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Sufi mysticism

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L et your heart be in such a state that the existence or nonexistence of anything is the same. Then sit alone in a quiet place, free of any preoccupation, even the reciting of the Koran or thinking about its meaning. Let nothing besides God enter you mind. Once you are seated in this manner, say, "Allah, Allah," keeping your thought on these words.




Islam / Sufism 2967 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.155 







O ur five senses are like five doors opening on the external world; but, more wonderful than this, our heart has a window that opens on the unseen world of spirit.
In the state of sleep, when the avenues of the senses are dosed, this window is opened, and we receive impressions from the unseen world and sometimes foreshadowings of the future. Our hearts are like a mirror that reflects what is pictured in the Tablet of Fate. But, even in sleep, thoughts of worldly things dull this mirror, so that the impressions it receives are not clear. After death, however, such thoughts vanish, and things are seen in their naked reality.





Islam / Sufism 2966 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.105 







D ear friend,
Your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it dean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets.





Islam / Sufism 2965 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.102 







L et us drown ourselves in the ocean of nonexistence and come out cloaked with the garment of divine existence.




Islam / Sufism 2964 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.98 







S alih always taught his disciples, 'Who knocks at the door of someone constantly, one day the door must be opened to him.' Rabia one day heard it and said, "Salih, how long will you go on preaching thus, using the future tense, saying, 'will be opened'?
Was the door ever dosed?" Salih bowed in submission to her.





Islam / Sufism 2963 | 
Aessential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.109 







O nce Hasan al-Basri went to Habib al-'Ajami at the time of evening prayers. Hasan heard al-'Ajami mispronounce a word during the prayer. He considered it improper to say his prayers with him, and therefore said them separately. During the night he dreamed the Lord spoke to him: "Hasan, if you had stood behind al-'Ajami and said your prayers, you would have earned Our pleasure, and that single prayer of yours would have borne thee greater benefit than all prayers taken together that you have offered in your lifetime. You found fault with his pronunciation but ignored the purity and excellence of his heart. Know it that We cherish a contrite heart much more than the correct pronunciation of words.




Islam / Sufism 2962 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.110 







F rom each, Love demands a mystic silence.
What do all seek so earnestly? Tis Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts,
In Love no longer "Thou" and "I" exist,
For self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul
Behold the Friend, Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds
Will find that the secret of them both is Love.





Islam / Sufism 2961 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.118 







A young man came to Junaid and wished to become his student. He said, "You have been recommended as an expert on pearls [of wisdom]. Please give me one, or sell it to me.' Junaid replied, "you could not afford the price if I sold it, and if I gave you one for nothing, you will not realize its value. You must do as I have done. Dive into the Sea and wait patiently until you obtain your pearl.'




Islam / Sufism 2960 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.139 







D hu-1-Nun. Said to a disciple, "Start instructing people by lecturing, but always remember never to bring yourself [your ego] in between.




Islam / Sufism 2959 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.214 







T ear aside veils of all you see in this world, and you will find yourself apart in solitude with God. If you draw aside the veils of the stars and the spheres, you will see that all is one with the Essence of your own pure soul. If you will but tear aside the veil, you will see nonexistence, and you will see forthwith the true meaning of God's purpose. When you have cast aside the veil, you will see the Essence, and all things will be shown forth within the Essence. If you draw aside the veil from the Face of the Beloved, all that is hidden will be made manifest, and you will become one with God, for then will you be the very Essence of the Divine.




Islam / Sufism 2958 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.233 







Y ou ought to know yourself as you really are, so that you may understand of what nature you are, from where you have come to this world, for what purpose you were created, and in what your happiness and misery consist. For within you are combined the qualities of the animals and the wild beasts and also the qualities of the angels, but the spirit is your real essence, and all beside it is, in fact, foreign to you.
Strive for knowledge of your origin, so that you may know how to attain to the Divine Presence and the contemplation of the Divine Majesty and Beauty.





Islam / Sufism 2957 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.247 







D eliver yourself from the fetters of lust and passion. God did not create you to be their captive; they should be your servants, under your control for the journey that is before you, to be your steed and your weapon, so that you may use them to pursue your happiness, and when you have not more need of them, then cast them under your feet.




