by Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh The sign of God’s love is to bestow three attributes on His lover: A generosity like that of the sea, a kindness like that of the sun, and, a humility like that of the earth. – Bayazid Sufism has always been presented as a practical, yet at the same time, transcendental school: ‘practical’ in the sense that it deals with disciplines that lead to enlightenment and ‘transcendental’ in the sense that it transcends the outward aspects of any given religion. In no sufi more than Bayazid are these two qualities manifested. Among the early sufis of… Read More »Bayazidian Sufism: Annihilation Without Ritual
Whatever can be spoken of is not Sufism.
This statement has been made repeatedly by sufi masters over the centuries to caution their disciples about he dangers of an intellectual approach to Sufism. What such masters have been repudiating is the belief that one may become a sufi merely through reading or rational discourse.
Of course, sufis throughout the ages have provided us with both didactic and lyrical descriptions of their inward journey. Rumi’s Mathnawi provides rich poetic images and vivid tales to illustrate teaching points about development on the Sufi Path, while the spiritual stages and the obstacles on the Path are presented in ‘Attar’s The Conference of the Birds. Sufis’ love of the Beloved and for the whole creation is portrayed by poets like Hafez and Ebn Faredh and prose writers like Sohrawardi and Ebn ‘Arabi. Such works have not only been a constant source of spiritual guidance and encouragement for sufis, but have even inspired people not directly involved with the sufi Path.
We hope the articles posted on this site may in some way provide encouragement and inspiration for those who seek to apply sufi ideals in the ethical domain, as well as those who are actively following the Sufi Path.
A Comparison Between Sufism and Psychoanalysis by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh Iradah A seeker starts his search for a master after he senses his own incompleteness and feels the urge to reach perfection. Upon finding a master, the seeker surrenders himself to the master’s will and becomes his disciple (morid); in this way he may pass through the stages of perfection and finally reach the state of the “Perfected One” (insan-i kamil). The spiritual bond which links the disciple to the master through this process is known as iradah. Although literally the word iradah means to want, will, or intend, among… Read More »Sufism and Psychoanalysis