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Idries Shah

Idries Shah (born 1924 died 1996) was an author and lyricist in the sufist tradition.

Idries Shah greatly extended the western knowledge of the sufi teachings. He had profound influence on several intellectuals, notably Doris Lessing. His definition of Sufism was liberal in that he was of the opinion that it predated Islam and did not depend on the Quran, but was universal in source, scope and relevance. He maintained that spiritual teachings should be presented in forms and terms that are familiar in the community where they are to take root. He believed that students should be given work based on their individual capacities, and rejected systems that apply the same exercises to all. In his own work he used teaching stories, and humour, to great effect.

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