السهروردي في “لا تسقني وحدي” لسعد مكاوي

“Dear God, make our will emanate from the essence of matters and purposes not from their appearance. Spare us our cups so that our humble worlds may radiate like great candles and each candle may light a thousand candles”
Suhrawardi in Saad Mekawi’s “Don’t Fill Me a Solitary Cup”

In a series of 7 articles in Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, Dr. Youssef Ziedan beautifully introduces how the Sufis view the world.

In case this is the first time you hear of Dr. Ziedan, he is a history scholar and head of the Manuscripts Department at the Bibleotheca Alexandrina. He is also a novelist with two must read gems out so far- “Azazeel” (Belzubub) and “Fe Zel Al-Afaa” (Shadow of the Serpent)- and another one called Al-Nabti (The Nabtian)on the way as well as a high anticipated study called “Arabic Theology and the Origins of Religious Violence”.

This last year I reviewed Azazeel, wrote about one of its discussions, and interviewed Dr. Ziedan afterwards.

But more recently I have been reading reprints of some of his brilliant revisions of Sufi literature, and this series about Sufism that he just finished in which he highlighted the major aspects of Sufi thought. So I collected them in this pdf (The Sufi Outlook) for anyone to download without going through the trouble of reading them online. I hope some of you find this little effort useful.

This week Ziedan started a new series where he goes into his pick of the gems of Sufi literature. Part 1 was published this Wednesday.


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