Idries Shah was born in Simla , India , in 1924, of an aristocratic Afghan family. He devoted much of his life to explaining the East to the West, and made a wide body of scholarship of Eastern traditional teachings available in the Western world.
A foremost authority on Sufism, he presented key Sufi concepts, stripped of cultural and religious accretions, to a Western audience. He maintained that much of the work of Western psychology was pioneered, centuries ago, by Sufis.
His books sold over fifteen million copies in twelve languages worldwide, and covered Islamic thought, belles-lettres, humour, problem-solving and a range of other topics.
He died in London in 1996.