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Dallas, Ian

Entry updated 16 August 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1930-2021) Scottish teacher and Sufi-based leader and advocate of a traditional though (to Western eyes) meliorist form of Islam, and author. At some early point he adopted the name Abdalqadir as-Sufi, which we take here to be a legal change. His first book, The Book of Strangers (1972) as Dallas, is of sf interest for its depiction of a Near-Future early twenty-first century high-Technology surveillance Dystopia run on relatively benign lines by Computers, though the citizenry increasingly suffers from psychic disruptions and anomie; its main characters are librarians whose primary task seems to be that of preparing physical books for computerization. The unnamed central City is surrounded by the land of "Nomads", one of whom, acting as a disruptive Mysterious Stranger, impels the narrator of the tale into a search for Transcendence on lines consistent with Sufi mysticism. The end of the tale depicts his joy.

Abdalqadir as-Sufi was a prolific author on Sufism, the history of the Middle East and world affairs. These works are not covered here. [JC]

Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi

born Ayr, Scotland: 1930

died Cape Town, South Africa: 1 August 2021

works (highly selected)


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