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Words of Wisdom

Selection from The Mystics of Islam: Chapter 1 - The Path, Part 2 of 4

Iran
2019-09-11

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My readers will expect me to describe in a general way the characteristic theories and practices for which the ‘Path’ is a convenient designation. These may be treated under the following heads: Poverty, Mortification, Trust in God, and Recollection. Whereas poverty is negative in nature, involving detachment from all that is worldly and unreal, the three remaining terms denote the positive counterpart of that process, namely, the ethical discipline by which the soul is brought into harmonious relations with Reality. The Sufi ideal of poverty goes far beyond this. True poverty is not merely lack of wealth, but lack of desire for wealth: the empty heart as well as the empty hand.
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