Certainty and conviction

What is the difference between certainty and conviction? Conviction is indirect and belongs to the mind, being the result of purely mental processes such as argument. But certainty, being always direct, can be the result of sensory perception; hearing or touch or sight can give certainty. But in it’s spiritual sense, when it has for object the Transcendent, certainty is the result of Heart-knowledge. Failing this knowledge in its fullest sense, those elements which are nearest the Heart at the summit of the soul must also be considered as faculties of direct perception, albeit in a fragmentary way; and through the light which these faculties of intuition receive in virtue of the transparency of the barrier, a soul may claim to be possessed of a faith which is no less than certainty.

– Martin Lings

Sufism and labeling

Today Sufism is a name without a reality. It was once a reality without a name. In the time of the Prophet, this name did not exist, but its reality was inside of everyone. Now the name exists without the reality. In the first 3 generations of Islam mysticism was too general too have a special name. But when worldliness spread and men tended to become more and more bound up with the ties of this life, those who dedicated themselves to the worship of God were distinguished from the rest by the title of Sufis.

– Martin Lings

All in one moment, I pierced through to the presence of God, and lo and behold, I was no longer as I had been until then, for God put His power in the place of m powerlessness, His strength in the place of my weakness, His wealth in the place of my poverty, His knowledge in the place of my ignorance, His glory in the place of my loneliness.

He covered my quality with His in such a way that I was He and no longer myself. In the words of of the Prophet: “My servant never ceases to come closer to me through voluntary devotions until I love him; and as soon as I love him, I am He.”

Amongst other things that were given to me, my knowledge deepened so greatly that if a thousand times a thousand questions were put to me, I would know how to answer them rightly, for I have become like a candle giving out a light that would not diminish if all existing candles were to be lighted from it.

– al Darqawi
Letters of a Sufi Master

Knowing God

“When your heart is emptied of beings it becomes filled with Being and from that moment love is born between you and other beings. If you act purely towards your Creator, all creatures will manifest goodwill towards you. When you are sincere in contemplation of God, He will try you by manifesting Himself to you in all His aspects and if you continue to recognize Him and do not ignore Him, then the universe and all it contains will recognize you; it will love you and behave towards you with veneration and generosity; it will rally to your side, obey you and want you; it will rejoice in remembering you, show concern for you, be glorified in you, flock towards you, call you; all this you will see with your own eyes.

But if you fail to know God when he manifests Himself to you, you also will be unrecognized by all things, denied by all things, humiliated, despised, diminished, made more despicable, worse, heavier, more remote; everything will insult you, shun you, be against you and overwhelm you.”

Sheikh al-Arabi al-Darqawi
Letters of a Sufi Master