Ten Sufi Thoughts

from The Way of Illumination

There are ten principal Sufi thoughts which comprise all the important subjects with which the inner life of man is concerned:


1) There is one God, the Eternal, the Only Being; none else exists save God.

2) There is one Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, who constantly leads all followers towards the light.

3) There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, which truly enlightens all readers.

4) There is one Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction towards the ideal, which fulfils the life's purpose of every soul.

5) There is one Law, the law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience together with a sense of awakened justice.

6) There is one human Brotherhood, the Brotherhood and Sisterhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the Fatherhood of God.

7) There is one Moral Principle, the love which springs forth from self-denial, and blooms in deeds of beneficence.

8) There is one Object of Praise, the beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.

9) There is one Truth, the true knowledge of our being within and without which is the essence of all wisdom.

10) There is one Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality and in which resides all perfection.


The objectives of the Sufi path:


1) To realize and spread the knowledge of unity, the religion of love and wisdom, so that the bias of faiths and beliefs may of itself fall away, the human heart may overflow with love, and all hatred caused by distinctions and differences may be rooted out.

2) To discover the light and power latent in man, the secret of all religion, the power of mysticism, and the essence of philosophy, without interfering with customs or belief.

3) To help to bring the world's two opposite poles, East and West, closer together by the interchange of thought and ideals, that the Universal Brotherhood may form of itself, and man may see with man beyond the narrow national and racial boundaries.

Inside the Kabba (الكعبة)- rare video

The Religion of the Heart

If anybody asks you, "What is Sufism? What religion is it?", you may answer:

"Sufism is the religion of the heart, the religion in which the most important thing is to seek God in the heart of mankind."


There are three ways of seeking God in the human heart. The first way is to recognize God the divine in every person, and to care for every person with whom we come in contact, in our thought, speech, and action. Human personality is very delicate. The more living the heart the more sensitive it is; that which causes sensitivity is the love element in the heart, and love is God. The person whose heart is not sensitive is without feeling; his heart is not living, but dead. In that case the divine spirit is buried in his heart.

A person who is always concerned with his own feelings is so absorbed in himself that he has no time to think of another. His whole attention is taken up with his own feelings: he pities himself, worries about his own pain, and is never open to sympathize with others. He who takes notice of the feeling of another person with whom he comes in contact practices the first essential moral of Sufism.

The next way of practicing this religion is to think of the feeling of the person who is not at the moment before us. One feels for a person who is present, but one often neglects to feel for someone who is out of sight. One speaks well of someone to his face, but if one speaks well of someone when he is absent, that is greater. One sympathizes with the trouble of someone who is before one at the moment, but it is greater to sympathize with one who is far away.

The third way of realizing the Sufi principle is to recognize in one's own feeling the feeling of God, and to realize every impulse that rises in one's heart as a direction from God. Realizing that love is a divine spark in one's heart, one blows that spark until a flame may rise to illuminate the path of one's life.

The symbol of the Sufi Order, which is a heart with wings, is symbolic of its ideal. The heart is both earthly and heavenly. The heart is a receptacle on earth of the divine spirit, and when it holds the divine spirit it soars heavenward; the wings picture its rising. The crescent in the heart symbolizes responsiveness;

it is the heart that responds to the spirit of God that rises. The crescent is a symbol of responsiveness because it grows fuller by responding more and more to the sun as it progresses. The light one sees in the crescent is the light of the sun. It gets more light with increasing response, so it becomes fuller of the light of the sun. The star in the heart of the crescent represents the divine spark reflected in the human heart as love, which helps the crescent toward its fullness.

The Sufi Message is the message of the day. It does not bring theories or doctrines to add to those already existing, which puzzle the human mind. What the world needs today is the message of love, harmony, and beauty, the absence of which is the only tragedy of life. The Sufi Message does not give a new law. It wakens in humanity the spirit of brotherhood, with tolerance on the part of each for the religion of the other, and with forgiveness from each for the fault of the other. It teaches thoughtfulness and consideration, so as to create and maintain harmony in life; it teaches service and usefulness, which alone can make life in the world fruitful and in which lies the satisfaction of every soul.

