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God, Almighty and Glorious, has said: "And those who walk meekly on the earth, and when the ignorant speak to them answer 'Peace'," (shall be rewarded with the highest place in Paradise ).1


And the Apostle has said: "Be that hears the voice of Sufis (ahl al-tasawwuf) and does not say Amen to their prayer is inscribed before God among the' heedless."


The true meaning of this name has been much discussed and many books have been composed on the subject. Some assert that the Sufi is so called because he wears a woollen garment Gama-i sut); others that he is so called because he is in the first rank (saff-i awwal); others say it is because the Sufis claim to belong to the Ashab-i Suffa,2 with whom may God be well-pleased! Others, again, declare that the name is derived from safa (purity). These explanations of the true meaning of Sufi'ism are far from satisfying the requirements of etymology, although each of them is supported by many subtle arguments.


Safa (purity) is universally praised, and its opposite is kadar. The Apostle - on whom be peace! - said: "The safw (pure part, i.e. the best) of this world is gone, and only its kadar (impurity) remains." Therefore, since the people of this persuasion have purged their morals and conduct, and have sought  to free themselves from natural taints, on that account they are called Sufis; and this designation of the sect is a proper name (az asami-yi al'lam), in as much as the dignity of the Sufis is too great for their transactions (mu'amalat) to be hidden, so that their name should need a derivation.


In this age, however, God has veiled most people from Sufi'ism and from its votaries, and has concealed its mysteries from their hearts. Accordingly some imagine that it consists merely in the practice of outward piety without inward contemplation, and others suppose that it is a form and a system without essence and root, to such an extent that they have adopted the view of scoffers (ahl-i hazE) and theologians (ulama), who regard only the external, and have condemned Sufi' ism altogether, making no attempt to discover what it really is. The people in general, blindly conforming to this opinion,  have erased from their hearts the quest for inward purity and have discarded the tenets of the Ancients and the Companions of the Prophet (May peace be upon him).


Verily, purity is characteristic of the Siddiq,3  if thou desirest a true Sufi because purity (safa) has a root and a branch: its root being severance of the heart from "others" (aghyar), and its branch that the heart should be empty of this deceitful world. Both these are characteristic of the Greatest Siddiq, (the Caliph) Abu Bakr 'Abdallah b. Abi Quhafa, with whom may God be well-pleased! He is the leader (imam) of all the folk of this Path.


[The author then relates how, on Muhammad's decease, when 'Umar threatened to decapitate anyone who asserted that the Prophet (May peace be upon him) was dead, Abu Bakr stepped forth and cried with a loud voice: "Whoever worships Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead; but whoever worships Muhammad's (May peace be upon him) Lord, let him know that He is living and dieth not."  Those who regarded Muhammad with the eye of mortality ceased to venerate him as soon as he departed from this world, but to those who regarded him with the eye of reality his presence and absence were alike, because they attributed both to God; and looked, not at the particular change which had come to pass, but at the Author of all change; and venerated Muhammad (May peace be upon him) only in proportion as God honoured him; and did not attach their hearts to anyone (except God); and did not open their eyes to gaze upon mankind, inasmuch as "he that beholdeth mankind waneth, but he that retumeth unto God reigneth" (man nazara ila'l-khalq halak wa-man reja'a ila 'l-haqq malak). And Abu Bakr showed that his heart was empty of this deceitful world, for he gave away all his wealth and his clients (mawali), and clad himself in a woollen garment (gilim), and came to the Apostle, who asked him what he had left for his family. Abu Bakr replied: "Only God and His Apostle." All this is characteristic of the sincere Sufi.]


