Fortress Press

The Perfect Being: Selections from the Classic Islamic Text

The Perfect Being

Selections from the Classic Islamic Text

Aziz O-Din Nasafi (Author), Amir Sabzevary (Translator)


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Translated for the first time from the original Persian into English, these selected treatises from Aziz O-Din Nasafi's thirteenth-century work The Perfect Being provide a fascinating and rare, yet applicable, introduction to Sufism. The Perfect Being reads like a personal journal as well as a manual for those interested in Sufism. Its lucid exposition of the journey toward self-knowledge is both profound and eloquent, practical and transcendent. Presented here alongside a helpful introduction and explanatory notes to guide the reader, this book serves as a valuable introduction to classic Islamic texts.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506472812
  • eBook ISBN 9781506472829
  • Dimensions 4 x 6
  • Pages 201
  • Publication Date September 28, 2021


"Dr. Amir Sabzevary has made the content of this valuable text accessible and enjoyable to read through his translation and contextual knowledge of the subject. While he prepares us to receive and experience the aesthetic complexities of Nasafi's writings, Sabzevary encourages the reader to transcend the beauty of the writing to become aware of their transformative and inspirational potential."

Shadieh Mirmobiny, Folsom Lake College

"The teachings in Nasafi's classic text are meant for both the ears of the head and the ears of the heart. Dr. Sabzevary's beautiful translation will educate those curious about the Sufi Path."

Emily Hanlon, San Francisco State University

"In a modern world often devoid of true religious spirit, Sabzevary's translation and commentary call us back into the luminous world of medieval Sufism--serving as a reminder that even hundreds of years later, the hidden wisdom continues to live on--if only we have the eyes to see."

Cassie Lipowitz, Notre Dame de Namur University

"When life in the modern world appears to have lost meaning, decency, humility, and purpose, we can turn to sources of ancient wisdom for reassurance and direction. The Perfect Being points to the spiritual heart as a source of power, intelligence, and understanding. Those who understand the mystical way of life will be touched. Those who seek to understand will be encouraged and renewed."

Staci Tye, Laney College

"In contrast to the Sufi literature currently available in the West, such as the poetic and intellectual renditions of Rumi and Ibn Arabi, Aziz O-Din Nasafi's The Perfect Being is a lucid and straightforward manual on Sufism. Professor Sabzevary's eloquent introductory notes explain the Islamic and Persian cultural etiquette that serves as the cradle that holds and protects these ideas, as without embodying these cultural nuances, Sufi ideas can only serve superficial functions. The resulting translation is one of the most accessible and comprehensive works on self-knowledge available in English."

Brian Johnson, Merced College

"The Perfect Being calls across time and place, beckoning those with ears to hear to turn away from the chaotic din of contemporary culture to contemplate the perennial path of wisdom instead. The distractions of everyday life are as old as time; mercifully, the healing wisdom found in The Perfect Being is older than time itself. It is our good fortune that both writer and translator/editor of this grace-filled volume possess the vital depth of understanding to bring this ancient wisdom to their respective time and place."

Carolyn D. Collom, Laney College