Fariduddin Attar

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Quotes & Sayings

1. If you have the power of discernment, join the company of dervishes and become one of them. Love for the dervishes is the key which opens the door to Paradise. Those who hate them are worthy of condemnation, i.e., they are accursed people.
2. The dervish's garment is nothing but a patched frock and he is not led astray by worldly desires and passions.
3. Until a man treads on his carnal self (nafs), how can he find the way to the Abode of Light?
4. He who walks on the mystical path has no longing for fine palaces and fair gardens: in his heart is nothing but the pain of yearning for the love of God.
5. Though you build lofty palaces as high as the heavens, in the end you will come to be buried under the earth.
6. Do not be unmindful of Eternity and do not set your heart upon the transient goods of this world. Be patient in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this life and when things go well give thanks to God Most High.
7. He who desires the Palace of the King (Divine proximity) knows that it is more desirable than any other place. It is the habitation of the soul; it is the goal of our desires, the resting place of the heart, the seat of Truth itself.
8. The Presence of God is a mighty Ocean and the Gardens of Paradise, with all their joys, are but a small drop within it. He who possesses the Ocean, possesses the drop also. Since you can find the way to the Ocean itself, why do you hasten to seek a single drop of dew? When a man has become one with the Whole what concern does he have with a single part? If you, O man, have found your reality to be one with the Whole, then contemplate about the Whole, seek out the Whole, become one with the Whole and choose for yourself the Whole.
9. The valley of gnosis has neither beginning nor end. No other road is like the road (of the mystic path) which is hidden, but the traveller in the body is different from the traveller in the spirit. The road is revealed to each one according to his capacity for that revelation. This was trodden by Ibrahim the friend of God. How can the feeble spider be a companion of the elephant? The progress of each will be in accordance with his spiritual state.
10. When the sun of gnosis (marifat) shines forth from the heaven above, onto this blessed road, each is illuminated according to his capacity and finds his own place in the realm of Truth.
11. When that sun shines upon the traveller, the dustbin of this world is changed for him into a rose garden: the kernel (grain or seed) is seen beneath the husk (the outer shell of a seed). No longer does the lover see any particle of himself, he sees only the Beloved. Wherever he looks, he sees always His Face, in every atom he beholds His dwelling place. A hundred thousand mysteries are revealed to him from under the veil, as clearly as the sun.
12. Yet thousands of men are lost eternally in quest of Him. Only he who is perfect apprehends these mysteries. He who is perfect succeeds in this quest, and would plunge into this fathomless sea.
13. If you should attain the Throne of Glory, do not cease a moment to say: "Is there more than this?" Plunge yourself into the Sea of gnosis, or if you cannot do that, throw the dust of the road upon your head.
14 . If you have not attained the joy of union with Beloved, lament for your separation from Him. If you have not looked upon the Beauty of the Beloved, enliven yourself, do not sit still, but seek out those mysteries destined for you and if as yet you do not know 'then seek them out in shame.'
15. Strive to acquire mystic gnosis, so that you may learn to know God. He who truly knows God by contemplation, realises that Eternal life means passing away from the personal self. Without this knowledge man has no real existence: He is not worthy to approach God, nor will he attain to the goal of his desires.
16. He alone is the true Gnostic who knows God and whoever is without this knowledge is unfit to be counted among human beings. The Gnostic has a heart full of divine love, and his actions are pure and without blemishes.
17. You (God) are fire, but Your fire is veiled, for in all to which You have joined Yourself, you are under a veil. You are the breath of life in both body and soul. You are the Water of Life to be found in every place. In every form You manifest Yourself, according to Your will; even in the dust are Your mysteries shown forth. You are the Creator, are seen in creatures Spirit shining through gross matter.
18. You are God in Absolute Unity and you dwell here in body and soul, for you are the Divine Essence dwelling in the midst of each one of us. O Lord! How glorious is the manifestation of Your Light! You are the Sought and the Seeker. Give me, I pray to drink from the cup of immortality, for You are the Cup and the Wine and Cupbearer.
19. There is an ascent of the soul towards the Divine Light, with your heart and soul seeking to regain Reality, nay, seeking for Reality within your own heart, for Reality, in truth, is hidden within you. Cast aside the veil from existence and nonexistence, and you will see forthwith the true meaning of God's purpose. When you have cast aside the veil, you will see the Essence and all things will be shown forth within the Essence.
20. Now I am made one with you and from that union my heart in consumed with rapture and my tongue is bewildered. By union, I have been merged in the Unity, I am now altogether apart from all else. I am You, and you are I, nay, not I, all is altogether You.
21. By union with You, I have become the perfect Gnostic and now the Gnostic has vanished and I have become altogether the Creative Truth.
22. I am free from pride, passion and desire. I reveal the Divine mysteries and thereby I fill the lovers of God throughout the world with amazement and a hundred thousand creatures remain astonished with me.



  1. Readings from the Mystics of Islam - Margaret Smith
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