I said that safa (purity) is the opposite of kadar (impurity), and kadar is one of the qualities of Man. The true Sufi is he that leaves impurity behind. Thus, human nature (bashariyyat) prevailed in the women of Egypt as they gazed, enraptured, on the wondrous beauty of Yousuf (Joseph), on whom be peace! But afterwards the preponderance was reversed, until at last they beheld him with their human nature annihilated (ba-fana-yi bashariyyat) and cried: "This is no human being" (Qur.xii,31). They made him their object and gave expression to their own state. Hence the Shaykhs of this Path - God have mercy on them! - have said: Laysa 'l-safa min sifat al-bashar li-anna 'l-bashar madar wa'l-madar la yakhlu min al-kadar, "Purity is not one of the qualities of Man, for Man is clay, and clay involves impurity, and Man cannot escape from impurity." Therefore purity bears no likeness to acts (afal), nor can the human nature be destroyed by means of effort. The quality of purity is unrelated to acts and states, and its name is unconnected with names and nicknames - purity is characteristic of the lovers (of God), who are suns without cloud - beacuse purity is the attribute of those who love, and the lover is he that is dead (fani) in his own attributes and living (baqi) in the attributes of his Beloved, and their "states" resemble the clear sun in the opinion of mystics (arbab-i hal).


The beloved of God, Muhammad (May peace be upon him) the Chosen One, was asked concerning the state of Haritha. He answered: 'Abd nawwara 'llah qalbalu bi 'l-iman, "He is a man whose heart is illumined by the light of faith, so that his face shines like the moon from the effect thereof, and he is formed by the Divine light."


An eminent Sufi says: Diya ai-shams wa'i-tawhid idha 'shtabaka, wa'i-qamar idha 'shtaraka namudhagun min sifa ai-hub" The combination of the light of the sun and moon, when they are in conjunction, is like the purity of Love and Unification, when these are mingled together." Assuredly, the light of the sun and moon is worthless beside the light of the Love and Unification of God Almighty, and they should not be compared; but in this world there is no light more conspicuous than those two luminaries. The eye cannot see the light of the sun and moon with complete demonstration. During the sway of the sun and moon it sees the sky, whereas the heart (dil) sees the empyrean Carsh by the light of knowledge and unification and love, and while still in this world explores the world to come. All the Shaykhs of this Path are agreed that when a man has escaped from the captivity of "stations" (maqamat), and gets rid of the impurity of "states" (ahwal), and is liberated from the abode of change and decay, and becomes endowed with all praiseworthy qualities, he is disjoined from all qualities. That is to say, he is not held in bondage by any praiseworthy quality of his own, nor does he regard it, nor is he made self conceited thereby. His state is hidden from the perception of intelligences, and his time is exempt from the influence of thoughts. His presence (hudur) with God has no end and his existence has no cause. And when he arrives at this degree, he becomes annihilated (fani) in this world and in the next, and is made divine (rabbani) in the disappearance of humanity; and gold and earth are the same in his eyes, and the ordinances which others find hard to keep become easy to him.


[Here follows the story of Haritha, who declared that he had true faith in God. The Prophet (May peace be upon him) asked: "What is the reality of the faith?" Haritha replied: "I have cut off and turned myself away from this world, so that its stones and its gold and its silver and its clay are equal in my sight. And I have passed my nights in wakefulness and my days in thirst until methinks I see the Throne of my Lord manifest and the people of Paradise visiting one another, and the people of Hell wrestling with one another,4 (or, according to an alternative reading: "making sudden attacks on one another).5. The Prophet (May peace be upon him) said, repeating the words thrice: "Thou knowest, therefore persevere. "]


"Sufi" is a name which is given, and has formerly been given, to the perfect saints and spiritual adepts. One of the Shaykhs says: Man saffahu 'l-hubb fa-huwa saf wa-man saffalu 'l-habib fa-huwa Sufiyy, "He that is purified by love is pure, and he that is absorbed in the Beloved and has abandoned all else is a 'Sufi'." The name has no derivation answering to etymological requirements, in as much as Sufi'ism is too exalted to have any genus from which it might be derived; for the derivation of one thing from another demands homogeneity (mujanasat). All that exists is the oposite of purity (safa), and things are not derived from their opposites.


To Sufis the meaning of Sufiism is clearer than the sun and does not need any explanation or indication.

Since "Sufi" admits of no explanation, all the world are interpreters thereof, whether they recognize the dignity of the name or no at the time when they learn its meaning.


