From the time of Muhammad to the present day, women have played an important role in the development of Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam. In this anthology, their contributions are highlighted through writings by and about Sufi women from many different countries and schools of Sufism. The selections span the centuries, from the seventh century (the time of the Prophet Muhammad) to the present day, and range from poems and songs to prayers and visions, from intimate dream journals to scholarly essays on Sufi teachings. Biographical anecdotes and personal memoirs offer a glimpse into the experiences of great saints and contemporary practitioners alike, while providing an introduction to the principles and practices of the Sufi Way.
In a time when Islamic fundamentalist abuses against women have received much publicity, this book reveals the respect and honor for the feminine that prevail in the mystical heart of Islam. This anthology will be a valuable sourcebook for readers interested in women's studies, Islamic studies, and comparative religion.