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Friday, September 9, 2011

The Beautiful Truth

The Origin of Sufism

Sufism has its origins in the second century in Baghdad and Bashra. Early Sufis were absorbed with God. They were mystics and philosophers first and poets second. They spent their time seeking meanings and authorization in the Qur'an and the Hadiths to counter accusations of unbelief levelled against them by Orthodox Muslims. The further development of Sufi ideas through great masters led to an infusion of Islamic culture with the mystical ideas of the Sufis. The impact of ideas was profound on poetry.
The Sufi path is the path of Love where the human soul searches out God and if the grace of God falls upon the searcher, then he or she finds annihilation in God and eternal existence in the consciousness of God. It is a path of loving God through his manifestations. Sufism conveys to the believer to love God, love God's creation and praise Him all the time. Sufism replaces a fearsome and unforgiving God with a loving and merciful one. Since God is unseen and formless, most humans need to find him through his creation and through human love. In loving another human being one discovers the all consuming power of love, while the beauty of the Beloved reduces the lover to a state of helpless abandon. At this point he or she becomes a slave willing to be sacrificed. But this love of the human is illusory love, and if the lover is pure of heart it should act as a bridge to true love, which is the love of God.
God precedes all creation and He existed alone. As it is in the nature of beauty to be admired, worshipped, and revealed, so he created the world so that His beauty could be revealed. It was born as a result of God's desire for the hidden to be known. This world is not absolute as is God, and is only a reflection of the Truth rather than Truth itself. It is therefore transitory. God is Absolute Beauty and Absolute Good, so this creation, however beautiful, is imperfect and represents what is Not-Good, as it is merely a reflection of the Good and not the Good itself. The purpose of human life is to eliminate this state of not-being so that one may attain union with God and become absorbed in the Divine. To transcend the element of not-being one must conquer Self. The Self is conquered only by Love.
Human love is the first stage of love, it is not the end of the journey. The true pilgrim of love must recognize it as simply the bridge that he must walk across towards a higher goal. The nature of 'Typal' love offers some insight into the experience of this journey of love, which involves complex states of being and not-being. Sufis distinguish 'Typal' love from divine love, describing it as a bridge to the real in which the pilgrim must beware of lingering too long, or else he may fail to reach the journey's end.
In the end, the true lover must cross this bridge of earthly love, leaving it behind. For the true lover relinquishing this love is not a loss, since what awaits him or her is far more beautiful and joyous.

Reference~Islamic Mystical Poetry Sufi Verse from the Early Mystic to Rumi by Mahmood Jamal