The Sufi's Religion

from Religious Gatheka #66, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Religion in the ordinary sense of the word, as known by the world, is the creeds. There are not many religions in the world, but there are many creeds. And what does creed mean? Creed means a cover over the religion. There is one religion and there are many covers. Each of these covers is called 'Christianity,' 'Buddhism,' 'Hebrew Religion,' 'Muslim Religion,' etc., and when you take off these covers, you will find that there is one religion, and it is that religion which is the religion of the Sufi. And at the same time a Sufi does not condemn a church or creed or a certain form of worship. He says it is the world of variety. Everyone must have his choice of food, his choice of dress, his choice of expression. Why must the followers of one faith think that the others are heathens or pagans? The Sufi thinks that we all follow one religion, only in different names and different forms; but behind names and forms there is one and the same spirit and there is one and the same truth. But the pity is that the orthodox priests and clergy disagree among themselves about it; even in the colleges and in the universities, when students study theology, they study without interest. A professor told me in Switzerland that 'we have read many books of religion. I was a professor of theology; but we are taught in the college to study without taking deep interest in the subject, to be neutral.' But that is not the attitude to become inspired. Our attitude must be that of interest, of sympathy, of friendliness toward that religion and toward the Teacher who has brought it.

I began to study the Bible in my early youth and my devotion towards Christ and the Bible was as great as that of any Christian or perhaps more. And so it is with all Scriptures. If you have sympathy, if you have interest in all you study and read, then it is living, then it inspires you, you are benefited by it because of your love for truth. The same truth is common to all, but the tendency of the academic study of religion is to find where is the difference. They would be most interested in knowing where Christianity differs from Buddhism and where the Jewish religion differs from Islam. Their interest is in the difference instead of being interested in the synthesis, where we meet. It is in the meeting ground of different faiths that there is the sacred place of pilgrimage. In India, in order to teach this idea, they have made a place of pilgrimage where two rivers meet. When there is one river, they call it sacred but the most sacred place is where two rivers meet. It is the same thought that every stream of Divine Wisdom which we call religion is sacred, but most sacred it is there where two streams meet. And when we realize that, we make the real pilgrimage in the spirit.

And now coming to the idea of what religion consists of. The first thing in the religion is the idea of God. What is God? Some say that 'my idea of God is that He is in the highest Heaven, that He is the Creator, that He is the Judge of the Last Day, that He is the Forgiver.' And there is another one who says: 'My idea is that God is all, God is abstract, all is God, and if anyone believes in a personal God, I do not believe it.' Both are right and yet both are wrong. They are right if they see the other point of view and they are wrong if they see their own point of view. Both see the God-ideal with one eye. One sees it with the right eye and the other with the left eye. If they see with both eyes, then the vision is complete. It is indeed an error on the part of man to limit God in the idea of a Personal Being, and it is wrong in the person who believes in the Absolute God, to efface the Being of god from his conception of it. As they say: 'To explain God is to dethrone God.' To say that God is abstract is like saying: 'God is the space, God is the time.' Can you love the space? Can you love time? There is nothing there to love. A beautiful flower would attract you more than the space. And nice music will attract you more than time. Therefore the believer in the abstract God has only his belief, but he is not benefited by it. He may just as well believe in no God as in an abstract God. Yet he is not wrong. He is uselessly right. The most advisable thing for the believer of God is to first make his own conception of God. Naturally man cannot make a conception which he does not know, of something he does not know. For instance, if I told you to imagine a bird that you have never seen, which is unlike any bird you have ever seen, you will first attach the bird to wings, then you will see the head of the cow, and then perhaps you will imagine the feet of the horse, the peacock's tail. But you cannot imagine any form which you have not seen, which you have not known. You have to embody from your mind a form which you already know. You cannot make a conception which you have never seen or known before. Besides, it is the easiest thing and it is the most natural thing for man to conceive of any being in his own form. When man thinks of fairies or angels he sees them in human form, and therefore it a person conceives of the God-ideal, even the highest and best way of conceiving will be in the highest and best human personality. There is nothing wrong about it. That is all that man can do. God is greater than man's conception, but man cannot conceive Him higher than he can. Therefore any man's God is in his own conception. It is useless, therefore, to argue and to discuss and to urge one's own conception upon another. For the best way a person can think of God is in the way he is capable of thinking of God.

