The Tao of Islam is a rich and diverse anthology of Islamic teachings on the nature of the relationships between God and the world, the world and the human being, and the human being and God. Focusing on gender symbolism, Sachiko Murata shows that Muslim authors frequently analyze the divine reality and its connections with the cosmic and human domains with a view toward a complementarity or polarity of principles that is analogous to the Chinese idea of yin/yang. Murata believes that the unity of Islamic thought is found, t so much in the ideas discussed, as in the types of relationships that are set up among realities. She pays particular attention to the views of various figures commonly kwn as Sufis and philosophers, since they approach these topics with a flexibility and subtlety t found in other schools of thought. She translates several hundred pages, most for the first time, from more than thirty important Muslims including the Ikhwan al-Safa', Avicenna, and Ibn al-'Arabi.
Sachiko Murata is Professor of Religious Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.