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The Essential Martin Lings
This site includes The Essential Martin Lings’s pictures, table of contents, and more.
Essential Martin Lings, The
Essential Martin Lings, The
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Comparative Religion
Perennial Philosophy

Price:  $19.95

ISBN:  978-1-936597-74-1
Book Size:  6" x 9"
# of Pages:  368
Language:  English

This collection of the essential writings of Martin Lings brings together some of the most outstanding chapters from his wide range of works. In addition to selections dealing with the perennial philosophy, such as “Do the Religions Contradict One Another?”, the anthology includes sections from his extensive writings on Islam and Sufism, and on the spiritual dimensions to be found in Shakespeare’s mature plays.
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Detailed Description
About the Author
Table of Contents
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Details - “The Essential Martin Lings”

Martin Lings (1909–2005), the former Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts at the British Museum, was a leading member of the perennialist school and a renowned author, editor, translator, scholar, Arabist, and poet. After a classical education he read English at Oxford where he was a pupil and later a close friend of C. S. Lewis. Lings is the author of several award-winning books on subjects ranging from Sufism to Shakespeare, including A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaikh Ahmad al-ʿAlawi, His Spiritual Heritage and Legacy, the best-selling Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (translated into over a dozen languages), and Shakespeare in the Light of Sacred Art.

Reza Shah-Kazemi (b. 1960) is an author in the fields of Islamic studies and Comparative Religion. He is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, and has been involved in important interfaith initiatives for the last two decades. He has edited, translated, and written numerous books and articles, including Paths to Transcendence according to Shankara, Ibn Arabi & Meister Eckhart, the award-winning Justice and Remembrance: Introducing the Spirituality of Imam Ali, and Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism, which was prefaced and launched by HH The Dalai Lama. Shah-Kazemi lives in Westerham in the south of England.

About the Author(s)

Martin Lings

Martin Lings (1909-2005) was a leading member of the “Traditionalist” or “Perennialist” school and an acclaimed author, editor, translator, scholar, Arabist, and poet whose work centers on the relationship between God and man through religious doctrine, scripture, symbolism, literature, and art. He was an accomplished metaphysician and essayist who often turned to the world’s great spiritual traditions for examples, though he is probably best known for his writings on Islam and its esoteric tradition, Sufism.

Dr. Lings co-edited The Underlying Religion (2007) with Clinton Minnar. This book is a survey of central perennialist ideas and authors. Dr Lings contributed the following essays to various World Wisdom books:

  • “The Past in the Light of the Present & The Rhythms of Time”, “The Decisive Boundary”, “The Symbol”, and “The Spirit of the Times”, as well as a preface, to The Underlying Religion
  • The “Introduction” to The Essential René Guénon

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Reza Shah-Kazemi

Reza Shah-Kazemi is a Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. Dr. Shah-Kazemi writes on a range of topics from metaphysics and doctrine to contemplation and prayer. He is the author of Paths to Transcendence: According to Shankara, Ibn Arabi, and Meister Eckhart, a look at of how three sages (a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian) approached the Transcendent Absolute. Dr. Shah-Kazemi's other contributions to World Wisdom projects include:

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Table of Contents for The Essential Martin Lings

Editor’s Preface


Oneness of Being

The Symbolism of the Letters of the Alphabet


The Truth of Certainty

The Fall

The Symbol

The Seal of Solomon

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

What is Symbolism?

The Decisive Boundary

The Symbolism of the Pairs

Tradition and Modernity

The Past in the Light of the Present

The Spirit of the Times

Do the Religions Contradict One Another?

Traditional Psychology

The Secret of Shakespeare

Why "With All Thy Mind"?


The Spiritual Master

The Originality of Sufism

The Universality of Sufism

The Heart

Introduction to Splendours of Qur’ān Calligraphy and Illumination

The Qur’ānic Art of Calligraphy

The Qur’ānic Art of Illumination

Selections from Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

I  The House of God

VIII  The Desert

X  Baḥīrà the Monk

XIII  The Household

XV  The First Revelations

XXXVII  The Hijrah

LXVII   "A Clear Victory"

LXXV  The Conquest of Mecca

LXXXI  The Degrees

LXXXIV  The Choice

Art and Poetry


The Meeting Place

Translations from the Arabic

Al-Ghazālī, Deathbed Poem

ʿUmar Ibn al-Fāriḍ, The Wine-Song (Al-Khamriyya)

Aḥmad al-ʿAlawī, The Path

Aḥmad al-ʿAlawī, The Wine

Aḥmad al-ʿAlawī, Laylā

List of Sources


Biographical Notes

Index of Names

Index of Foreign Terms

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