Mystical Dimensions of Islam

35th Anniversary Edition

By Annemarie Schimmel

With a New Foreword by Carl W. Ernst

544 pp., 6.14 x 9.21, 6 illus., appends., notes, bibl., index

Not for Sale In South Asia or ASEAN countries

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9976-2
    Published: August 2011
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6933-8
    Published: August 2011

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Thirty-five years after its original publication, Mystical Dimensions of Islam still stands as the most valuable introduction to Sufism, the main form of Islamic mysticism. This edition brings to a new generation of readers Annemarie Schimmel's historical treatment of the transnational phenomenon of Sufism, from its beginnings through the nineteenth century.

Schimmel's sensitivity and deep understanding of Sufism--its origins, development, and historical context--as well as her erudite examination of Sufism as reflected in Islamic poetry, draw readers into the mood, the vision, and the way of the Sufi. In the foreword, distinguished Islam scholar Carl W. Ernst comments on the continuing vitality of Schimmel's book and the advances in the study of Sufism that have occurred since the work first appeared.

About the Author

Annemarie Schimmel (1922-2003) was a renowned German scholar of Islam and author of eighty books, including And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety and A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry.
For more information about Annemarie Schimmel, visit the Author Page.


"Schimmel is an undisputed authority in this field. . . . [This] is the most comprehensive and satisfactory survey of the subject, filled with as much empathy and feeling as erudition. . . . Invaluable."--History of Religions

"A truly beautiful book. . . . Radiates an elegance of style. . . . Replete not only with the poetic insight of the author but with her unquestioned scholarly mastery over materials from the vast culture-sphere of Islam."--International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

"Comprehensive, detailed, and combines sophistication in religious studies with high-level competence in the original sources. . . . Provides far more detail, depth of analysis, breadth of geographical coverage, and sustained clear explication and interpretation of individual topics than can be found in any other survey [of Sufism] in English."--Journal of Near Eastern Studies

"A well-balanced and perceptive general introduction to Sufism. . . . It is more than an historical account of the development of Sufism; it also deals with the cultural manifestations of mysticism in Islam."--Contemporary Sociology

"Combines scholarly criticism with sympathetic appreciation. . . . Progresses historically from the rise of Islam to the modern day, with ample commentary and phenomenological discussion." --Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"A superb achievement. . . . The author has read all the mystics in the original, and all the important works by European scholars. Yet this solid scholarship (evidenced also by the very full bibliography) is completely hidden by a charming and eminently readable style, and by a sureness and lightness of touch which retain the interest of the reader and carry him effortless along."--Journal of Semitic Studies