Monday, October 11, 2010

The Garden of God's Love

The garden of
is green without
and yields many
other than sorrow
and joy.
Love is beyond either
without spring,
without autumn,
it is always fresh.

Sufi love poem

Sufism began only a century or so after Mohammed's death. The Sufis were alarmed by the materialism represented by the silks and satins of the sultans and other wealthy patrons of Islam. Thus they emphasized spiritual purity by wearing coarse wool clothing (Ar. suf) and sought direct contact with God through contemplation and mystical encounter.  They followed spiritual leaders (sheikhs) who taught methods for mysticism and ecstasy. This path resembles that of ascetic monks in the Christian world except that Sufis normally marry and do not retreat to remote monestaries.

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