Sufi Love
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
All human beings during their lives tend to experience love and friendship. Human love can be classified into three basic categories according to its intensity, quality and limitations. The first form of love is the friendship that is based on social conventions where two people behave in accordance with the following principle: "I for myself, you for yourself; we love each other, and we have no expectations of each other." This form of love is that of ordinary people, whose love relationships tend to be of this nature.    --> more


One Who Knows One's Self Knows One's Lord
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
There is a Prophetic Tradition, in which the Prophet says, "One who knows one's self knows one's Lord." Various interpretations of this tradition are possible, depending on whether we interpret 'Lord' to mean the one who commands, or God.   
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Traveling and Social Conduct on the Path
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
In Persian, the term sayr wa suluk (traveling and social conduct on the Path) -which is another term for Sufism- is composed of two words where each word can be explained separately in the following manner.   
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Practicing Right and Forbearing from Wrong
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
Besides their traditional religious meanings, the terms 'practicing right' (amr-i bi ma'ruf) and 'forbearing from wrong' (nahy-l az monkar) also have additional meanings in Sufism. In Sufi terminology, 'right' means serving God, and 'wrong' mean; associating with the nafs or, to put it another way, 'right' is God, and 'wrong' is the creation.   
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Pilgrimage
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
Pilgrimage (hajj) requires intention, and the goal is to reach the lane of the Beloved. There are two kinds of pilgrimage: the ordinary and the elect. The ordinary pilgrimage is the journey to the Ka'ba, while the elect pilgrimage is the journey towards its Owner. The ordinary pilgrimage is to circle the four physical walls of that house, while the elect pilgrimage is to visit the Ka'ba of the heart.   
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Pain and Cure
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
First of all, it must be made clear that 'pain' is a psychological force existing within the Sufi. It is this force which guides the Sufi to perfection and the perception of Reality. It is applied to different states in such expressions as 'pain and seeking' the 'pain of love' and 'pain of God'.   
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Master and Disciple
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
The relationship between master and disciple ts based on three principles:
1. The disciple's devotion (iradat) to a master,
2. The dhikr that the master inculcates in the disciple, and
3. The master's attention (nazar) to the disciple.   
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Giving Priority to Others
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
Giving priority to others' (ithar) is where you put other people before yourself when it is a question of deriving benefit, and place yourself before others when it is a case of risking harm. In giving priority to others, one should not hold back one's possessions and, indeed, one's very life.   
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The Drop and The Ocean
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
If we liken God to the ocean and the human individual to a drop, we can say that the function of Sufism is to carry the drop to the ocean. The master of the Path then is like a river linked to the ocean. The drop must commit itself to the river, so that it can be carried to the ocean.   
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Sufis Who Are Disciples of Their Own Imaginations
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
Most people who are drawn to the path of Sufism and become disciples of a master have, in fact, an image of the master in their minds, expecting the master to act according to this subjective image of theirs.   
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Chivalry
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
Chivalry (futuwwat) is considered to be a trait of the Sufis of Khurasan, as well as being a cornerstone of Sufism. In fact, it should be pointed out that the chevaliers (jawanmardan) existed before the Sufis, then later became attracted to Sufism.   
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Devotion
by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
...The master of the Path is like an alchemist who transmutes the traveler's copper-like heart into gold through the alchemy of his attention and teaching.   
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