The perfect, then, among them are called Sufi, and the inferior aspirants (taliban) among them are called Mutasawwif; for tasawwuf belongs to the form tafa'ul, which implies "taking trouble" (takalluj),6 and is a branch of the original root. The difference both in meaning and in etymology is evident.


Purity (safa) is a saintship with a sign and a relation (riwayat), and Sufi'ism (tasawwuf) is an uncomplaining imitation of purity (hikayat li'l-safa hila shikayat). Purity, then, is a resplendent and manifest idea, and Sufi'ism is an imitation of that idea.


Its followers in this degree are of three kinds: the Sufi, the Mutasawwif, and the Mustaswif.


The Sufi is he that is dead to self and living by the Truth; he has escaped from the grip of human faculties and has really attained (to God).


The Mutasawwif is he that seeks to reach this rank by means of self mortification (mujahadat) and in his search rectifies his conduct in accordance with their (the Sufis) example.


The Mustawifis he that makes himself like them (the Sufis) for the sake of money and wealth and power and worldly advantage, but has no knowledge of these two things.? Hence it has been said: Al-mustaswif 'inda 'l-Sufiyyat ka- '1dhubab wa-inda ghayrihim ka-l-dhi'ab, "The Mustaswif in the opinion of the Sufis is as despicable as flies, and his action are mere cupidity; others regard him as being like a wolf, and his speech unbridled (be afsar), for he only desires a morsel of carrion."


Therefore the Sufi is a man of union (sahib wusul), the Mutasawwif a man of principles (sahib usul), and the Mustaswif a man of superfluities (sahib fudul). He that has the portion of union loses all end and object by gaining his end and reaching his object; he  that has the portion of principle becomes firm in the "states" of the mystic path, and steadfastly devoted to the mysteries thereof; but he that has the portion of superfluity, is left devoid of all (worth having), and sits down at the gate of formality (rasm), and thereby he is veiled from reality (mani), and this veil renders both union and principle invisible to him. The Shaykhs of this persuasion have given many subtle definitions of Sufiism which cannot all be enumerated, but we shall mention some of them in this book, if God will, who is the Author of success.




Dhu 'I-Nun, the Egyptian says: AI-Sufi idha nataqa bana nutquhu 'an al-haqaiq wa-in sakata nataqat 'anhu '1jawarih bi-qat' al-alaiq, "The Sufi is he whose language, when he speaks, is the reality of his state, i.e. he says nothing which he is not, and when he is silent his conduct explains his state, and his state proclaims that he has cut all worldly ties;" i.e. all that he says is based on a sound principle and all that he does is pure detachment from the world (tajrid); when he speaks his speech is entirely the Truth, and when he is silent his actions are wholly "poverty" (faqr).


Junayd says: Al-tasawwuf natun uqima '1abd fihi qila nat li-'l-abd am li- 'l-haqq faqala nat al-haqq haqiqat wa-nat al-abd rasman, "Sufi'ism is an attribute wherein is Man's subsistence." They said: "Is it an attribute of God or of mankind?" He replied: "Its essence is an attribute of God and its formal system is an attribute of mankind;" i.e. its essence involves the annihilation of human qualities, which is brought about by the everlastingness of the Divine qualities, and this is an attribute of God; whereas its formal system involves on the part of Man the continuance of self-mortification (mujahadah ), and this continuance of self-mortification is an attribute of Man. Or the words may be taken in another sense, namely, that  in real Unification (tawhid) there are, correctly speaking, no human attributes at all, because human attributes are not constant but are only formal (rasm), having no permanence, for God is the agent. Therefore they are really the attributes of God. Thus (to explain what is meant), God commands His servants to fast, and when they keep the fast He gives them the name of "faster" (saim), and nominally this "fasting" (sawm) belongs to Man, but really it belongs to God. Accordingly God told His Apostle and said: Al-sawm li-wa-ana ajzi bihi, "Fasting is mine," because all His acts are His possessions, and when men ascribe things to themselves, the attribution is formal and metaphorical, not real.