Islam / Sufism 2956 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.247 







A Sufi began to weep in the middle of the night. He said, "The world is like a closed casket in which we are placed and in which, through our ignorance, we spend our time in folly. When Death opens the lid of the casket, each one who has wings takes his flight to Eternity~ but that one who is without wings remains in the casket. Before the lid is taken away from this casket, become a bird of the Way to God. Develop your wings and your feathers. No, rather burn your wings and your feathers and destroy yourself by fire, and so will you arrive at the Goal before all others.'




Islam / Sufism 2955 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.247 







I n truth, it is the one who has lost all knowledge and trace of his own existence who has, at the same time, found knowledge of the Beloved. So long as you will not ignore your own body and soul, how will you ever know the Object you love?




Islam / Sufism 2954 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.248 







I t is easy to know God. But to find the way to God is painfully hard. You cannot find God without passing beyond your own being. A Sufi does not become a Sufi by sitting on a prayer mat. The dervish way is not just the donning of a special turban and cloak. A Sufi is one who annihilates himself in the Truth, one whose heart is purified. The Sufi is someone who needs neither the sun by day nor the moon by night. For the Sufi is one who walks night and day by the Light of Truth. Sufism is poverty that can dispense with property.
How is one to know one's degree of saintliness and vigilance? Only if all parts of one's body join in the Remembrance of God can one be aware of such things. This is the kind of person who is called a Sufi.





Islam / Sufism 2953 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.213 







Y ou cannot find God without passing beyond your own being.




Islam / Sufism 2952 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.213 







A ll creation is calling upon God. You cannot hear or see it on the outside, but the essence in everything is continuously remembering and calling upon God.




Islam / Sufism 2951 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.210 







O nce, one of Jesus' apostles was preaching in a small town. The people asked him to perform a miracle, by raising the dead, as Jesus had done.
They went to the town cemetery and stopped before a grave. The apostle prayed to God to bring the dead back to life. The dead man rose from his grave, looked around him, and cried, "My donkey, where is my donkey?" In life, he had been a poor man whose most cherished possession was his donkey.
The same is true for you. Whatever you care about most will determine what happens to you at resurrection. You will be together in the Hereafter with the ones you love.





Islam / Sufism 2950 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.205 







T he prophet Abraham grew up among idol worshipers. He sought to find God. He looked at the brightest stars and said, "You are my Lord." Then the full moon came out. It was far bigger and brighter than any of the stars. Abraham looked at the moon and said, "You are my Lord . ' Then the sun came up, and the moon and stars disappeared. Abraham said, "You are the greatest, You are my Lord.' Then night came, and the sun disappeared.
Abraham said, "My Lord is the One who changes things and who brings them back. My Lord is the One who is behind all changes.'





Islam / Sufism 2949 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.199 







T he disciples of Abu al-Bistami once complained to him about the Devil. They said, "The Devil takes away our faith.' The sheikh then summoned the Devil and questioned him. The Devil said, I cannot force anyone to do anything. I fear God too much to dare to try that. Actually, most people throw their faith away for all sorts of trivial reasons. I simply pick up the faith they throw away.




Islam / Sufism 2948 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.172 







I t is therefore a necessary prerequisite for lovers that they correct their lower selves by means of worship, spiritual exercises, and Remembrance of God. Through these, the self may attain a tranquil character, the heart purified, and the spirit burnished.




Islam / Sufism 2947 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.160 







A fter this, he should close his eyes and think of himself as having died. They have stripped his corpse, laid it on the bench, washed it and wrapped it in the shroud, prayed over it, and put it to rest in the grave. He should reflect on each stage in this process, for this meditation, which we call recollecting death, is one of the practices of the Mystic Orders. To ponder one's death is not to cause it, but it is harmful to avoid the thought of death. For no one can or will escape the sure and destined end that comes sooner or later to every mortal being. This meditation is therefore an essential necessity for every lover of God.




Islam / Sufism 2946 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.159 







Y ou do see some people at peace, saved from the disease of ambition though they have less than you do while you are in pain and oppressed by all that you have.




Islam / Sufism 2945 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.144 







A person often remembers the object of his love. One lover of God also remembers Him, always and everywhere. On the bough of the beloved's rosebush, love's nightingale sings its love incessantly.




Islam / Sufism 2944 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.121 







L ove is a special, pleasurable pain. Whoever has this in the heart will know the secret. They will see that everything is Truth, and that everything leads to Truth. There is nothing but Truth. In the realization of that, they will be overcome. They will sink into the sea of Truth.




