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Sufi mysticism

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T rue knowledge comes through the light of certainty, by which God enlightens the heart. Then, you will behold the things of the spiritual world, and by the power of that light all the veils between you and that world will be removed.




Islam / Sufism 2901 | 
al-Antaki, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.80 







F our thousand years before God created these bodies, he created the souls and kept them beside himself and shed a light upon them. He knew what quantity each soul received and he showed favor to each in proportion to its illumination. The souls remained all that time in light, until they became fully nourished. Those who in this world live in joy and agreement with one another must have been akin to one another in that place. Here they love one another and are called the friends of God, and they are brothers who love one another for God’s sake. These souls know one another by smell, like horses.




Islam / Sufism 2900 | 







O ne day I was carrying something disgusting in my hands. My companions imagined I was carrying it with the intention of mortifying my soul because in their eyes I was much too lofty to stoop to carrying such a thing. They told this to my sheikh, who then questioned me. I replied that it was simply that I saw that God did not disdain to create such a thing. How then was I to disdain to carry it?




Islam / Sufism 2899 | 
Ibn al-Imad Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.77 







W hen you are separate from the Kaaba [the holy shrine in Mecca, the place all Muslims turn toward when they pray], it is all right to turn toward it, but those who are in it can turn toward any direction they wish.




Islam / Sufism 2898 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.77 







A ll that we behold and perceive by our senses bears undeniable witness to the existence of God-the stone and the God, the plants and the trees, the living creatures, the heavens and the earth and the stars, the dry land and the ocean, the fire and the air, substance and accident. Indeed, we ourselves are the chief witnesses to Him. But just as the bat sees only at night and cannot see in the daytime because of the weakness of its sight, which is dazzled by the full light of the sun, so also the human mind is too weak to behold the full glory of the Divine Majesty.




Islam / Sufism 2897 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.76 







B ahlul, the wise fool, happened to meet the caliph Harun al Rashid. "Where are you coming from like this, Bahlul?" the ruler asked him.
"From Hell," was the prompt reply.
"What were you doing there?"
Bahlul explained, "Fire was needed, Sire, so I thought of going to Hell to ask if they could spare a little. But the fellow in charge there said, 'We have no fire here.' Of course I asked him, 'How come? Isn’t Hell the place of fire?' He answered, 'I tell you, there really is no fire down here. Everybody brings his own fire with him when he comes.





Islam / Sufism 2896 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.75 







H abib had one cloak that he used to wear both summer and winter. One day, when he went out of his house to make ablutions, he left his cloak behind on the road. Hasan al-Basri came by and saw Habib's cloak lying in the middle of the road. He thought to himself, "Habib has left his cloak; may God forbid that someone take it. " Hasan stood there and watched over the coat until Habib returned. When Habib arrived, he greeted Hasan and said, "0 Iman of the Muslims, what are you doing standing there?" Hasan exclaimed, "Don't you know that your coat should not be left here? Someone might take it. Tell me, in whom were you trusting leaving it here?" Habib replied, In He who appointed you to watch over it.'




Islam / Sufism 2895 | 
Al-‘Ajami, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.75 







E very form that you see has its original in the divine world. If the form passes away, it is of no consequence, because its original was from eternity. Be not grieved that every form that you see, every mystical saying that you have heard will pass away. The fountainhead is always bringing forth water. Since neither ceases, why should you complain? Consider this spirit as a fountain; rivers flow from it. Put regret out of your thoughts, and keep on drinking from the rivulet. Do not be afraid. The water is limitless.
When you came into the world of created beings, a ladder was set before you, so that you might pass out of it. At first you were inanimate, then you became a plant; afterward you were changed into an animal. At last you became human, possessed of knowledge, intelligence, and faith. Next, you will become an angel. Then you will have finished with this world, and your place will be in the heavens. Be changed also from the station of an angel. Pass into that mighty deep, so that the one drop, which is yourself, may become a sea.





Islam / Sufism 2894 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.75 







W hen you see beauty and perfection in this world, it is nothing but a sign of Him. A beautiful creature is merely a single blossom from the vast garden of God. But remember that a picture fades, a flower dies, and the reflection in the mirror is eclipsed by the real Light. It is God who is real and remains so forever. So, why waste your time over something that is here today and gone tomorrow? Go directly to the Source without delay.




Islam / Sufism 2893 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.74 







T he lower self is like a thief who sneaks into your house at night to steal whatever is valuable and worthwhile. You cannot fight this thief directly, because it will mirror whatever force you bring against it. If you have a gun, the thief will also have a gun. If you have a knife, the thief will have a knife as well. Tol struggle with the thief is to invite disaster. So, what can you do?
The only practical solution is to turn on the light. The thief, who is a coward at heart, will then run out. How do we turn on the light? Through the practice of remembrance, awareness, and heedfulness.