And Abu 'l-Hasan Nuri says: Al-tasawwuf tarku kulli hazz li- '1nafs, "Sum'ism is the renunication of all selfish pleasures." This Renunciation is of two kinds: formal and essential. For example, if one renounces a pleasure, and finds pleasure in the renunciation, this is formal renunciation; but if the pleasure renounces him, then the pleasure is annihilated, and this case falls under the head of true contemplation (mushahadah). Therefore renunciation of pleasure is the act of Man, but annihilation of pleasure is the act of God. The act of Man is formal and metaphorical, while the act of God is real. This saying (of Nuri) elucidates the saying of Junayd which has been quoted above.


And Abu 'l-Hasan Nuri also says: Al-Sufiyyat humu 'lladhina safat arwahuhum fa-saru fi 'l-saff al-awwal bayna yadayi 'l-haqq, "The Sufis are they whose spirits have been freed from the pollution of humanity, purified from carnal taint, and released from concupiscence, so that they have found rest with God in the first rank and the highest degree, and have fled from all save Him."


And he also says: Al-Sufi alladhi la yamlik wa-la yumlak, "The Sufi is he that has nothing in his possession nor is himself possessed by anything." This denotes the essence of annihilation (fana), since one whose qualities are annihilated neither possesses nor is possessed, inasmuch as the term "possession" can properly be applied only to existent things. The meaning is, that the Sufi does not make at his own any good of this world or any glory of the next world, for he is not even in the possession and control of himself: he refrains from desiring authority over others, in order that others may not desire submission from him. This saying refers to a mystery of the Sufis which they call "complete annihilation" ifana-yi kulli). If God will, we shall mention in this work, for your information, the points wherein they have fallen into error.


Ibn al-Jallabi says: Al-tasawwuf haqiqat la rasm lahu "Sufi'ism is an essence without form," because the form belongs to mankind in respect to their conduct (muamalat), while the essence thereof is peculiar to God. Since Sufiism consists in turning away from mankind, it is necessarily without form.


And Abu 'Amr Dimashqi says: Al-tasawwuf ru'yat al-kawn bi'ayn al-naqs, bal ghadd al-tarf 'an alkawn, "Sufi'ism is to see the imperfection of the phenomenal world (and this shows that human attributes are still existent), nay, to shut the eye to the phenomenal world" (and this shows that human attributes are annihilated; because the objects of sight are phenomena, and when phenomena disappear, sight also disappears). Shutting the eye to the phenomenal world leaves the spiritual vision subsistent, i.e. whoever becomes blind to self sees by means of God, because the seeker of phenomena is also a self seeker, and his action proceeds from and through himself, and he cannot find any way of escaping from himself. Accordingly one sees himself to be imperfect, and one shuts his eye to self and does not see; and although the seer sees his 'imperfection, nevertheless his eye is a veil, and he is veiled by his sight, but he who does not see is not veiled by his blindness. This is a well established principle in the Path of aspirants to Sufi'ism and mystics (arbab-i maani), but to explain it here would be unsuitable.


And Abu Bakr Shibli says: Al-tasawwuf shirk li'annahu siyanat al-qalb 'an ruyat al-ghayr wa-la ghayr, "Sufi'ism is polytheism, because it is the guarding of the heart from the vision of 'other', and 'other' does not exist." That is to say, vision of other (than God) in affirming the Unity of God is polytheism, and when "other" has no value in the heart, it is absurd to guard the heart from remembrance of "other".


And Husri says: Altasawwuf safa al-sirr min kudurat al-mukhalafat, "Sufi'ism is the heart's being pure from the pollution of discord." The meaning thereof is that he should protect the heart from discord with God, because love is concord, and concord is the opposite of discord, and the lover has but one duty in the world, namely, to keep the commandment of the beloved; and if the object of desire is one, how can discord arise?


And Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib - may God be pleased with them all! - says: Altasawwuf khulq fa-man zada 'alayka fi'l-khulq zada 'alayka fi 'l-tasawwuf, "Sufi'ism is goodness of disposition: he that has the better disposition is the better Sufi." Now goodness of disposition is of two kinds: towards God and towards men. The former is acquiescence in the Divine decrees, the latter is endurance of the burden of men's society for God's sake. These two aspects refer to the seeker (talib). God is independent of the seeker's acquiescence or anger, and these two qualities depend on consideration of His Unity.


And Abu Muhammad Murta'ish says: AI-Sufi la yasbiqu himmatuhu khatwatahu, "The Sufi is he whose thought keeps pace with his foot," i.e. he is entirely present: his soul is where his body is, and his body where his soul is, and his soul where his foot is, and his foot where his soul is. This is the sign of presence without absence. Others say, on the contrary: "He is absent from himself and present with God." It is not so: he is present with himself and present with God. The expression denotes perfect union (jam'aljam), because there can be no absence from self so long as one regards one's self; when self regard has ceased, there is presence (with God) without absence.


In this particular sense the saying closely resembles that of Shibli: AI-Sufi la yara fi 'l-darayn maa 'llah ghayra 'llah, "The Sufi is he that sees nothing except God in the two worlds." In short, human existence is "other", and when a man does not see "other" he does not see himself; and becomes• totally void of self, whether "self' is affirmed or denied.


And Junayd says: Al-tasawwuf mabniyy ala thaman khisal al-sakha wa 'l-rida wa 'l-sabr wa 'l-isharat wa 'l-ghurbat wa-labs al-suf wa 'l-siyahat wa 'l-faqr amma 'l-sakha fa-li-Ibrahim waamma 'l-rida fa-li-Ismail wa-amma 'l-sabr fa-li-Ayyub waamma 'l-isharat fa-li-Zakariyya wa-amma. 'l-ghurbat fa-liYahya wa-amma labs al-suf fa-li-Musa waama 'l-siyahat fa-li-Isa wa-amma 'l-faqr fa-li-Muhammad salla 'llahu 'alayhi wa-sallama wa-alayhim ajmain, Sufi'ism is founded on eight qualities exemplified in eight Apostles: the generosity of Abraham,who sacrified his son; the acquiescence of Ishmael, who submitted to the command of God and gave up his dear life; the patience of Job, who patiently endured the affliction of worms and the jealousy of the Merciful; the symbolism of Zacharias, to whom God said, 'Thou shalt not speak unto men for three days save by signs' (Qur.iii,36), and again to the same effect, 'When he called upon his Lord with a secret invocation' (Qur.xix,2): the strangerhood of John, who was a stranger in his own country and an alien to his own kin amongst whom he lived; the pilgrimhood of Jesus, who was so detached therein from worldly things that he kept only a cup and a comb - the cup he threw away when he saw a man drinking water in the palms of his hands, and the comb likewise when he saw another man using his fingers instead of a toothpick; the wearing of wool by Moses, whose garment was woolen; and the poverty of Muhammad (May peace be upon him), to whom God Almighty sent the key of all the treasures that are upon the face of the earth, saying: 'Lay no trouble on thyself, but procure every luxury by means of these treasures; and he answered: 'O Lord, I desire them not, keep me one day full-fed and one day hungry.'" These are very excellent principles of conduct.


And Husri says: Al-Suji la yujadu ba'da 'adamihi wala yudamu bada wujudihi, "The Sufi is he whose existence is without non-existence and his non-existence without existence," i.e. he never loses that which he finds, and he never finds that which he loses. Another meaning is this, that his finding (yaft)  has no not finding (na-yaft), and his not finding has no finding at any time, so that there is either an affirmation without negation or a negation without affirmation. The object of all these expressions is that the Sufi's state of mortality should entirely lapse, and that his bodily feelings (shawahid) should disappear and his connexion with everything be cut off, in order that the mystery of his mortality may be revealed and his various parts united in his essential self, and that he may subsist through and in himself. The effect of this can be shown in two Apostles: firstly, Moses, in whose existence there was no non-existence, so that he said: "O Lord, enlarge my breast and make my affair easy unto me" (Qur. xx,26,27); secondly, the Apostle (Muhammad), in whose non existence there was no existence, so that God said: "Did not We enlarge thy breast?" (Qur.xciv,I). The one asked for adornment and sought honour, but the other was adorned, since he had no request to make for himself.


