Amr ibn Uthman al-Makki
The Sufi acts corresponding to whatever is most fitting for the moment.
(Shaykh) Abu’l-Hasan Ash-Shadhili
(1100s-1200s) North African Sufi spiritual figure
The Sufi views his own experience as tiny bits of dust made visible by a ray of sunlight: neither real nor unreal.
(Farid Ud-Din/Al-Din) Attar
(Lived in 1000s and 1200s) Iranian Sufi Poet and writer of many books
[The Valley of] Understanding can be arrived at in various ways.
Your own heart is the living place of the Universe’s essence.
Salih always told his students, “If you constantly knock at someone’s door, one day it will be opened to you.”
Rabia heard him say this and remarked, “Salih, how much longer do you intend to preach this in the future tense, saying ‘will be opened?’ Was the door ever closed?”
Salih bowed in acknowledgement.
(700s-800s) Sufi poet
…Do not allow anyone to oppress your soul.
Where part of you goes, the rest of you will eventually follow.
You yourself are your own obstacle—rise above yourself.
I caught the joy virus last night when I was out singing beneath the stars.
Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
(1058-1128) Influential Iranian-Middle Eastern Sufi philosopher and writer
…The distinctive aspect of mysticism is something that cannot be understood by study, but only by dhawq [tasting / immediate experience]… There is a big difference between knowing the meaning and the causes of health and satiety, and being healthy and satisfied.
All wisdom can be expressed in two phrases: What is done for you—allow it to be done. What you must do yourself—make sure you do it.
Abu Sa’id Ibn Abi’l Khayr
(967-1049) Persian Sufi poet
Take a step away from yourself—and behold—the Path!
… Know that you know nothing and are no one.
The lower self is preoccupied with showing itself in ways that will gain other people’s good opinions.
The lower self quickly gets bored of things. If it in someway is successful in getting what it wants, it will still not be satisfied. The lower self is unstable.
…[The lower self] constantly demands a person to act vainly in order to be complemented by others. Verily, there are plenty of spiritual seekers and holy people who are therefore controlled by their lower self.
Sufayan (or Sufyan) al-Thawri
(?-777) Sufi leader and teacher
If someone tells you, “You are a wonderful person!” and this pleases you more than if he said, “You are a bad person!” know that you are still a bad person.
Al-(or Ah-) Hujwiri
(?-1075) Sufi scholar and writer
[Once, Ibrahim bin Adham read an inscription a stone that said:] “You are not practicing what you know, so why do you seek what you do not know?”
There are two kinds of speech and two kinds of silence. Speech is either truth or falsehood, and silence is either realization or unattentiveness. The words of one who speaks the truth is better than silence, but for the person who makes up lies, his silence is better than his speech.
Bayazid (or Abu Yazid al) Bistami
(800-874) Sufi of Northwestern Iran
Early on, I was mistaken in four aspects. I endeavored to remember God, know Him, love Him, and seek Him. When I had reached the later stage [or I had got there], I realized that He remembered me before I remembered Him, He knew of me before I knew of Him, He loved me before I loved Him, and He sought me before I sought Him.
For thirty years I sought God. But when I reassessed the situation, I realized that it was He who sought me.
The thing we tell of can never be found be seeking, yet only seekers find it.
Act as if there were no one on earth but you, and no one in Heaven but God.
Ahmad Ibn Ata’Allah
(1200s) Sufi master and writer
Whatever you think concerning God—know that he is different from that!
(888-922) Sufi from Baghdad
I saw my Lord with the eye of the heart. I said, “Who are you.” He said, “You.”
(Muhammad) Ibn’ Arabi
(1165-1240) Arabic Sufi teacher and writer of hundreds of books
Those who cherish God in the sun witness the sun, and those who cherish Him in living things observe a living thing, and those who cherish Him in lifeless things view a lifeless thing, and those who cherish Him as a unique and unequalled being see Him as such.
Beware of committing yourself exclusively to a specific belief so that you disbelieve everything else, or else you will miss out on much good—in fact, you will miss out on recognizing the authentic truth. God, the all-present and all-powerful, is not limited to any single belief. Wherever you turn, there is the face of Allah.
The entire world is truly imagination. Only He [God] is real reality. Anyone who understands this knows the secrets of the spiritual path.
(Maulana) Jalal Al-Din (or Jalaluddin) Rumi
(1207-1273) Iranian Sufi poet; among his writings include the very well known Mathnawi
A person cannot live in “if.”
Be concerned with what you truly value; let the thief steal something else.
Conventional opinion hampers our souls.
You already possess the powerful mixture that will make you well—use it.
Appear as you are; be as you appear.
Each person has been made for some specific work, and the longing for that work has been put into every heart.
Ah! Joyous is the soul that saw its own faults.
The satiated man and the hungry man do not see the same thing when they look at a loaf of bread.
…People don’t observe themselves, and thus they blame one another.
Your mission isn’t to look for love, but simply to search and locate the barriers within you that have formed against it.
We waste our energy designing and carrying out plans to become what we already are.
The act of trying to find the way home is what convinces us we are lost. We’re not lost; we’re not alone; and we’ve never even left home.
Oh tongue; you are an infinite fortune. Oh tongue; you are also an infinite ailment.
Treasures and armies do not make a king. A true king is a king within himself.
Become your own fortune… Seek the bounty within yourself.
All darkness is followed by sunshine.
Outside of the concepts of misdeed and good deed, there is a field. I will meet you there.
If you—wandering Sufi—are looking for the supreme treasure, do not look outside. Look within, and seek that.
Although we appear to be asleep, there exists a wakefulness in us that guides the dream, and that will also eventually frighten us back to the truth of who we are.
Everything you observe has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, but the essence stays the same. Every awesome sight will disappear, and every sweet word will fade away; but do not be dejected—for their source is eternal, growing, branching out, and giving new life and new joy. Why do you weep? The source is in you, and this whole world is springing up from it.