A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century : Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi,Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi: His Spiritual Heritage & Legacy *[A5] Paperback - 242 pages, by Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Sirajuddin),Published by The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge.Description :"Almost a prerequisite for any serious study of Sufism in European languages":----- the verdict of Seyyed H. Nasr in his review of this book. According to the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, it is "one of the most thorough & intimately engaging books on Sufism to be produced by a Western scholar."Certainly there is nothing second-hand about it. The author lets Sufis'
speak for themselves and, in a series of unusual and absorbing texts
mainly translated from Arabic, he gives a vivid picture of life in a
North African Sufi order. Against this background stands the
unforgettable figure of the Algerian Shaikh Shaykh Ahmad al-Alawi who was head of the order
from 1909 until his death in 1934. The last few chapters are mainly
devoted to his writings, which include some penetrating aphorisms, and
which end with a small anthology of his remarkable mystic poems.The late Dr Lings, formerly Keeper of Oriental Manuscript in the British Museum and the British Library, is the author of three works on Islamic mysticism, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, What is Sufism? and The Book of Certainty, all published by The Islamic Texts Society. ‘A masterly study of a man whose sanctity recalled the golden age of medieval mystics. In this well documented book Dr Lings draws on many rare sources…and has made some important original contributions.’ ---A. J. Arberry.