The Order of Hearts

Nizamuddin Awrangabadi came to Delhi hoping to find a spiritual guide. Hearing a great deal about shaykh Kalimullah he wanted to meet him. When he went to the shaykh, sama’ (audition of Sufi music) took place and the doors of the khanaqah were closed. It was their custom not to allow strangers to participate in the sama’. Nizamuddin knocked on the door and was permitted to enter. Everyone was greatly surprised, but shaykh Kalimullah said: ‘Know you all that this persoon is not a stranger!”. The reason was that the spiritual guide of shaykh Kalimullah had informed him that a persoon possessing such and such features and named Nizamuddin would come to him. Hazrat Nizamuddin Awrangabadi, who later on became…

The trunk and the thieves

One day three thieves entered the effendi’s house. The effendi had seen them and had hidden himself in a trunk. The thieves searched everywhere for something of some value. At last, discouraged, they opened the trunk. “What are you doing here in the trunk?” exclaimed one of the astonished thieves. “Excuse me,” said the Effendi politely. “Knowing that you couldn’t find anything valuable in my house, I was so ashamed that I hid myself”.

The Two Kings

There were once two kings, a just and an unjust; and this one had a land abounding in trees and fruits and herbs; but he let no merchant pass without robbing him of his monies and his merchandise, and the traders endured this with patience, by reason of their profit from the fatness of the earth in the means of life and its pleasantness, more by token that it was renowned for its richness in precious stones and gems. Now the just king, who loved jewels, heard of this land and sent one of his subjects thither; and it being told to the unjust king that a merchant was come to his kingdom with much money to buy jewels withal,…

The Dream of the Caliph

The Caliph Ma’mun had a dream wherein he was inside the Ka’aba. He urinated at two of the corners inside of it and later on he did the same outside of it at the two other corners. He felt ashamed of this dream, but still wanted to know its meaning. He told one of his servants to go to the famous Ibn Sirin and tell him the dream while pretending it was a dream of the servant. Ibn Sirin, however, made it clear that it had to be a dream of a member of the family of the caliph who had to come himself and tell the dream. When Ma’mun came and told his dream, Ibn Sirin told him that…

The Word of the Weaver

The Weaver is sitting on top of the highest mountain under a tree that is as old as the mountain itself and is weaving. The Weaver is continuously occupied in weaving creation and gives it substance, quantity, quality, action, passion, relation, position, habit, place and time. The Weaver is able to see all that is taking place and hears the voices of all times. He is whispering but doesn’t move his lips. Which word does he whisper? Which word makes the dumb one speak, makes the deaf one hear, and makes the blind one see? The Weaver whispers the word that starts life on earth, the word that determines your fate, the word that makes you fall in love, the…

Baba Farid

A poorly dressed dervish came to Baba Farid who gave him something and permitted him to depart. The dervish remained standing and asked the shaykh to give him the comb, which he had taken out from its cover and placed on the prayer-carpet. As the comb was not worth anything and had been long used by the shaykh, he did not reply to the request. The dervish began to shout loudly: “If the shaykh gives me this comb, he will receive plenty of blessings.” “Be off”, Baba Farid replied, “and do not disturb me any more. I throw you and your blessings into the river.”

Original Nature (Fitra)

It is said that spirituality is returning to your original nature. This original nature is composed, according to some of the Sufis, of four cardinal virtues: 1. Purity 2. Humility 3. Magnanimity 4. Justice There is an intellectual way and a practical way to acquire these virtues. As for the intellectual regulation, it is required because nature obeys the intellectual faculties. The second way, the practical one has as most important thing the choosing of those attitudes, acts and things which remind the soul of the desired qualities and alert it to them. There are three main veils preventing the manifestation of one’s sound original nature: 1. The veil of nature 2. The veil of convention 3. The veil of…

Diwaan-e-Mo’in: Ghazal 2

Here is a ghazal from the Diwaan-e-Mo’in (Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library, Patna): Chu man az hastiye-khod dur baasham Ba-khod ham naazer o manzur baasham As I am far from a selfish existence, I am myself both the observer and the observed. Chu jaam o baada o saaqi mohaiyast Rawaa baashad ke man makhmur baasham As the cup, the wine and the wine-poorer are available, It is only proper that I am drunk. Ze jaam-e-wahdatam yak jor’a bakhsh Ke dar daar-e fanaa’ mansur baasham Give me one draught from the cup of union, So that I am a Mansur on the gibbet of extinction. Az aan jaami ke chun serr-e anaa’l-haqq Bar aayad bar zabaan ma’zur baasham From that cup…

The inner knowledge dealing with thoughts (impulses), their classification and their differences

Our shaykh Abu’n Najib as-Suhrawardi [he is the uncle of the author] has informed us: [now the isnad connecting him with the prophet is given, but it is omitted by me] “The messenger of God said: ‘The devil has the habit of whispering [in the hearts of people and the angels do the same. The whisper of the devils points to evil purposes and declares the truth to be a lie, the whisper of the angel points to good purposes and declares the truth to be true. Whosoever experiences the last type should know that it comes from God and who experiences the first type should take his refuge in God for the devil’. Then he recited: ‘The devil threatens…

The bloodletter’s emulation of the merchant

It is said that in one of the distant cities of Khwarazm there was a merchant of much wealth and property whose name was ‘Abd al-Malik. He was always trying to find ways to make more money, so he frequented the gatherings of the learned men as well as those of the poor. One day he thought: “I have been engaged in many kinds of business in different parts of the world, but now I am going to follow the Qur’anic precept”: HE WHO DOES A GOOD DEED SHALL BE REWARDED TENFOLD. Having decided upon this, he proceeded to carry out his decision. Whatever wealth he possessed he distributed for charity. Whatever riches he had he gave as alms to…