And 'Ali b. Bundar al-Sayrafi of Nishapur says: Altasawwuf isqat al-ru'yat li-'lhaqq zahir wa-batin, Sufi'ism is this, that the Sufi should not regard his own exterior and interior, but should regard all as belonging to God." Thus, if you look at the exterior, you will find an outward sign of God's blessing, and, as you look, outward actions will not have the weight even of a gnat's wing beside the blessing of God, and you will cease from regarding the exterior; and again, if you look at the interior, you will find an inward sign of God's aid, and, as you look, inward actions will not turn the scale by a single grain in comparison with the aid of God, and you will cease from regarding the interior, and wll see that all belongs to God; and when you see that all is God's, you will see that you yourself have nothing.


Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Muqri9 says: Al-tasawwuf Istlqamat al-ahwal ma'a 'l-haqq, "Sufi'ism is the maintenance of right states with God," i.e. "states" do not seduce the Sufi from his (right) state, nor cast him into wrong, since he whose heart is devoted to the Author of states (muhawwil-i ahwal) is not cast down from the rank of rectitude nor hindered from attainig to the Truth.


SECTION - Maxims of Conduct (muamalat)


Abu Hafs Haddad of Nishapur says: Al-tasawwuf kulluhu adab li-kulli waqt adab wa-li-kulli maqam adab wa-li-kulli hal adab fa-man lazima addab al-awqat balagha mablagh al-rijal fa-man dayya'a 'l-addab fa-huwa baid min haythu yazunnuu 'l-qurb wa-mardud min haythu yazunnu '1- . qabul, "Sufi'ism consists entirely of behaviour; every time, place, and circumstance have their own propriety; he that observes the proprieties of each occasion attains to the rank of holy men; and he that neglects the proprieties is far removed from the thought of nearness (to God) and is excluded from imagining that he is acceptable to God." The meaning of this is akin to the dictum of Abu 'l-Hasan Nuri: Laysa 'l-tasawwufrusum wa-la ulum wa-lakinnahu akhlaq, "Sufi'ism is not composed of practices and sciences, but it is morals," i.e. if it consisted of practices, it could be acquired by effort, and if it consisted of sciences, it could be gained by instruction: hence it is morals, and it is not acquired until you demand from yourself the principles of morals, and make your actions square with them, and fulfil their just claims. The distinction between practics (rusum) and morals (akhlaq) is this, that practices are ceremonial actions proceeding from certain motives, actions devoid of reality, so that their form is at variance with their spirit, whereas morals are praiseworthy actions without ceremony or motive, actions devoid of pretension, so that their form is in harmony with their spirit.


Murta'ish says: Al-tasawwuf husn al-khulq, "Sufism is good nature." This is of three sorts: firstly, towards God, by fulfilling His Commandments without hypocrisy,; secondly, towards men, by paying respect to one's superiors and behaving with kindness to one's inferiors and with justice to one's equals, and by no seeking recompense and justice from men in general; and thirdly, towards one's self, by not following the flesh and the devil. Whoever makes himself right in these three matters is a good natured man. This which I have mentioned agrees with a story told of 'A'isha the veracious (siddiq) - may God be well-pleased with her! She was asked concerning the nature of the Apostle. "Read from the Quran," she replied, "for God has given information in the place where He says: 'Use indulgence and order what is good and turn away from the ignorant' (Qur.vii,198)."