Islam / Sufism 2943 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.117 







L ove makes us speak; love makes us moan; love makes us die; love brings us to life; love makes us drunk and bewildered; it sometimes makes one a king. Love and the lover have no rigid doctrine. Whichever direction the lover takes, he turns toward his beloved. Wherever he may be, he is with his beloved. Wherever he goes, he goes with his beloved. He cannot do anything, cannot survive for even one moment, without his beloved. He constantly recalls his beloved, as his beloved re members him. Lover and beloved, rememberer and remembered, are ever in each other's company, always together.




Islam / Sufism 2942 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.117 







L ove is to see what is good and beautiful in everything. It is to learn from everything, to see the gifts of God and the generosity of God in everything. It is to be thankful for all God's bounties.
This is the first step on the road to the love of God. This is just a seed of love. In time, the seed will grow and become a tree and bear fruit. Then, whoever tastes of that fruit will know what real love is. It will be difficult for those who have tasted to tell of it to those who have not.





Islam / Sufism 2941 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.114 







L eave everything and cleave to love! Turn your heart from all else; feel love in your whole being! Take love as your guide to the land of being so that you may reach the True Beloved, enter the Paradise of God's essence, behold the beauty of the Friend, gather the roses of the garden of Union. In the way of love, the lover sacrifices himself but finds the dear one. All the saints who have drunk of the wine of love have sacrificed themselves thus in the way of love.




Islam / Sufism 2940 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.114 







L overs converse with people only as much as they need to. For the most part, they prefer to be alone and by themselves. For they yearn for intimate communion with the Beloved. They are constantly in meditation. They do not enjoy excessive conversation and always prefer not to talk. They do not understand conversation about anything other than God.
When they encounter misfortune, they do not grumble and complain. They know that misfortune comes from the Friend, they see the benefits contained in seeming misfortune. Divine love has possessed them, and they have plunged lovingly into the fire of love. Going barefoot, bareheaded, and poorly clad does not worry them at all.
They hear no word but the words of God. They never cease from the remembrance of God. Everywhere they behold God's Beauty. Their aim is God alone, and their desire is God's good pleasure.





Islam / Sufism 2939 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.98 







F or my funeral: Call the drummers, timbal beaters, and tambourine players. March toward my grave dancing thus, Happy, gay, intoxicated; with hands clapping, So that people would know that the friends of God Go happy and smiling toward the place of meeting.




Islam / Sufism 2938 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.256 







W hen you see my funeral, don't say, "What a separation!" It is time for me to visit and meet the Beloved. Since you have seen my descent, then do see my rising. Why complain about the setting of the moon and the sun? Which seed that went under the earth failed to grow up again?




Islam / Sufism 2937 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.256 







F irst He pampered me with a hundred favors,
Then he melted me with the fires of sorrows.
After He sealed me with the seal of Love, I became Him.
Then, he threw my self out of me.





Islam / Sufism 2936 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.250 







S omeone asked what there was that was superior to prayer. One answer is that "the soul" of prayer is better than prayer. The second answer is that faith is better than prayer.
Prayer consists of five-times-a-day performance, whereas faith is continuous. Prayer can be dropped for a valid excuse and may be postponed by license; faith cannot be dropped for any excuse and may not be postponed by license. Again, faith without prayer is beneficial, whereas prayer without faith confers no benefit.





Islam / Sufism 2935 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.152 







W hoever travels without a guide needs two hundred years for a two-day journey.




Islam / Sufism 2934 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.144 







T he True teacher knocks down the idol that the student makes of him.




Islam / Sufism 2933 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.128 







B y love, bitter things are made sweet and copper turns to go .
By love, the sediment becomes clear and torment is removed.
By love, the dead are made to live.
By love, the sovereign is made a slave.
This love is the fruit of knowledge. When did folly sit on a throne like this?
The faith of love is separated from all religion. For lovers the faith and the religion is God. 0 spirit, in striving and seeking become like running water. 0 reason, at all times be ready to give up mortality for the sake of immortality.
Remember God always, that self may be forgotten, so that your self may be effaced in the One to Whom you pray, without care for who is praying, or the prayer.





Islam / Sufism 2932 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.117 







T here is no salvation for the soul
But to fall in Love.
It has to creep and crawl
Among the Lovers first.

Only Lovers can escape
From these two worlds.
This was written in creation.

