Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A sample of sufi poetry -- for students in HIST 3805

For non-Muslims in countries that are historically non-Muslim, understanding the sufi tradition in Islam is perhaps difficult.  It's mystical -- concerned with direct contact with God -- rather than legalistic.

Perhaps the best way to get the flavor is to read sufi poetry, which might be described as "love poetry to God." Wahiduddin's Web, an English-language site devoted to the sufi tradition, has a collection of translated poetry from some famous mystics.

1 comment:

  1. The American poet Coleman Barks, whose renditions of the sufi poetry of Rumi [Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī] are extremely popular, has opened a door to sufism for English-speakers. Whether he is conveying the true spirit of the original, or not, I couldn't guess, but he has managed to make a muslim mystic from Tadzhikistan one of the best-selling poets in North America,today. A decade ago, there was a Rumi festival in Toronto, where Barks read Rumi to the accompaniment of Anwar Khurshid, sitar and Lowell Lybarger, tabla. It drew a large crowd.

    This was recorded, and it might be obtained by inter-library loan for your students.