And Murta'ish also says: Hadha madhhabun kulluhu jidd fa-la takhlituhu bi-shay in min alhazl, "This religion of Sufi'ism is wholly earnest, therefore do not mix jest with it, and do not take the conduct of formalists (mutarassiman) as a model, and shun those who blindly imitate them." When the people see these formalists among the aspirants to Sufi'ism in our time, and become aware of their dancing and singing and visiting the court of sultans and quarrelling for the sake of a pittance or a mouthful of food, their belief in the whole body of Sufis is corrupted, and they say: "These are the principles of Sufi'ism, and the tenets of the ancient Sufis were just the same." They do not recognize that this is an age of weakness and an epoch of affliction. consequently, since greed incites the sultan to acts of tyranny and lust incites the savant to commit adultery and fornication, and ostentation incites the ascetic to hypocrisy, and vanity incites the Sufi also to dance and sing - you must know that the evil lies in the men who hold the doctrines, not in the principles on which the doctrines are based; and that if some scoffers disguise their folly in the earnestness of true mystics (ahrar), the earnestness of the latter is not thereby turned to folly.


And Abu Ali Qarmini10 says: A1-Tasawwuf huwa '1-akh1aq a1-radiyyat, "Sufi'ism is good morals. Approved actions are such that the creature in all circumstances approves of God, and is content and satisfied.


Abu'l Hasan Nuri says: A1-tasawwuf huwa '1hurriyyat wa-'l-futuwwat wa-tark a1-tak1if wa-'l-sakha , "Sufism is liberty, so that a man is freed from the bonds of desire; and generosity," i.e. he is purged from the conceit of generosity; "and abandonment of useless trouble," i.e. he does not strive after apportenances and rewards; and munificene," i.e. he leaves this world to the people of this world.


And Abu 'l-Hasan Fushanjall - may God have mercy on him! - says: Al-tasawwuf a1-yawma 'smun wa-1a haqiqat waqad kana haqiqat wa-1a 'smun, "Today Sufism is a name without a reality, but formerly it  was a reality without a name," i.e. in the time of the Companions and the Ancients -- may God have mercy on them! -- this name did not exist, but the reality thereof was in everyone; now the name exists, but not the reality. That is to say, formerly the practice was known and the pretence unknown, but nowadays the pretence is known and the practice unknown.


I have brought together and examined in this chapter on Sufi'ism a number of the sayings of the Shykhs, in order that this Path may become clear to you -- God grant you felicity! - and that you may say to the sceptics:"What do you mean by denying the truth of Sufi'ism?" If they deny only the name it is no matter, since ideas are unrelated to things which bear names; and if they deny the essential ideas, this amounts to a denial of the whole Sacred Law of the Apostle and his praised qualities. And I enjoin you in this book - God grant you the felicity with which He has blessed His Saints! -- to hold these ideas in due regard and satisfy their just claims, so that you may refrain from idle pretensions and have an excellent belief in the Sufis themselves. It is God that gives success.


1 Qur.xxv,64.

2 See Chapter IX.

3 The name zaddiq (an Aramaic word meaning "righteous") was given to the ascetiCs and spiritual adepts among the Manichaeans. Its Arabic equivalent, saddiq, which means "veracious", is a term that is frequently applied to Sufis.

4 Yatasara'un. B. has yata'adawn, and in marg. Yatasara'un. The true reading is yata'awawn, "barking (or 'growling') at one another." Cf. Lisan, xix,343,3.

5 Yataghawarun. This is the reading of 1., I. Has yata'awarun, L. yata'awadun, B. yataghamazun, and in marg. Yatafawazun.

6.Examp1es of this signification of the form ta'a"u1 are given in Wright's Arabic Grammar, vo1.i, p.37, Rem.b.

7.Viz. purity (safa) and Sufi'ism (tasawwuf)

8 So J. The Lahore edition has Ibn a1-Ja1a1i, I. Ibn a1-Jullabi. See Cahpter X, No.34.

9 Died in 366 A.H. See Nafahat, No.332.

10 I J. Qazwini. B. Abu 'Ali Kirmanshahi Qurayshi. The Shaykh in question is probably Muzaffar Kirmanshahi Qarmini (Nafahat, No.270)

11 Generally written "Fushanji". See Nafahat, No.279.