Only from the Heart
Can you reach the sky. The rose of Glory
Can only be raised in the Heart.





Islam / Sufism 2931 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.115 







I 've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

and sleep.





Islam / Sufism 2930 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.116 







T his Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way,

sleep on.





Islam / Sufism 2929 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.116 







T he eight duties of a teacher are
1 . To be sympathetic to students and treat them as his or her own children. The teacher must care about the students' welfare as mothers and fathers care for their own children.
2. To refuse any remuneration for his or her services and accept neither reward nor thanks.
3. Not to withhold any advice from the student or allow the student to work at any level unless qualified for it.
4. To use sympathetic and indirect suggestions in dissuading students from bad habits, rather than open, harsh criticism. Open criticism incites defiance and stubbornness.
5. When teaching a given discipline, not to belittle the value of other disciplines or teachers.
6. To limit the students to what they can understand and not require of them anything that is beyond their intellectual capacity.
7. To give backward students only such things as are dear and suitable to their limited understanding. Everyone believes him- or herself capable of mastering every discipline, no matter how complex, and the most simple and foolish are usually most pleased with their intellect.
8. To do what one teaches and not allow one's actions to contradict one's words.





Islam / Sufism 2928 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.136 







A t a court banquet, everyone was sitting according to their rank, waiting for the king to appear. A simply dressed man came in and took a seat above everyone else. The prime minister demanded that he identify himself.
"Are you the adviser of a great king?
'No, I rank above a royal adviser."
"Are you a prime minister?"
"No, I outrank a prime minister."
"Are you a king in disguise?"
'No, I am above that rank as well.'
"Then you must be God,' the prime minister said sarcastically.
'No, I am above that.'
"There is nothing above God!" shouted the prime minister.
The stranger replied calmly, "Now you know me. That nothing is me.'





Islam / Sufism 2927 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.250 







F or thirty years I sought God. But when I looked carefully I found that in reality God was the seeker and I the sought.




Islam / Sufism 2925 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.96 







I died from minerality and became vegetable; And from vegetativeness I died and became animal. I died from animality and became human. Then why fear disappearance through death? Next time I shall die Bring forth wings and feathers like angels; After that, soaring higher than angels. What you cannot imagine I shall be that.




Islam / Sufism 2924 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.96 







O my Lord, if I worship You from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell; and if I worship You from hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your own sake, do not withhold from me Your Eternal Beauty.




Islam / Sufism 2910 | 
Rabia, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.86 







O ne day, Rabia was seen running, carrying fire in one hand and water in the other. They asked her the meaning of her action and where she was going. She replied, I am going to light a fire in Paradise and pour water on Hell, so that both veils (hindrances to the true vision of God) completely disappear."




Islam / Sufism 2909 | 
Rabia, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.86 







W isdom is like the rain. Its source is unlimited, but it comes down according to the season. Grocers put sugar in a bag, but their supply of sugar is not the amount in the bag. When you come to a grocer, he has sugar in abundance. But he sees how much money you have brought and gives accordingly.
Your currency on this Path is resolution and faith, and you are taught according to your resolution and faith. When you come seeking sugar, they examine your bag to see what its capacity is; then they measure out accordingly.





Islam / Sufism 2908 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.85 







S eek the company of the wise, who know. Agree with what they say, for one understands only that with which one agrees. Be sincere in what you say- a single tongue should not speak two different words. No deceit or fraud should enter into your thoughts. Do not belittle anyone or anything, for everyone and everything in its inner being wishes for the same thing.
"Do not touch anything that is not yours. Avoid crowded places; even in such places, try to be with yourself, for that is the place where the truth is manifested. That is where the truth is.





Islam / Sufism 2906 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.84 







A li asked the Prophet, "What action can I take that is not totally lost and worthless?"
The Prophet answered, "Seek truth. You will find it in yourself, therefore, know yourself.





Islam / Sufism 2905 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.84 







H e who is intimate with worldly wealth will find his intellect destroyed; he who is intimate with people will become lonely; he who is intimate with work will be preoccupied; and he who is intimate with God will attain union.




Islam / Sufism 2904 | 
Shibli, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.83 







O nce Ibrahim Adhem saw a stone on which was written, "Turn me over and read. 'On the other side he read, "You do not practice what you know. Why, then, do you seek what you know not?"




Islam / Sufism 2903 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.82 





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