Islam / Sufism 2892 | 
Sheikh Tosun Bayrak, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.71 







C ontinuous attention to God [remembrance] produces the gradual transmutation of the attributes of the lower self into the Attributes of God.




Islam / Sufism 2891 | 
Nurbakhsh, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.71 







O ne way to train the lower self is to resist its desires. However, if wish to resist, we know that we must not resist by opposing or suppressing it; for when we do, it will rear up somewhere else, seeking gratification of its desires.




Islam / Sufism 2890 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.71 







T hose who are controlled by the lower self must serve it; those who control the lower self serve others.




Islam / Sufism 2889 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.71 







T hose who are dead to their lower selves are alive with God.




Islam / Sufism 2888 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.71 







I f you treat your lower self with affection, you will never be saved from it.




Islam / Sufism 2887 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.71 







T he lower self prevents you from remembering God.




Islam / Sufism 2886 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.70 







A s long as your lower self rules your heart, you will never lose your love of this world.




Islam / Sufism 2885 | 
Traditional, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.70 







O ne day Dhu-1-Nun reached a canal, where he performed his ablutions. He saw a beautiful palace situated close to the bank of the canal, on the balcony of which stood a very beautiful woman. Dhu-l-Nun. Asked her to speak to him. She said, 'When I saw you at a distance, I felt you were a madman; when you came closer, I saw you were a learned man; when you came closer still I considered you to be an enlightened soul. But now you have spoken to me I consider you none of these. " Dhu-l-Nun. Asked her why she felt so. She replied, if you were mad, you would not perform ablutions; if you were learned, you would not look at me; if you were enlightened, you would cast your glance at God and none besides.' Saying this, she disappeared.




Islam / Sufism 2884 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.64 







A man of piety was following Christ. A thief seeing this thought to himself, "if I sit in the company of the pious one, perhaps God may for his sake forgive me." Prompted by humility in his heart, the thief started condemning himself for the impious life he had led. He considered himself unfit to sit by the side of such a saint. On the other hand, the pious man, seeing the thief seated by his side, reprimanded him lest his shadow corrupt him. Immediately Christ heard the Divine Voice say, "Tell the pious one and the thief that I have washed dean the scrolls of both. The virtues of the pious and the sins of the thief are washed dean. Now they must start life again. The virtues of the pious are washed away because of his pride, and the sins of the thief are washed away because of his humility and repentance.




Islam / Sufism 2883 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.63 







W hen you commit a sin but do not carry the pleasure of it with you, that is repentance. There is not so much harm in the act of sinning as in the desire and thought of it: the act is but momentary and passing, whereas the desire is continuous. It is one thing when the body indulges in a pleasurable act for an hour and an entirely different thing when the mind and heart chew on it endlessly.




Islam / Sufism 2880 | 
Bushanja, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.59 







S ome say, "The Law tells us to abstain from anger, lust, and hypocrisy. This is plainly impossible, for we are created with those qualities inherent in us. You might as well tell us to make black white.' People ignore the fact that the law does not tell us to uproot these passions but to restrain them within due limits so that, by avoiding the great sins, we may obtain forgiveness of the smaller ones. Even the Prophet of God said, I am a man like you, and get angry like others. In the Koran it is written, "God loves those who swallow down their anger."




Islam / Sufism 2879 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.59 







E ach faculty of ours delights in that for which it was created: lust delights in accomplishing desire, anger in taking vengeance, the eye in seeing beautiful objects, and the ear in hearing harmonious sounds. The highest function of the soul is the perception of truth.




Islam / Sufism 2878 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.59 







W hy lock up the stable after the horses are stolen? What is the use? You enjoyed the world until you became old and infirm. Now you say the world is unreal. Now you say you will find God-what is the use?




Islam / Sufism 2876 | 
Oral teaching, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.58 







T his world is a place of preparation where one is given many lessons and passes many tests.
[…]
What is bad is what you do with the world when you become blind to truth and totally consumed by your desires, lust, and ambition for it.





Islam / Sufism 2875 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.56 







T his man's state is similar to the condition of people who live in this world without faith. What they see is nothing but a dream. When the angels of death come for these people's souls, then they will realize they have nothing real!




Islam / Sufism 2874 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.54 







E verything in the world of existence has an end and a goal. The end is maturity, and the goal is freedom. For example, the fruit grows on the tree until it is ripe and then falls. A farmer sows grain in the ground and tends it. It begins to grow, eventually seeds, and again becomes grain. It has returned to its original form. The circle is complete. Completing the circle of existence is freedom.




