Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia: Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation

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Almost one thousand years ago a new and powerful nexus of spiritual transmission emerged in Central Asia and lasted for five centuries, reaching its culmination in the work of the Khwajagan or Masters of Wisdom. Like the much earlier Rishi Pantha of India, these masters of the Naqshbandi lineage of Turkish Sufism were not renunciates but advocated maintaining an active connection with the world, including raising a family or running a business. They exerted a remarkable influence on the destiny of Central Asia, yet their chief significance lies in their almost unparalleled depth of spiritual perfection. Based on primary Persian and Turkish sources, the same texts used by the Sufi authority Idries Shah in his many books, Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia explores the entire lineage of teachers in the Naqshbandi order of Turkish Sufism. Author Hasan Shushud provides brief biographies of each teacher, such as Yusuf Hamdani, the first recognized Khwajagan; Ahmad al-Yasavi, the father of Turkish Sufism; and Baha' al-Din Naqshband, from whom the Naqshbandi order of Sufis took its name. He examines their spiritual journeys, their writings and teachings, and their most famous sayings, incorporating occasional parables to illustrate their wisdom. Shushud reveals how this spiritual path focuses on expanding awareness of the heart and how heart awareness is a prerequisite for divine contemplation and God-consciousness, for the heart is the manuscript within the body on which the infinite mysteries of the Godhead are recorded. An essential guide for understanding Itlak Yolu, the Sufi path of Absolute Liberation, and fana', Annihilation in God, this book is an indispensable work for anyone interested in Sufism or the spiritual history of Central Asia.