Mystic Mantra: Union with the divine

The Sufi path is an inward journey to understand who we are, where we come from and what happens to our souls after death.

Sufism, the mystical aspect of Islam, is the timeless yearning for union with the divine. Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever knows himself self know his Lord.” This famous saying is at the heart of Sufi teachings. The quest to know oneself provides the light necessary to illuminate the dark corners of the soul. Those following the Sufi way yearn to discover the reality of God and embrace a path that leads to him. The Sufi path is an inward journey to understand who we are, where we come from and what happens to our souls after death.

Amongst the first steps of the Sufi path is detachment from the world and attachment to God. The Prophet said, “Man is asleep and when he dies he awakens.” When a disciple is initiated by a Sufi master, it is called an “initiatic death”, that is meant to be followed by an awakening. The disciple is supposed to die to his or her old self and be born anew. The concept of detachment in Sufism is to live with purity of heart and mindfulness.

Another important principle of Sufism is rida, contentment with the divine decree. Many people live with rancour in their hearts because of the way life has treated them. This denies God’s omnipotence and the acceptance that God alone decrees all things. No one has the ability to choose what will befall him, but we can choose our responses to tribulations that come our way.

Bayazid of Bistam told his followers, “If you have a friend whose relationship with you is at its worst, the relationship will improve if you act according to the right code of behaviour. If something is given to you, be thankful to Allah, because he alone turns hearts in your favour. If you suffer calamity, take refuge in repentance and patience, because your being will gather strength.”

Abu Said ibn Khayr, the 11th-century Sufi master said, “Sufism is glory in wretchedness and…

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