Islam / Sufism 2873 | 
Nasafi, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.53 







N o one who possesses snow would find any hardship in exchanging it for jewels and pearls. This world is like snow exposed to sun, which continues to melt until it disappears altogether, while the next life is like a precious stone that never passes away.




Islam / Sufism 2872 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.53 







T he soul should take care of the body, just as the pilgrim on his way to Mecca takes care of his camel; but if the pilgrim spends his whole time in feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind, and he will perish in the desert.




Islam / Sufism 2871 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.47 







I t is necessary to have a guide for the spiritual journey. Choose a master, for without one this journey is full of trials, fears, and dangers. With no escort, you would be lost on a road you have already taken. Do not travel alone on the Path.




Islam / Sufism 2870 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.41 







T he perfect mystic is neither an ecstatic devotee lost in contemplation of Oneness nor a saintly recluse shunning all commerce with mankind. The true saint goes in and out among the people, eats and sleeps with them, buys and sells in the market, marries and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets God for a single moment.




Islam / Sufism 2869 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.40 







Y ou will not be a mystic until you are like the earth-both the righteous and the sinner tread upon it-and until you are like the clouds-they shade all things-and until you are like the rain-it waters all things, whether it loves them or not.




Islam / Sufism 2867 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.40 







I " and "you' are but the lattices,

In the niches of a lamp
Through which the One Light shines.
"I" and "you' are the veil
Between heaven and earth;

Lift this veil and you will see
No longer the bonds of sects and creeds.





Islam / Sufism 2866 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.39 







T he journey from this world to the next (to give up worldly things for spiritual things) is easy for the believer. The journey from the creatures to the Creator is hard. The journey from the self to God is very hard. And to be able to abide in God is harder still.




Islam / Sufism 2865 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.38 







W hatever you have in your mind-forget it; whatever you have in your hand-give it; whatever is to be your fate-face it!




Islam / Sufism 2864 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.37 







T he Sufis are those who have preferred God to everything, so that God has preferred them to everything.




Islam / Sufism 2863 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.36 







T he Sufi is absent from himself and present with God.




Islam / Sufism 2862 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.36 







R emember your contemporaries who have passed away, and were of your age.
Remember the honors and fame they earned, the high posts they held and the beautiful bodies they possessed, and today all of them are turned to dust.
How they have left orphans and widows behind them.
No sign of them is left today, and they lie in the dark holes underneath the earth.
Picture their faces before your mind's eye and ponder.
Do not fix hopes on your wealth and do not laugh away life.
Remember how they walked and now all their joints lie separated and the tongue with which they talked lightly is eaten away by the worms and their teeth are corroded. They were foolishly providing for twenty years when even a day of their lives was not left. They never expected that death shall come to them thus at an unexpected hour.





Islam / Sufism 2861 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.28 







I f you could get rid
Of yourself just once,
The secret of secrets
Would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
Hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the
Mirror of your perception.





Islam / Sufism 2860 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.23 







T here is a battle between the self, the lower self, and the soul. This battle will continue through life. The question is, Who will educate whom? Who will become the master of whom? If the soul becomes the master, then you will be a believer, one who embraces Truth. If the lower self becomes master of the soul, you will be one who denies Truth.




Islam / Sufism 2859 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.21 







T he self is not bad in itself. Never blame your self. Part of the work of Sufism is to change the state of your self. The lowest state is that of being completely dominated by your wants and desires. The next state is to struggle with yourself, to seek to act according to reason and higher ideals and to criticize yourself when you fail. A much higher state is to be satisfied with whatever God provides for you, whether it means comfort or discomfort, fulfillment of physical needs or not.




Islam / Sufism 2858 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.20 







T he eyes of the dervish who is a true lover see nought but God; his heart knows nought but Him. God is the eye by which he sees, the hand with which he holds, and the tongue with which he speaks…. Were he not in love, he would pass away. If his heart should be devoid of love for as much as a single moment, the dervish could not stay alive. Love is the dervish's life, his health, his comfort. Love ruins the dervish, makes him weep; union makes him flourish, brings him to life.




Islam / Sufism 2857 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.15 







I 've spent my life, my heart
And my eyes this way.
I used to think that love
And beloved are different.
I know now they are the same.
I was seeing two in one.





Islam / Sufism 2856 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.15 







T he essence of God is love and the Sufi path is a path of love…. Love 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.




Islam / Sufism 2855 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.14 







T hou didst contrive this "I", and "we" in order that Thou mightest play the game of worship with Thyself, That all "I's" and "thou's" should become one soul and at last should be submerged in the Beloved.




Islam / Sufism 2854 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.14 







K now, 0 beloved, that man was not created in jest
or at random, but marvelously made
and for some great end.





Islam / Sufism 2853 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.5 





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