Oh heart, there is but one Path of loving;
in the country of love the slave and the King are one.
Not until you give up duality on the Path of love,
can you grasp that Nimatullah is but one.
- Shah Nimatullah Wali
In common with all of the authentic sufi orders, the Nimatullahi Order stems from an initiatic chain, going back to the beginning of Islam, with the Prophet being considered the first sufi master. The word Nimatullahi is derived from the name of Shah Nimatullah Wali, who founded the order at the end of the 14th century A.D.; and was one of the great sufi masters of Iran.
In the realm of Sufism, the endeavors of Shah Nimatullah brought new respect for Sufism and the sufis, enriching the culture of Islam, particularly in Iran. In addition to guiding a large following of disciples, he engaged in farming, serving as a model to his disciples in pursuing a profession as the best form of self-discipline.
O darvish, human beings of every nation and religion all exist by the honorable cloak of existence, all are human beings like you. If you are truly a lover of Absolute Being, then love all beings and be kind to them. By doing so, you prove that you deserve the privilege of belonging to the human family.
The attraction towards God, indeed all movement forward on the path, is due to the Will of God alone, as expressed in the Koran where God tells the Prophet, "It is not you who are responsible for guiding them, for God guides whom He wills" (2:272)
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For more than 50 years, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh established over one hundred khaniqahs and numerous libraries and museums throughout Iran. In the 1970's a number of Americans and Europeans came to Iran and were initiated into the Nimatullahi Order.