Posts Tagged ‘Sufi Tales’

Asking good questions is half of learning.

Muhammad (Essential Sufism)

A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.

 Traditional (Essential Sufism)

Whatever you have in your mind – forget it;

Whatever you have in your hand – give it;
whatever is to be your fate – face it!

Abu Sa’id (Essential Sufism)

For every sin but the killing of Time there is forgiveness.

Traditional (Essential Sufism)

If someone remarks: “What an excellent man you are!” and this pleases you more than his saying, “What a bad man you are!” knows that you are still a bad man.

 Sufyan al Thawri (Essential Sufism)

A seeker went to ask a sage for guidance on the Sufi way.

The sage counseled,

“if you have never trodden the path of love, go away and fall in love;
then come back and see us.”

Jami (Essential Sufism)

The poet Hafiz wrote

“The sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’

Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.”

“I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God”.

Sufi Proverb

IF words come out of the heart, they will enter the heart, but if they come from the tongue, they will not pass beyond the ears.

Al-Suhrawardi (Essential Sufism)

Pray for what you want, but work for the things you need.

Modern Traditional (Essential Sufism)

The Thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.

Bayazid Bistami (Essential Sufism, p. 37)

Happy are those who find fault with themselves instead of finding fault with others.

Muhammad (Essential Sufism)

If men had been forbidden to make porridge of camel’s dung, they would have done it, saying that they would not have been forbidden to do it unless there had been some good in it.

Muhammed (Essential Sufism)

What is done for you – allow it to be done.
What you must do yourself – make sure you do it.

Khawwas (Essential Sufism)

Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm.

Idries Shah

Whatever we perceive in the world around us tends to reflect who we are and what we care about most deeply, as in the old saying, “When a thief sees a saint, all he sees are his pockets.”

Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony

We have all had the experience of failing time after time in changing old habits. Then suddenly these old habits lose their hold on us. What was so attractive suddenly becomes unattractive. This is a sign that God has accepted our repentance.
At this point, my sheikh used to say that we are no longer responsible for those old sins. We have truly changed and we are now someone who is not even tempted to commit them.

Robert Frager, Heart, Self & Soul, The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance and Harmony  p. 71

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In the midst of our pursuits in  life, we experience many simple happy moments as well as wonderful life affirming events like births, graduations and marriages. And at  other times, certain events frustrate and challenge us. We seem to have little or no control over them. Despite adopting a ‘positive thinking’ attitude, we are faced regularly with minor  problems like traffic or surly people. Less frequently, we find ourselves shaken by traumatic events like death, sickness or accidents that rock the foundation of our existence. It happens to every human being.

No one is exempt from life’s polarities.

Here’s a tale in ancient Hebrew that might change your perspective 🙂

A king called all of his wise men and counselors together for a meeting. He addressed them and said, “I want you to go and think, read, and research. Consult the wisest and most learned men in the land. Spare no expense.”

“I want you to find the ONE statement that will get me through all situations in life. Whether I am on top of the world or in the pits, find that statement.”

“I don’t want to learn long and complicated philosophies. I want one simple statement. Find it or write it; I don’t care, just bring me the statement.”

The men left and consulted for months.

They finally returned and handed the King a scroll.

The King unrolled the scroll. On it was written four


That was it.

The wise men explained.

When you are on top of the world, that is but a fleeting moment, things change, always remember, this too shall pass.

When you are in the pits, all nights are followed by day, at your lowest moments remember also, this too shall pass.

All external circumstances and material things change.

No matter what your circumstances, remember,


The wise men reminded the great King that this

would get him through his earthly things but the truly wise knew there were things beyond this

earth and life. . .

Things that were eternal.

True wisdom they reminded the King was in the ability to recognize the fleeting temporal things

of the material world from the truly eternal things.

O Great King they said, “Most of the things that you worry or gloat about are temporary and our four words apply.”

For most of your situations. . .



In our life, we encounter happy or sad moments daily. When it happens we get swept away by the moment, feeling elated, angry, sad or overwhelmed and we lose our sense of balance or inner equilibrium.

The right approach at this transient time would be to maintain our balance, accept and learn from the moment, take it in our stride while remaining detached. Become an observer instead of being a victim of circumstances – remember this moment too shall pass.

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