To feel at one with God for a moment is better than all men's acts of worship from the beginning to the end of the world.
'The Mystics of Islam'
By Reynold A. Nicholson (Author)
The Mystics of Islam, first published in 1914, has long been recognized as a classic and definitive introduction to the message of Sufism. In this short but comprehensive work, R.A. Nicholson—who was one of the greatest Islamic scholars of the early 20th century—provides the general reader with an easy approach to the study of Islamic mysticism. He gives a broad outline of Sufism and describes the key principles, methods and characteristic features of the inner life as it has been lived by Muslims of every class and condition from the 8th century onwards. Many quotations are given, mainly in the author's own fine translations from the original Arabic and Persian.
"R.A. Nicholson's Mystics of Islam was the first book in the West to offer a lucid and sympathetic picture of Islamic mysticism, and I believe that many scholars and lay people have received their first introduction to the spiritual aspects of Islam as a result of having read this modest, yet precious book, which has not lost any of its importance to this day."
(Annnemarie Schimmel, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University and author of Mystical Dimensions of Islam)