The true religion to a Sufi is the sea of truth and all the different faiths are as its waves. The message of God from time to time comes as tides in the sea, but what remains always is the sea, the truth. Those who consider another on the wrong track they themselves are also not on the right track, for the one who is on the right track finds every road leading to the same goal sooner or later. Faith to a Sufi is a free ideal, not a captivity. Hazrat Inayat Khan, first Sufi teacher to the West, 1910
Sufism, called “the religion of the heart”, emphasizes the realization of beauty in every dimension of life. The Sufi is guided to the realization of the Divine in every moment and every being, in form and the boundless dimension of Reality. Sufism is often recognized as the mystical dimension of Islam, emphasizing the peace and joy of meditation as the ultimate state of Islam, or “surrender” at the core of every spiritual tradition. Central to the Sufi’s life is service to humanity, seen as the true service to the Divine.
The Sufi sees Life and Nature as the holy books, as sacred manuscripts offering clear guidance towards the essential Reality that pervades all existence. They teach that we are all invited to drink the wine of spiritual communion directly from the Divine cupbearer, without the need of an intermediary. In the words of the Sufi poet Rumi:
Choose the love of that Living One
who is everlasting, who offers you
the wine that increases life
Be drunk with Love
For Love is all that exists
Where is intimacy found
If not in the give and take of Love?
- translations by Camille and Kabir Helminski