And then the next aspect of religion is the ideal of the Teacher. One says that: 'My Teacher is the Savior of the world, the Savior of humanity. My Teacher is Divine, My teacher is God Himself.' And there is another who is ready to oppose it, saying that it is not true, no man can be called divine and now one can save the world, each one has to save himself. But if you look at it from the Sufi's point of view, the Sufi says: What does it matter if a man sees in someone he adores and worships and idealizes, God himself? After all, this whole manifestation is God's manifestation. If he says that in that particular Teacher he sees the Divine, there is nothing wrong about it. Let him call his Teacher Divinity. I am sorry for the one who does not call his Teacher the Savior.' Besides that, we each have an effect of our deeds on the whole cosmos and if a high soul was called by someone' the Savior of the World,' it is not an exaggeration. One wicked soul can cause such harm to the whole cosmos, and one holy soul by his life on earth can do so much good, directly and indirectly, to each being in the world, because each soul is connected with the whole cosmos. But for the Sufi there is no dispute about it. If a Buddhist says: 'Buddha is my Savior, if a Christian says 'Christ is divine,' if a Muslim says ' Muhammad was the seal of the Prophets,' if a Hindu says ' Krishna was the expression of God,' the Sufi says: 'You are all justified; you each have your name, individually or collectively. You are calling my Ideal. All these names are the name of my Ideal. You each have your own ideals. I have all these names as the name of my Ideal. I call my Beloved: Krishna, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad. Therefore all your ideals I love, because my ideal is one and the same.'

And now comes the third idea in religion, and that is the idea of the form of worship. Perhaps in one religion there are candles lighted and there is a form of worship. And there is another religion, even a song is not allowed to be sung in the church. In another religion they call out the name of God and pray to the Lord with movements. In another religion they have put a statue of Buddha on the altar as the sign of peace. These are different expressions of devotion. Just as in the Western countries by nodding and in the Eastern countries by raising their hands, they salute one another. It is the same feeling, but the action is different. What does it matter if one greets in this way or in that way, is it not all a greeting? The Sufi says, so long as there is real devotion, it does not matter in what way it is expressed. For him it is the same.

Once I was traveling from England to the United States, and on the ship on Sunday there was a Protestant service, which I attended; and everyone thought I was a Protestant. Then there was a Catholic service and when I went to the Catholic service, people began to look at me, doubting if I was a Catholic or a Protestant. After that, there was a Jewish service and when I went, they began to think that, if I was a Rabbi, why did I go to all these services? To me every one of these services was an expression of devotion, for me they were not different. The form makes no difference, it is our feeling. When our feeling is right, if we are in the church or on the market-place or in the simple nature or in our own house, we always will express our sincere devotion. Therefore a Sufi's form of prayer is all forms of prayer and in every form he feels that exaltation which is the principal thing to experience in religious life.

Haque Ali Ali Maula Ali Ali

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997) was a great Peaceful Warrior. A singer from Pakistan that went on to become the world’s greatest singer of Qawwali, a boisterous and passionate music of mystical Islam. His name is revered the world over - from Bollywood to Hollywood.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is considered one of the greatest singers ever recorded. He holds the Guinness world record for the most recordings of any Qawwali artist and has recorded 125 albums. He was gifted with a six-octave vocal range and during his performances it was very common for him to sing at a high-level of intensity for several hours. One of my favorites is his live performance in Paris - the entire performance spans 5 CDs.

