The Silence of the Sufi

The Silence of the Sufi


Translated from the Russian by Russell Scott Valentino

The Silence of the Sufi is a devotional work. Its author has called it a spiritual journey, or stranstvie, a Russian word for wandering that is laden with literary, religious, and historical nuance. To get a feel for it, read the excerpt provided at the link below.

Through vignettes on teachers and brief stories, this book examines the Zen-like spiritual practices of Central Asian Sufism, providing a personal account of the seeker’s own entry into the traditions of the Naqshbandiya of Uzbekistan. Part history, part religious treatise, part autobiography, The Silence of the Sufi seeks to preserve, explore, validate, and record through its discreet segments — “On Listening Attentively,” “On Gentle Words,” “On Proper Posture.” This is Sufi Islam as practiced in Central Asia across the centuries and today. Sufism’s core ideas of intoxicating love, absence of self, and divine and human purpose find expression in every sentence.

A seeker said to Zu’n-nun, “Most of all in the world I want to enter the path of Truth.”   

Zu’n-nun answered, “You can join our caravan only on two conditions. First, you must do what you do not wish to do. Second, you will not be allowed to do what you wish. ‘Wanting’ itself is what stands between man and the path of Truth.’”

ISBN: 978-0975444429 / 2006 / 164 pages / paperback / $14.95 US /​cover design by Nicole Flores