bruce b. lawrence

Morals for the Heart

Morals for the Heart (Conversations with Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya, d. 1325 AD), by Amir Hasan Sijzi. Classics of Western Spirituality Series.
New York: Paulist Press, 1992

Excerpt from Translator’s Introduction

“Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya, whose person pervades Morals for the Heart, is at once a Muslim mystic and a mystic of transcreedal, which is to say universal, stature. The nature of mysticism is such that it plays with words but never accords them more than provisional value. Tolstoy understood the truth of this axial ambiguity when he wrote in his novel Resurrection that “mysticism without poetry is superstition.” Because poetry represents the thin edge of discourse, at once the distillation of language and the compression of meaning, it has special force for most mystics, including those Muslim mystics known as Sufi masters.”