Sufism is a mystical path of love comprising seekers known as “Wayfarers on the Mystical Path.” Their deep yearning for God led them to realization that Truth was “The Beloved,” and they “The Lovers of God.” Since they wore white woolen garments (Sûf ), and known for their purity of heart (Safâ’ ) they in time came to be called Sufis. An eighteen century phenomena among Muslims,these seekers gathered around spiritual teachers in small numbers and, in course of time, grew into fraternities and orders, bearing the name of its initiator.
The Sufi experience of God-realization was handed down from teacher to disciple in an uninterrupted chain of transmission. This way certain practices and principles of each Sufi order and teacher were passed on to seekers on the path and thus kept their passion and fire burning within their hearts and their attention firm-fixed in their goal attention attention firm-fixed on the goal.
“The teaching and writings of the Sufis offer us the richest and most impassioned understanding of the relationship of lover and Beloved, what in
essence is at the core of every mystical path. The mystical path is the soul’s journey from separation back to union. On this homeward journey the seeker is seeking his own innermost essence, the pearl of great price that lies hidden within the heart.
The Sufi travels three Journeys—the Journey from God, the Journey to God, and the Journey in God.”
They reveal to us the way to realize our eternal essence and that our Beloved reveals Himself to us in our moment of dire need : He who had seemed so far away is discovered so near, indeed even “closer to you than yourself to yourself.” They let us realize the essential oneness of all life and, in a simple direct way bring home the paradoxical nature of this mystical journey which in essence is beyond time, space, and all form. The Sufi masters remind us of our divine nature and provide signposts on the way back to our home, our innermost self.
This select Sufi sayings are offered as inspiration to pilgrim-seekers on whatever path since the Sufi says that there are as many ways to God as there are human beings, “as many as the breaths of the children of God.” This journey on whatever path the seeker has chosen to follow is mankind’s most cherished dream and the deepest purpose of life. The new wayfarers on this journey have beckoning examples of all those masters who have gone before them and it is their footprints that shall blaze the path.