Shah, (Sayed) Idries (1924–1996)
Author and translator of important works on occultism and
Eastern mysticism. He was born on June 16, 1924, in Simla,
India. He came from an Afghan family of Arabian origin that
claims descent through the prophet Mohammed to the Sasanian
emperors of Persia. He was educated privately, and became
a British citizen. He became the proprietor of the International
Press Agency in 1953, and from 1966 until his death he was the
director of studies of the Institute for Cultural Research in London.
He was also the literary and film director of Mulla Nasrudin
Enterprises.
Shah wrote over 30 books and translated others, and
through them he became a major force in the movement of Islamic,
especially Sufic, thought into the West. He also had a
broad knowledge of the occult and reportedly ghostwrote the
early biography of Gerald B. Gardner, the founder of the neopagan
revival in the 1940s.
He was awarded the Dictionary of International Biography
Certificate of Merit for Distinguished Service to Human
Thought, and in 1972 he was appointed Visiting Professor in
Intercultural Studies at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
He was the Professor Honoris Causa, National University of La
Plata, Argentina, from 1974 to his death on November 23,
1996, in London.
Sources
Shah, Idries. The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin.
London Cape, 1966. Reprint, New York Simon & Schuster,
1967.
———. Learning How to Learn; Psychology and Spirituality in
the Sufi Way. London Octagon Press, 1978. San Francisco
Harper & Row, 1981.

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