The ways may vary, but the goal is one. Don’t you see that there are many roads to the Kaaba? For some the road is from Rum, for some from Syria, others come from Persia or China or by sea from India and Yemen. So if you consider the roads, they are beyond counting, with infinite differences. But when you consider the goal they are all in accord with one desire.
The hearts of all are upon the Kaaba. The hearts are one in their longing and love for the Kaaba, and in that there is no room for separation. That love is neither belief nor non-belief, for it has nothing to do with the various roads. Once we arrive, this argument and war and those differences in the roads – this woman saying to that man, “You are false, you are an infidel,” and that man saying the same about her – once we arrive at the Kaaba, we realize that such fighting is over the roads only, and that the goal of all is the same.
For instance, a bowl’s spirit is in love with its maker, and is a slave to those hands that fashion it. Yet some see this bowl and say it should be placed just as it is on the table. Some say the inside of it should be washed first, some say the outside of it must be cleaned. Some say all of it, some say it must never be washed at all. The diversity of opinion comes from the bowl’s many uses, but as to the fact that the bowl certainly had a creator who fashioned it, and that it did not come into existence of itself, on this all agree.
– Extracted from ” Fihi Ma Fihi ” – It is What it is – Discourses of Rumi