FRITHJQF SCHUON UNDERSTANDING ISLAM FRITHJOF SCHUON with a foreword by Annemarie Schimmel WoridWisdom Contents Foreword v Preface viii. Islamic Quarterly has called Understanding Islam a “masterpiece of comparative religion,” and one of the most respected writers on Sufism, the late Professor. a classic, written from the perspective of why Muslims believe in their faith.

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Understanding Islam

This is the type of foundational esoteric understanding and recognition that is critical to defuse existential crises in today’s world. But this perspective, like that of the Torah, also includes the symbolism of speech, which is then identified with the origin; God speaks and His Speech is crystallized in the form of a Book.

Moreover the veil and the seclusion schuln woman are connected with the final cyclic phase in which we live — where passions and malice are increasingly dominant — and they present a certain analogy with the forbidding of wine and isllam veiling of the vrithjof. In the case of Islam, everything is strictly contained in the Understxnding, which provides a key to prevent any relativity whatsoever from being set on the same level of reality as the Absolute. This is what is expressed by the verse already quoted: The multiplicity of the holy Book — the diversity of its words, aphorisms, images and stories — fills the soul and then absorbs it and imperceptibly transposes Prostrate yourselves before Adam!

Luqman rated it it was amazing Jun 10, From the point of view of gnosis, the intelligence is not a part but the center and it is the starting point for a consciousness embracing our whole being. The mere fact that we do not see what goes on behind our backs and are ignorant of what tomorrow will be like, proves that we are in certain respects very insignificant and shows that we are accidents of a substance greater than ourselves, but shows at the same time that we are not the body and not of this world; neither this world nor our body is what we are.

A New Translation with Selected Letters. World renown for its scholarly nature that sheds light on this controversial faith, this updated edition contains 77 pages of new material, editor’s notes, glossaries, and more.

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Those perspectives which are a priori dynamic — those of Semitic and Western monotheism — envisage the posthumous states, by a kind of compensation, in a static aspect, and We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. Islam then is in essence a truth and a law — or the Truth and the Law — the former answering to the intelligence and the latter to the will. Men go to the fire because they are gods and they come out of the fire because they are but creatures: Only this power can explain the importance of the recitation of the Quran.


An important book, though not the smoothest read. Veracity is inseparable from virginity of spirit in the sense that the spirit must be free from all artifice, from all prejudice and from any passional interference.

Understanding Islam : Frithjof Schuon :

This passage is a reply to men who believed, not that hell as such is metaphysically limited, but that the duration of the punishment is equal to that of the sin. That is why the Name of Muhammad is followed by both blessing and salutation whereas the names of the other divine Messengers and of the Angels are followed only by the salutation: Disequilibrium and equilibrium, lack of rhythm and rhythm, separation and union, division and unity: Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide.

As a person who is very keen to know about religions, I found this book very handy for anyone who would like to know about Islam. In short, everything in it is reducible to these two elements: As for the angels, they are created of light nurof a supra-formal substance; the differences between angels are like those between colors, sounds or perfumes, not those between forms, which to them appear as petrifactions and fragmentations.

Genius is nothing unless determined by a spiritual perspective. It is necessary to distinguish in the Quran between the general excellence of the Divine Word and the particular excellence of a given content which may be superimposed as, for example, when it is a question of God or of His qualities; it is like the distinction between the excellence of gold and that of some masterpiece made from gold. In the same way the lotus on which the Buddha is enthroned is both the manifested Universe and the heart of man, each of these being Understanding Islam we are peripheral in relation to the Intellect Ar-Ruh and a part in relation to Creation Al-Khalq.

Description “Islam is the meeting between God as such and man as such In all these considerations, it has been our aim not to give a picture of Moslem esoterism in its historical deployment, but to bring it to its most elemental positions by connecting it with the very roots of Islam which of necessity are its own.

This way of looking at things may appear cursory, but there is here a very subtle distinction which cannot be neglected when comparing the two theologies in question. Equally a part of this Sunna are the rules relating to dress: At the beginning of this book the problem of predestination was touched on in showing that, if man is subject to fate, it is because — or insofar as — he is is not God, not inasmuch as he participates ontologically in the Divine Liberty. Moslem antihistoricism — which could by analogy be termed Platonic or gnostic — culminates in this rejection which is at root quite outward and for some 7 even doubtful as to its intention.

The masterpiece directly manifests the nobility of gold; similarly the nobility of the content of one or another sacred verse expresses the nobility of the Quranic substance, of the Divine Word, which is in itself undifferentiated; it cannot, however, add to the infinite value of that Word.


We have already seen that the first Testimony is directly followed by the second — that of the Prophet — which it includes implicitly and which issues from it as if by polarization. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission, except in critical articles and reviews.

Quotes from Understanding Islam. It is the supra-on to logical and gnostic Trinity which is meant here, conceived either vertically T the hierarchy of the hypostases: See also Esoter- ism, Sufism, Path Testimonies of faith 2, 5, 33, Understanding Islam which the black portion includes a white dot and the white portion a black dot; if then there are compensations in gehenna because nothing in existence can be absolute and the divine Mercy penetrates everywhere, 54 there must also be in Paradise, not indeed sufferings, but shadows bearing an inverse testimony to the same principle of compensation signifying that Paradise is not God, and also that there is a link between all existences.

We would add that the Torah is like the ocean which is static 8. The sublimation of the Prophet is effected, not by starting out from the idea of an earthly divinity, but by means of a kind of metaphysical mythology: I got a better understanding of the practice of Islam reading Huston Smith’s book on world religions.

Understanding Islam : A New Translation with Selected Letters

For Islam architecture is, next to calligraphy, the supreme sacred art. A man spiritually perverted has, on the contrary, forgotten his initial majesty and the risks it involves; having no desire to concern himself with the fundamentals of his existence he believes that reality is incapable of recalling them to him.

Schuon was a Sufi master. See also Principle, the and free will 78 and Intellection 10, 35, 93 and manifestation 6 and omnipotence and perfection 73 and reladvity 73 as pure Self certainty of 4 consciousness of 39 discernment of false 25 silam Buddhism 84 in Christianity 15 in Hinduism 84, in Islam 15,infinitude of knowledge of understandiny pure vs.

This enum eration, of which different versions are to be found in our earlier works, is a synthesis deduced from the very nature of things.

This is the strait or narrow gate of the Gospels. Reason is formal by its nature and formalistic in its operations; it proceeds by coagulations, by alternatives and by exclusions — or, it can be said, by partial truths.