His family have been musicians and singers of Qawwali (Islamic devotional music) for six centuries. Nusrat’s father, himself a singer, died in 1964 when Nusrat was about 16. His father had wanted his son to become a doctor because Qawwali is a very challenging style to learn. Ten days after his father’s death, Nusrat had a dream where his father came to him and told him to sing, touching his throat. Nusrat woke up singing, and gave his first public performance at his father’s funeral ceremony forty days later.

His first major hit in Pakistan was the Qawwali, Haq Ali Ali which was performed in a traditional style and with traditional instruments (Harmonium, Tabla, etc). The song featured restrained use of Nusrat’s sargam improvisations and attracted a large number of listeners.

Here is the beautiful heart rendering Qawwali, Haq Ali Ali dedicated to Hazrat Ali (AS) by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - the poetry is sheer divine ecstasy.














Lyrics and Translation of Haq Ali Ali by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.



Ali imaam-e-manasto manam Ghulaam-e-Ali
hazaar jaan-e-giraamii fidaa-e-naam-e-Ali

Ali is the master of all, I am the slave of Ali
a thousand lives are to be sacrificed for Ali


Haidariam Qalandaram Mastam
Bandaa-e-Murtaza Ali Hastam
Peshvaa-e-tamaam rindaanam
Ke Sage Kuu-e-Sher-e-Yazdaanam

I belong to the Lion of God
I am an intoxicated ecstatic wandering dervish
I am a slave of Ali the Chosen One
I am the leader of all the drunkards [mystical intoxication]
As I am a dog in the street of the Lion of God [Sher-e Yazdaan is Persian for Lion of God].


kabhii diivaar hiltii hai, kabhii dar kaaNp jaataa hai
Ali kaa naam sun kar ab bhii Khaibar kaaNp jaataa hai

Sometimes the wall shakes, sometimes trembles the door
upon hearing the name of Ali, the fort of Khaibar trembles even now.


Note: During the battle for the Fort of Khaibar, Ali rooted out the heavy door of the fort and used it as his shield.

Shaah-e-mardaaN Ali
Ali Ali Ali
Ali Maula Ali

King of the brave men, Ali
Ali Ali Ali
Ali, [my] master Ali.


patthar pe alam deen ka gaaRaa jisne
lalkaar kar Marhab ko pichaaRaa jisne

[One] who implanted the flag of faith on the rocks
[One] who challenged Marhab and defeated him.

Note: In the same war, Ali challenged and defeated the celebrated warrior Marhab.

Haq
Ali Ali Ali
Ali Maula Ali

[The] truth!
Ali Ali Ali
Ali, [my] master Ali


jap le jap le mere manvaa
yahii naam sacchaa hai pyaare
yahii naam tere sab dukh haare
isii naam kii barkat ne diye raaz-e-haqiiqat khol

my heart! chant this
[as] this is the name that is true.
This is the name that removes suffering
[and] the auspiciousness of this name opened the secrets of being.


shaah-e-mardaaN Ali
la fataa illah Ali
sher-e-yazdaaN Ali

King of the brave, Ali.
There is no one except Ali
[and] the lion of God is Ali.


tan par Ali, Ali ho zubaaN par Al Ali
mar jauuN to kafan par bhii likhna Ali Ali

My body chants Ali, so does my tongue
[and] when I die, then write Ali on my shroud.


baGhair hubb-e-Ali mudd’aa nahiiN miltaa
ibaadatoN kaa bhii hargiz silaa nahiiN miltaa
Khudaa ke bandoN suno Ghaur se Khudaa kii qasam
jise Ali nahiiN milte use Khudaa nahiiN miltaa

Without the love of Ali, desire is not fulfilled
not even the prayers are answered.
O! slaves of God listen carefully, by God!
One who does not realizes Ali does not realize God.


