Doris Lessing and Idries Shah – The Nobel Prize Winner and the Sufi

October 14, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Doris Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature, it was announced on Friday, October 12th. Congratulations to the lovely and beautiful 88-year-old Ms. Lessing. May God bless her with many more years of good works.

The press reports have included her flirtation with Communism, which she disavowed in 1956, and her most famous novel, The Golden Notebook, considered one of the first feminist works, though she also disavowed being a feminist. What is missing, or scarcely mentioned, in the press coverage is her Sufi affiliation.

For thirty years, she was a student of Idries Shah, and speaks only praise of him, his books and his teachings. There is a lesson here in what the press and the world finds newsworthy and important. I am personally a great admirer of Idries Shah and his books, all of which I have read at one time or another. His Tales of the Dervishes began my interest and ultimately my journey on the Sufi path. Alhamdulillah!

Idries Shah claimed no mastership, no lineage to any particular Order, and no disciples as such. Yet his influence through his books was profound to those who became his students and to generations of young idealists, even unto the present day. May Allah bless his soul.

To read a tribute by Doris Lessing on Idries Shah, click HERE.

To read her 1996 obituary of Idries Shah, click HERE.

Ya Haqq!