About Sufism

The Two Principal
Messages of Sufism

“The school of Sufism has two principal messages, and whatever has been said concerning the rules and manners of Sufism is secondary when compared to these two.

The first message is psychological and heart-related: that Sufis must confirm, seek and see only the Absolute Being and not think about anything else.

The second, which is derived from the first, is social and ethical: that Sufis must exemplify the highest humanitarian and ethical values.

In the first place, these messages instruct people to be noble human being and to respect, love and serve God’s creation. Second, by focusing on the existence of the unity of all creation, these messages instill in people the method of looking solely in one direction and seeing everything as One. Thus, Sufism is a school of unity and ethical purification which, regardless of race and culture, can be applied to all human beings equally.

It should be noted, however, that merely by registering in the school of Sufism and participating in the Sufis’ gathering, a person does not become a Sufi. Rather, one has to strive to succeed in the practice of Sufism, namely, to be purified in such a way that one’s outward behavior is decorated by humane values and one’s inner being is ornamented by divine attributes…”

-Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of Nimatullahi Sufi Order from 1953 to 2008.

For Farci version, click here.

For original voice version, click here.

Sufism in Summary

Dr. Alireza Nurbakhsh, Master of Nimatullahi Sufi Order from October 10 2008 to present, Founder of Sufi Service Committee

“… It is through love and service to others that the Sufis contribute to lifting the veil of the ego, thereby experiencing the sacred.”

“…The Sufi is kind and helpful to all, yet expects help and kindness from no one.”

“Whoever comes here should be given food without being asked about their creed and religion.”

“Some Sufis have gone so far…”

“Even though lying is prohibited in every single religion or spiritual tradition in the world, there are repressive regimes who fear the truth more than they fear their enemies and spend much time and effort on prompting falsehood among their own people. No nation or community can be sustained by lies.”

“[T]he main cornerstone of the building of soluk [social conduct] is service to humanity – regardless of color, race and creed – without expectation of anything in return.”

“Whoever comes here should be given food without being asked about their creed and religion.”

“…There was a sage who repeatedly pulled a drowning scorpion out of the Ganges and who was repeatedly stung for his efforts. Asked why he kept rescuing the venomous creature, the sage replied that it was the nature (dharma) of a scorpion to sting but that the nature (dharma) of a human being is to save”

“There were two brothers, one who devoted himself completely to God and the other who dedicated himself to their mother. After a while the brother who devoted himself to God had a vision in which God tells him that his brother has reached salvation through serving their mother. He was puzzled and asked God for an explanation. “Because,” God replied, “He served the needy and you served the One who has no need.”

“[T]here is strong correlation between altruism and the general well-being of an individual. People who engage in helping others suffer significantly less depression and anxiety than those who do not…”

“…Without emphasis on inward spirituality and purity, one cannot, properly speaking, develop into a true human being, truly love all humanity, or serve others with heart and soul without any thought of reward.”

“It is the initial encounter with the divine that makes our journey on the path of divine love possible. Without such an encounter it is an impossible task to love unconditionally, indiscriminately and selflessly.”

“[O]ur appetite for consumption and possession can never be satisfied… The Sufi’s answer is that contentment is possible through unconditional love and kindness towards others.”

“The one who is in love with the divine wants others to be happy and free from suffering regardless of who they may be—foe or friend.”

“Attar, one of the greatest Sufi poets (d. 1221), relates the following story about Ibrahim Adham. One day three people were performing their devotional practices in a ruined mosque. After they went to sleep, Ibrahim stood by the door of the mosque until morning. When he was asked later to explain his action, he replied that the weather was very cold and a harsh wind was blowing. Since there was no door to the mosque, he stood in the threshold to make it possible for the people inside to sleep.”

“…….through the act of friendship one can experience oneness. By this I mean the experience whereby we do not “see” ourselves as being separate from others. This gradual loss of focus on the self may begin with feeling empathy with others, then grow into a sense of identification with others and sometimes culminate in the experience of oneness, in which one is no longer conscious of any separation between oneself and other people.”