Al Junaid said : ” The Sufi is like the earth – every kind of abomination is thrown upon it, but naught but every kind of goodness grows from it. The Sufi is like the earth-both the rightous man and the sinner walk upon it. He is like the clouds- they give shade to all things. He is like the raindrop- it waters all things.” One of the most widely read Sufi treatises in Arabic, the Risala defines classical Sufism through the use of quotations from the Qur`an, the Prophetic Traditions and reference to the exemplary behaviour fo the ascetics and saints. Al-Qushayari illustrates the principles of Sufism with tales and sayings of the first generation of Muslims and of the Prophet`s contemporaries in the 5/11th century. Readers are given a rich account of what Sufism as a way of life implied for the early Muslims. Dr.B.R Von Schlegell, did her graduate work at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley. She is presenly teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.Hamid Algar has written an informative introduction on Al-Qushayri and his place in the history of Sufism. Sholars and students of Islam , religion and mysticism will welcome this important work.