Leafing through Idries Shah's The Way of the Sufi, I shall, with highest regard to how idiotic the whole of copyright is, plainly transcribe the best passages for you. In the name of knowledge and spiritual growth! These will be, I hereby promise, so well curated that, once all gathered here in posts, you will needn't buy the book if even for a penny.
The first batch, the one you are moments away from proof-reading for the first time, is bashing Christians, particularly their narrow view of God.
If you consider yourself a Christian (by faith, not necessarily by name), I'm sure you are aware of the fact that your God, namely Allah, is the same god that the Jews call Yahveh, and who is the undisputed father of whom you praise as Jesus of Nazareth. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all stem from roughly the same geographical area (call it The Middle East), were devised by roughly the same ethnological groups (with exception of modern Christianity), and share an undeniably significant portion of cultural heritage. They are termed the Abrahamic religions. So if you're a Christian, a dimwit, or if you are easily offended, you should really just continue reading this post. You might learn something.
As might anyone else. Without further ado, these are really easy to grasp:
The Prayer and the NoseI saw a man prostrating himself in prayer, and exclaimed:
'You lay the burden of your nose on the ground on the excuse that it is a requirement of prayer.'
— Hakim Jami
Seeds like TheseIn cell and cloister, in monastery and synagogue;
Some fear hell and others dream of Paradise.
But no man who really knows the secrets of his God
Has planted seeds like this within his heart.
— Omar Khayyam
The HeartSomeone went up to a madman who was weeping in the bitterest possible way.
'Why do you cry?'
The madman answered:
'I am crying to attract the pity of His heart.'
The other told him:
'Your words are nonsense, for He has no physical heart.'
The madman answered:
'It is you who are wrong, for He is the owner of all the hearts which exist. Through the heart you can make your connection with God.'
— Attar of Nishapur
WorshipMan passes through three stages.
First he worships anything: man, woman, money, children, earth and stones.
Then, when he has progressed a little further, he worships God.
Finally, he does not say: 'I worship God'; nor: 'I do not worship God.'
He has passed from the first two stages into the last.
Praying for OneselfSa'ad son of Wakas was a companion of the Prophet. In the last years he became blind and settled in Mecca, where he was always surrounded by people seeking his blessing. He did not bless everyone, but those whom he did always found the way smoothed for them.
Abdallah Ibn-Sa'ad reports: 'I went to see him, and he was good to me and give me his blessing. As I was only a curious child, I asked him: "Your prayers for others always seem to be answered. Why, then, do you not pray for your blindness to be removed?"
The ancient replied: "Submission to the Will of God is far better than the personal pleasure of being able to see."'
TruthShe has confused all the learned of Islam,
Everyone who has studied the Psalms,
Every Jewish Rabbi,
Every Christian priest.
— Ibn El-Arabi
Surely, you are soaking wet between your legs for the joy you were experiencing while reading this. The next batch, themed of life and death, is in the works. By Sufis.