The Way of Sufi Chivalry

The Way of Sufi Chivalry

Kitab al-Futuwwah by Ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami

an interpretation by Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi

Chivalry is the way of the Sufis. For the dervish, it means generosity extended to self-denial; the giving of one's life for the sake of a friend.

THE BOOK OF SUFI CHIVALRY, an important text by al-Sulami, a Sufi saint and scholar, translated here for the first time into the English language, has been used since the tenth century as a guide to right behavior, and proposes to lead man to consciousness and perfection.

The spiritual masters whose sayings the text records are addressing their disciples, taking into account their shortcomings and potentials. The teachings bear the imprint of the masters themselves, and are related to the levels of sanctity that they attained. The multiplicity of the points of view expressed by their words and actions, is focussed on one central notion, (in Arabic: Futuwwah) that of "heroic generosity", based on the example of the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants, who were its true expression.

Written with the help of teaching tales and quotations from the Koran and Hadith, THE BOOK OF SUFI CHIVALRY reveals the true meaning of compassion, love, friendship, generosity, hospitality and the right actions associated with these virtues as a means to individual spiritual development. Addressing the reader directly with the aim of leading him towards perfection, the text provides the aspirant of today with living guidance on the path of Sufism.

ISBN 0-89281-317-2 Inner Traditions International 1983, 1991

Table of Contents

  1. On Sulami and His Times
  2. On Futuwwah
  3. Isnad: The Chain of Transmission
  4. The Way of Sufi Chivalry
  5. Part One
  6. Part Two
  7. Part Three
  8. Part Four
  9. Part Five
  10. Isnad to the Text