basad talaash na ab kuch vus’at-e-nazar se milaa
nishaan-e-manzil-e-maqsuud raahbar se milaa
Ali mile to mile Khaana-e-Khudaa saa hameN
Khudaa ko dhuuNdha to vo bhi Ali ke ghar se milaa

Don’t search for anything now, match the eternal search
match the footprints of the desired destination with guide
to get Ali is like getting a house of God
searching for God too, we found Him in Ali’s house.


diid Haider kii ibaadat, hai ye farmaan-e-nabii
hai Ali ruuh-e-nabii, jism-e-nabii, jaan-e-nabii
gul-e-tathiir Ali
haq kii shamshiir Ali
piiroN ke piir Ali

The sight of Ali in itself is prayer, so said the Prophet
Ali is the soul, body and life of the Prophet
Ali is the purified flower
Ali is the sword of the truth
Ali is the saint of the saints.


dast-e-ilaa kyuuN na ho sher-e-Khudaa Ali
maqsuud har ataa hai shah-e-laa-fataa Ali
jis tarah ek zaat-e-Muhammad hai be-misaal
paidaa hu’aa na hogaa ko’ii duusraa Ali
“Bedam” yahii to paaNch haiN maqsuud-e-qaaynaat
Khairunnisaa, Hasan, Hussain, Mustafaa, Ali

At the door of god why not be like the Lion of God.
Every intention has a reward, King of the Victorious is Ali
Like the progeny of Muhammad is unique and unmatchable
There is none born nor ever will, like Ali
These five are indeed the reason of creation;
Khairunnisaa (Fatima, prophet’s daughter), Hasan, Hussain (Ali’s sons), Mustafa (Prophet Muhammad), Ali


Haq
Ali Ali Ali
Ali Maula Ali

[The] truth!
Ali Ali Ali
Ali, [my] master Ali

Tag Cloud

25 Quranic Duas 3 states of Matter 40 Hadith e Qudsi 966th Urs of Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh Ali Hajveri R.A Abul Hasan Ahl-e-Bait Allama Iqbal Ameer-al-Momineen Amir Khusro Asal Sikandar e Aazam Auliya e Hind AURA Bari Imam Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Bilal bin Reyah R.A Bilal e Habshi R.A Biography Of Hazrat Ali R.A Brief History of Bari Imam Brief History of Hazrat Sheikh Sharf-Uddin Bu-Ali Shah Qalandar R.A Brief History of Khawaja Moeen ud Din Chishti R.A Brief History of Rabia al Basri R.A Bu Ali Shah Qalandar Chishtia Dama Dam Mastt Qalandar Dhamal Dhol DIVINE WISDOM First Muazzin of Islam Forty Hadith Qudsi Hadith Haque Ali Ali Maula Ali Ali Hazrat Ali R A Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah Sarkar R.A Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hijveri RA Hazrat Ghaus Ali Shah Panipat Hazrat Inayat Khan Hazrat Lal Shehbaz Qalandar Hazrat Salman Farsi R.A Hazrat Salman Farsi R.A Roza Hazrat Shams Tabrizi History and Biographies Human Aura Illusion Imam Musa Al Kadhim A.S Inside the Kabba-Rare Video Iqbal Poetry Ishq Jalaluddin Rumi Jhooley Lal Konya Leader of the Muazzins Man Kunto Maula Meaning of Life Misconceptions Mola-e-Kaayenaat mysticism Nahjul Balagha Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Obedience Pappu Sain Prophet Companions Psychology Qalandar Qalandar e Kibriya Qawali Quotes Religion of Heart Rumi Rumi Quotes Sayings of Hazrat Ali R.A Shams-e-Tabriz Shrine of Jalaluddin Rumi Spiritual Spiritualism Spirituality Sufi Message Sufi Poetry Sufi Quotes Sufism Tasawwuf Ten Sufi Thoughts The Infallibles Sayings of Imam Ali A . S the Last Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H Videos Weird Wisdom Articles Words of Wisdom