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The Traits of the Sufis

A prominent trait of a sufi is, being purified from the dirt of the nafs, from the common people and from the disasters of the world in speech, in actions and in behavior. A sufi is far from the disgraceful traits of the nafs, although he is together with his nafs. He does not display the disgraces of common people, although he is together with common people. He has a heart, but his heart belongs to Allah. He has time, but he is free of the boundaries of time.

He stands firm and stable on the ground of al-Haqq (the Truthful One); he is down and surrendering before the majesty of al-Haqq; he is content with al-Haqq without needing anyone other than Him.

The sufi whips his heart with the fear of turning toward anyone other than al-Haqq, with the fear that the connection between him and al-Haqq will be damaged. The sufi illuminates his nafs with the noor (divine light) of service, he illuminates his heart with the noor of muhabbat (the love), he illuminates his essence with the noor of marifat.

The heart of the sufi flies with the wings of passion. His essence is together with al-Haqq, for al-Haqq, on the path of al-Haqq. He has turned to Him, he has trusted Him and he has found certainty in Him.

The sufi has apparently and secretly surrendered all his will and choice to al-Haqq with gratitude. Reciting al-Haqq at all times with his tongue and with his heart, he never falls into the sea of blasphemy, he never gets lost in the deserts of forgetfulness.

He knows that his Rabb (his Lord) watches him and that He is aware of his every state. He dissolves before the supremacy of the gaze of al-Haqq. His being gets blown to pieces before the magnificence of His power. Letting go of all pleasures other than the sweetness of the muhabbat of his Rabb, he dives into the sea of blessings in a pure state.

The sufi walks right ahead on the straight path of being the qull (servant) of Allah, without remaining at the surface of the ibadat (worship). Until he reaches the intimacy of Allah, he sits on the mantle of sadness with His forgiveness and blessing.

The tongue of the sufi is the same as his heart; he has integrity in his essence and his speech. He is far from the disgraceful trait, which is described in the verse:

Why do you promise the things that you will not be able to do?’ (Qur’an, As Saff 61:2)

He is grateful before the smallness of the blessing; he is patient before the greatness of the trouble. He is content with the decisions of his Rabb. His heart is always wide-awake for Allah.

He fears no one other than Allah, he expects nothing from anyone else but Allah. When he asks, he asks only from Allah. He knows that there is no being other than Allah to give harm or to give blessings or to raise or to take down or to give grace or to give misery.

The sufi complies with the sunnah (the Prophet’s exemplary words and deeds) and the ethics of the Prophet (saws); and with the path of his Ashab (his companions). While common people are concerned with their destiny, he is concerned with the creator of that destiny.

The sufi sits on the mantle of service with edeb (with divine manners). He leans on the cushion of faqr (poverty in the presence of Allah) and non-possession. He becomes worthy of being accepted into the rooms of intimacy with his Rabb. He drinks from His cup of muhabbat and friendship. The sufi keeps quiet and swallows his anger. Without any compromise to the stirrings of his heart, he takes hold of his worldly desires.

In terms of his loyalty, the sufi is like the high unshakable mountains. No violent storm can move him from his place. He does not want what does not belong to him; he does not worry about what is not given to him. He is far from being a servant to the created; he has devoted himself to serving the Rabb of the realms. He does not turn his face from al-Haqq because of the troubles that come from Him. He does not choose any other than Him as his Beloved. The nafs of the sufi is clear from faults and misery, his heart is far from ignorance and forgetting. His heart is not content with any power other than al-Haqq.

The sustenance of the sufi is the approval of Allah. His crying is like the heartfelt crying of a mother who has lost his child. His heart only leans on Allah, only surrenders to Him. He is grateful only to Him; he declares his needs only to Him. He turns to Him with his every action. He speaks about Him with his every word. He has surrendered his will to Allah. His sleep is little, his body is weak, his only friend is Allah the Maleek (the Owner) and the Jaleel (the Majestic).

Allah suffices for us, what a gracious caretaker He is!