A Stream of Stories Flows Through My Veins

A Stream of Stories Flows Through My Veins

by Victor-M Amela, of the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, interviews Tahir Shah. [Translation from the original Spanish piece which appeared in La Vanguardia on 2 August 2018.] TAHIR SHAH, son and representative of the Sufi writer Idries Shah I’m 51. I was born in...
The Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah

The Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah

by Professor L.F. Rushbrook Williams* Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah, the father of Idries Shah, belonged to a family of Muswi Saiyids directly descended from Ali Musa Raza, the eighth Imam, and thus from the Prophet Mohammed himself. For centuries, this family has provided...
Doris Lessing and The Sufis

Doris Lessing and The Sufis

Doris Lessing’s personal letters indicate that Idries Shah’s re-presentation of Sufi teaching was a turning point in the later period of Lessing’s life and work. The Sufis was published early in 1964, and Lessing sent her first letter to Shah, the book’s author,...
The Resurrection of Sir Richard Francis Burton

The Resurrection of Sir Richard Francis Burton

By the 1960s, most people associated the name Richard Burton with a famous movie star, not an eccentric English explorer. If Sir Richard Burton was remembered at all it was for being the translator of an obscene(ish) version of The 1001 Nights and the Arab sex manual...

Being Different

ON ORIGINALITY When I was seven years old, my father sat me down on the lawn on a long hot summer afternoon, and he told me a secret: ‘You’re wiser than almost anyone I’ve ever met,’ he said. I smiled. Then grinned. ‘Really?’ Peering into the middle distance, my...