The Polished Mirror

Storytelling and the Pursuit of Virtue in Islamic Philosophy and Sufism

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Cyrus Ali Zargar
  • London, England: 
    Oneworld Publications
    , January
     352 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Shatha Almutawa forthcoming.


Islamic philosophy and Sufism evolved as distinct yet interweaving strands of Islamic thought and practice. Despite differences, they have shared a concern with the perfection of the soul through the development of character. In The Polished Mirror, Cyrus Ali Zargar studies the ways in which, through teaching and storytelling, pre-modern Muslims lived, negotiated, and cultivated virtues. Examining the writings of philosophers, ascetics, poets, and saints, he locates virtue ethics within a dynamic moral tradition.

Innovative, engaging, and approachable, this work - the first in the English language to explore Islamic ethics in the fascinating context of narrative - will be a valuable resource for both students and scholars.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Cyrus Ali Zargar is Associate Professor of Religion at Augustana College, in Rock Island, Illinois, where his primary research interest is the literature of medieval Sufism in Arabic and Persian.

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