cult for a person unconnected with the Sufi path, whose heart has not been brought to action, to preserve himself completely, even if he is a learned scholar.
There is another thing; the Sufi path should not be condemned because of the evils of some orders that have adopted practices outside the bounds of taqwa, and even of Islam, and have wrongfully called themselves Sufi paths. Quite apart from the elevated religious and spiritual fruits of the Sufi path and those that look to the hereafter, Sufi orders were the first, and most effective and ardent, means of spreading and strengthening brotherhood, the sacred bond of the Islamic world. They were also one of the three unassailable strongholds of Islam, which held out against the awesome attacks of the world of unbelief and the politics of Christendom. What preserved Istanbul, the centre of the Caliphate for five hundred and fifty years against the whole Christian world, were the lights of belief that poured out of five hundred places in Istanbul and the powerful faith of those who recited “Allah! Allah!” in the tekkes behind the big mosques, which were a firm source of support for the people of belief in that centre of Islam, and their spiritual love arising from knowledge of God, and their fervent murmurings.
O you unreasoning pseudo-patriots and false nationalists! What evils are there in the Sufi paths that can negate all this good in the life of your society? You say!
Together with being very easy, the way of sainthood is very difficult. Together with being very short, it is very long. In addition to being most valuable, it is very dangerous. And together with being very broad, it is very narrow. It is because of these points that some of those who take the path drown, others become harmful, and yet others return and lead other people astray.
I n S h o r t : There are two ways on the Sufi path, known by the terms of inner journeying and outer journeying.
The Inner Way starts from the self, and drawing the eyes away from the outer world, looks to the heart. It pierces egotism, opens up a way from the heart, and finds reality. Then it enters the outer world. The outer world then looks luminous. The journey is completed quickly on this way. The reality seen in the inner world, is seen on a large scale in the outer world. Most of the paths that practise silent recollection take this way. Its essential principles are breaking the ego, renouncing the desires of the flesh, and killing the evil-commanding soul.