Ibn Arabi, who is considered to be the greatest sheikh in Sufism, was traveling to Mecca, and he passed through Tunisia. In Tunisia he was told that there was a holy man living there who he must visit. This holy man was a fisherman who lived in a mud hut on the beach and caught […]
You have not danced so badly my dear, Trying to hold hands with the beautiful one You have waltzed with great style, my sweet, crushed angel, To have ever neared God’s heart at all. Our partner is notoriously difficult to follow, And even his best musicians are not always easy to hear, So what if […]
Ghazal 441 by Jalaluddin Rumi, Literal Translation Show your face, for the orchard and rosegarden are my desire; open your lips, for abundant sugar is my desire. Sun of beauty, come forth one moment out of the cloud, for that glittering, glowing countenance is my desire. Out of your air I heard the sound of […]
Divine Recollection As the Essence of Islam Someone proposed to me recently that love of God and love of neighbor is the essence of Christianity, and they asked what was the essence of Islam. Here are some thoughts on this question: When all is said and done the Islamic revelation, and Islamic spirituality in all […]
“Oh, if a Tree Could Wander”
Oh, if a tree could wander and move with foot and wings!
It would not suffer the axe blows and not the pain of saws!
For would the sun not wander away in every night?
How could at ev’ry morning the world be lighted up?
And if the ocean’s water would not rise to the sky,
How would the plants be quickened by streams and gentle rain?
The drop that left its homeland, the sea, and then returned?
It found an oyster waiting and grew into a pearl.
Did Yusuf not leave his father, in grief and tears and despair?
Did he not, by such a journey, gain kingdom and fortune wide?
Did not the Prophet travel to far Madina, friend?
And there he found a new kingdom and ruled a hundred lands.
You lack a foot to travel?
Then journey into yourself!
And like a mine of rubies receive the sunbeams’ print!
Out of yourself? Such a journey will lead you to your self,
It leads to transformation of dust into pure gold!
Translated by Annemarie Schimmel
Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna once shared a cucumber with Ayaz, his most loyal and beloved companion. Ayaz happily ate his half of the cucumber, but when the sultan bit into his half, it was so bitter he immediately spit it out. “How could you manage to eat something so bitter? the sultan exclaimed, “it tasted […]
Seek, and you shall find. As you study all religions, to find their interpretation of spirituality, you will discover the divine touch in each. The more places you look, the better your understanding will be. I don’t care what religion you come from! I think that all religions do good, and all of them have good and bad people in them.
Every religion has people who understand it’s teaching, and people who imagine themselves wise, and who are wise. I chose the Sufi Islamic path because I believe it is the easiest and most direct form of getting to know oneself without intermediaries; certainly, it is my path. I care that you really know yourself. This is the greatest gift, and you can only give it to yourself.
We each have the divine spark placed in us. It is our responsibility to make the connection, to awaken to the light, to open our eyes to the light within us, and to live in accordance to the divine light once discovered.
All religions join in a unity. It is the love of God. It is the proclamation from the very depth of the seekers heart for God. It seeks God’s reality and divinity.
All consciously awakening people seek to know themselves, to better themselves, and in removing the veils from ourselves, we find our light within.
Copyright © Yilmaz Alimoglu 2010-2015
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Rambam (רמב”ם – Hebrew acronym for “Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon”), was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages. Maimonides was born during what some scholars consider to be the end of the golden age of Jewish […]
Don’t sleep for just one night, my beautiful friend.
And the treasure of Eternity will appear before you.
The Sun of the Invisible will warm you all night;
The collyrium of mystery will open your eyes.
This evening, I beg you, fight against yourself, don’t sleep.
So you discover those splendors that spread ecstasy.
It is at night that beauties unveil themselves;
The one who sleeps never hears their soft calls.
Wasn’t it at night that Moses saw the burning bush
And heard its miraculous summons to come closer?
It was during the night he traveled so far
That he came to see a bush drowned in glory.
The day’s for earning a living, the night’s for love
So the eyes of the jealous cannot spy on you.
The rest of the world may sleep, but real lovers
Throughout the night talk inwardly with God.
All through the night God is calling us,
“Rise up, use this time richly, you poor man!
If you don’t, you’ll burn with regret
When your soul’s separated from your body.”
Translated by Andrew Harvey
Sufism is not different from the mysticism of all religions. Mysticism comes from Adam (God’s peace be upon him), of monks, of hermits, and of Muhammad (God’s peace be upon him). A river passes through many countries and each claims it for its own. But there is only one river.
Truth does not change. People change. People try to possess truth and keep it for themselves, keep it from others. But you cannot own the truth.
The path of sufism is the elimination of any intermediaries between the individual and God. The goal is to act as an extension, not to be a barrier.
To be a dervish is to serve and to help others, not just to sit and pray. To be a real dervish is to lift up those who have fallen, to wipe the tears of the suffering, to caress the friendless and the orphaned.
Different people have different capacities. Some can help with their hands, others with their tongue, others with their prayers, and others with their wealth.
You can get there by yourself, but that is the hard way. Our personal goals all lead to the same end. There is only one truth. But why deny the thousands of years of experience found in religion? There is real wisdom available from so many years of seeking and trial and error.
A great mistake is to have only half a religion. That keeps you from real faith. It is a terrible mistake. Seeing someone who is only half a doctor is terribly dangerous. Someone who is half a ruler is a tyrant.
Many struggle in the maze of religion and religious differences. They are like dogs fighting over a bone, seeking their own selfish interests. The solution is to remember that there is only one Creator, who provides for all of us. The more we remember the One, the less the fighting….
God has said, “I, who cannot be contained in all the universes upon universes, fit into the heart of the believer.” Now God does not actually fit into human hearts. God cannot be limited to a place. God’s expressions fit into all people’s hearts. We are not “part” of God, because God is indivisible. Humanity is God’s creation. God’s expression in our hearts is that we are God’s regents, God’s representatives. We are the expression, the visible example of God. And so, God’s Mercy is expressed through the thoughts and actions of one person, God’s Compassion through another, God’s Generosity through another.
There is the essence of God and there are the attributes of God. The essence is impossible for us to understand. We can begin to understand the attributes. In fact, part of a Sufi education is to understand those attributes in yourself.
God has said, “My servants will find Me as they see Me.” This does not mean if you think of god as a tree or as a mountain that God will be that tree or mountain. If you think of God as merciful, or loving, or as angry or vengeful, that is how you will find God.
It is permissible in Sufism to talk about all of God’s attributes. Finally, the Sufi reaches the stage of submission, and then ceases to ask questions.
There is electricity everywhere, but if you have only three light bulbs, all you will see is those three bulbs. You have to be conscious of yourself. That is the beginning and the extent of it. Only by knowledge of yourself will you understand certain attributes. The connection to the attributes is through self-understanding. Outwardly you will find nothing.
All of creation is God’s manifestation. But, as some parts of the earth receive more light than others, some people receive more light. The prophets received the most Divine light. Besides quantity there is quality. There is the question of what attributes are being manifested. Some people are manifestations of different Divine attributes. The prophets manifest all of the Divine attributes. The moon reflects the light of the sun. The sun is Truth; the moon is each prophet.
Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak