Sufi Quotes

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Sufi Quotes

I remembered the malangs of Shah Jamal, the dirty, shirtless renouncers with ratty beards and dreads and bare chests covered in necklaces of prayer beads, throwing around their arms in Charlie Manson dances and whipping out their old ID cards to say look, I used to be someone and now Im no one, Im so lost in Allah that Ive thrown away the whole world. Would that qualify them as Sufis? I didint know how to measure it. Whether the malangs were Sufi saints or just drugged-out bums didnt really matter. The lesson I took from them was that youre never disqualified from loving Allah, never. And I could see again that what I went through was nothing new, not even anything special in the history of Islam, not a clashing of East and West; it was always there. And that made me feel more Muslim than ever, because fuck it all, CNN, this is Islam too.
— Michael Muhammad Knight —

I remembered the malangs of Shah Jamal, the dirty, shirtless renouncers with ratty beards and dreads and bare chests covered in necklaces of prayer beads, throwing around their arms in Charlie Manson dances and whipping out their old ID cards to say look, I used to be someone and now I'm no one, I'm so lost in Allah that I've thrown away the whole world. Would that qualify them as Sufis? I didin't know how to measure it. Whether the malangs were Sufi saints or just drugged-out bums didn't really matter. The lesson I took from them was that you're never disqualified from loving Allah, never. And I could see again that what I went through was nothing new, not even anything special in the history of Islam, not a clashing of East and West; it was always there. And that made me feel more Muslim than ever, because fuck it all, CNN, this is Islam too.

— Michael Muhammad Knight

One of the outstanding sources of resistance to imperial power in the Muslim world came from Sufi groups. While Sufi brotherhoods are generally known for a more quietist and mystic approach to Islam, they traditionally rank among the best organized and most coherent groupings in society. They constitute ready-made organizations - social-based NGOs, if you will - for maintaining Islamic culture and practices under periods of extreme oppression and for fomenting resistance and guerrilla warfare against foreign occupation. The history of Sufi participation in dozens of liberation struggles is long and widespread across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Sufi groups were prominent in the anti-Soviet resistance, and later against the American in Afghanistan and against US occupation forces in Iraq.

— Graham Fuller

The Sufi way is through knowledge and practice, not through intellect and talk.

— Idries Shah

As the political sky darkened, the court was lost in a last idyll of pleasure gardens, courtesans and mushairas, or poetic symposia, Sufi devotions and visits to pirs, as literary and religious ambition replaced the political variety.

— William Dalrymple

The main problem is that most commentators are accustomed to thinking of spiritual schools as 'systems', which are more or less alike, and which depend upon dogma and ritual: and especially upon repetition and the application of continual and standardised pressures upon their followers.
The Sufi way, except in degenerate forms which are not to be classified as Sufic, is entirely different from this.

— Idries Shah

Scholars of the East and West have heroically consecrated their whole working lives to making available, by means of their own disciplines, Sufi literary and philosophical material to the world at large. In many cases they have faithfully recorded the Sufis' own reiteration that the Way of the Sufis cannot be understood by means of the intellect or by ordinary book learning.

— Idries Shah

A Sufi has a right to be served, but he has no right to demand. Maruf Karkhi of Khorasan

— Idries Shah

The Sufi must be able to alternate his thought between the relative and the Absolute, the approximate and the Real.

— Idries Shah

Irving Karchmar, a Sufi convert and friend, and the author of the novel Master of the Jinn, said it best: at some point, the devoted pass from belief into certainty.

— G. Willow Wilson

A Sufi manual, the Kashf-al-Mahjub, says that, towards the end of his journey, the dervish becomes the Way not the wayfarer, i.e. a place over which something is passing, not a traveller following his own free will.

— Bruce Chatwin

Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or the next, did not descend from Adam or Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being.

— Rumi

Everyone in Iran is perceived to be a child with a paternal authority vested in the Guardian Council and the Sufi elders. They're supposed to be grateful. They can never for a moment not be afforded this wonderful protection. The father who will never go away. The father who will never quit caring for them.

— Christopher Hitchens

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