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And this point is the cutting edge to all clashes through which everyone comes to know the distinguished characteristics that God assigned to him ,the fact which makes humanity more coherent due to the fact the every person completes another one. Then this channel will be the best one for closing up far distances between peoples.

The Essence of Sufism

I have a call in this book to eliminate malice and to put an end to the causes of wars and fighting discrimination and extremism, and this is by referring to the origin of deviation and the hands that manipulates it, and by calling on those people to stop their bad deeds. And of course,I did not forget to address every individual on this planet - on a base that says "every speech has its reality" - that everyone must prove the reality of his claims his beliefs and the ideas he supports by giving evidences and proofs.

The very same Sufis who said that it could never be put into words went on to write multi-volume encyclopedias. But at the end of the day, they knew that words fail. I am sure you here are all familiar with the eloquence of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi, the great poet. He was a professor in Konya and he used to teach his students with big piles of books stacked up in front of him.

One day a seeming madman blew in from the dessert and rather rudely interrupted the class. Suddenly the pages of the books started to burn.

The Essence of Sufism

Great flames were leaping from the desk. But it is impeccable manner, the manner of the lover in the presence of the Beloved. The religious law exists to keep us in check when we are unaware of the presence of the Beloved. Probably you have all noticed in your own life that you behave according to different standards depending on who you are with. And the one that you most idealize, the one who is most beloved, in the presence of that one, you are on your best behavior. Sufism, then, is living life in that constant presence. Go out and steal something. They possess nothing. They are wandering mendicants who own nothing.

And there are others who live in palaces in great opulence but are completely detached from the wealth, ready to release it at any moment. They are playing a role in the world. That is the essence of what is meant by not possessing and not being possessed. Possessing means grasping, being addicted, being unable to part from something. The Sufi is addicted, being unable to part with only one thing and that is the One Being who is ever-present and can never be lost or stolen.

So one finds that the less one possesses, psychically possesses, the less one is possessed. Because all the things of life, as one collects them, just weigh one down. Of course, there will come a time, whether in this life or in the next when everything, item by item, will have to be released. It can be voluntary or involuntary. This lesson was learned by a very great early Sufi whose name was Ibrahim Adham Balkhi.

He was the king of Balkh which was a kingdom in Afghanistan.

At that time it was a rich, composite culture in Afghanistan which included a strong Buddhist element. I am sure you are familiar with those incredible Buddha monuments that were destroyed by the Taliban regime that were the legacy of that period. And Ibrahim Adham himself was a saint in the footsteps of the Buddha.

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If you study the Sufi tradition you will find the trace of Buddhism. Like Buddha, Ibrahim Adham was a great king living in opulence. Of course, each of us in this contemporary era live, by comparison to the people of former times, like kings. So in some sense, Ibrahim Adham was a person just like any one of us. But he was the king of the court of a mighty kingdom. And this king was visited by another strange mystic from the dessert.

This was Khizr, the green man of the dessert. He blew in, evaded the guards, and made his way into the inner court. Instead of bowing in obeisance as was the protocol, he impudently went up to the throne. You can imagine how angry the king was to hear his palace called a motel. He realized that all he had invested himself in, his persona of grandeur and wealth and power, was ephemeral; it was trifling in the grand scheme of things.

He was just passing through a motel. The words of Khizr went straight into his heart, like a barb. He was compelled to leave his crown and his throne and live as a wandering dervish. For many years he wandered. There at the khanqua, he was made to renounce his false pride.


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Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! The Sufis have been using carefully constructed stories for teaching purposes for thousands of years.

Book information

Though on the surface these often appear to be little more than fairy or folk tales, the Sufis hold that they enshrine-in their characters, plots and imagery-patterns and relationships that nurture a part of the mind not reachable in more conventional ways, thus increasing our understanding, flexibility and breadth of vision. Familiarisation with this body of material can eventually provide answers to questions about our origins and our destiny.

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In this book John Baldock explores the rich body of literature the Sufis have produced to guide spiritual travellers. While explaining the significant teachings and emphasizing their significance for us, he sheds a timely light on the Sufis' fascinating perception of life, revealing it to be a process of the heart and not of the head, and offers intriguing pathways to further study and reflection.

The Essence of Sufism available at Mecca Books the Islamic Bookstore

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