What is Sufism?

Saints & Shaykhs

Allah, the Divine

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The Saints and Shaykhs


“I was a hidden treasure and I wanted to be known so I created creation.” 



Hold to a true shaykh.

Strength will come.

Your strength is his gathering you closer.

Soul of the soul of the soul,

Moment to moment,

Hope to draw breath from that one.


No matter how long you’ve been apart…

That presence has no separation in it.

Do you want to understand more about this friendship?

Read the surah called ‘Daybreak’.

































If your students do not know how to swim,

Being still children,

You give them a vessel that they can ride on

From the shore of darkness to the shore of safety,

From the shore of difficulties to the shore of peacefulness,

From the shore of hatred to the shore of love,

From the shore of anarchy to the shore of harmony,

From the shore of terrorism and violence to the shore to peacefulness and satisfaction.

If you bring them there,

It will be a heaven,

A paradise for them,

And this is the responsibility of saints.

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani




How saints carry the burdens of mankind:

The story of Sayyidina Biyazid al-Bistami


Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami (Q) used to worship and worship and worship and worship,

asking in all his prayers that Allah open for him that beautiful Divine Presence. 

And after progressing for many years, he heard a voice in his heart that said,

Ya Aba Yazid, what do you want?”

He said, “Ya Rabbi, I want to come to You.”

Allah (swt) said, “Ya Bayazid, there is a correct way to come to Me.”

Ya Rabbi, what is that way?”

Allah (swt) said, “You have to be a garbage dump for My servants.” 


What does that really mean?

Being a garbage dump means that you have to carry the burdens of Allah’s servants

in order to come to Him.  You cannot come with your ego to Him.  In order

to step on your ego and come to Allah, be a garbage dump.  So what did Aba Yazid

do to become a rubbish dump? How do you do that?


You have to leave anger, be patient, you have to be of service to humanity,

regardless of what they do to you . 

Biyazid was thinking and thinking and thinking, “How am I going to be of service to people?”

To become a rubbish dump means everyone has to speak badly of you,

but you still carry their burdens. Everyone has to say, “This one is bad.” 

And you instead have to be saying, “Ya Rabbi, forgive them, Ya Rabbi, forgive them.” 


How many times did the neighbor of Prophet (s) dump his rubbish at the door of Prophet (s)?

For 7 years. The Prophet (s) did not tell anyone – he took the garbage and quietly threw it away. 

So to become a dump means you have to forgive everyone. 




        About Tariqats or Sufi Orders


·        Saints and Shaykhs


·        Rumi and Whirling Dervishes

Mevlevi Order, founded by Jallalludin Rumi


·        Naqshbandi Order

founded by Maulana Bahauddin Naqshband


·        Qadiri Order

Founded by Abdul Qadir Jilani


·        Sufism's Many Paths: Dr. Alan Godlas, University of Georgia








To make people love you is easy.  Be a sincere person, and everyone loves you. 

You are happy when they say, “Masha`Allah, you are a lion.” 


But, if they say to you, “You are a donkey,” you will get angry! Both of them

are animals – a donkey and a lion.  But being a lion makes the ego happy.  Being a donkey

makes the ego angry.  Just as you are made happy by something being said of you that really does not

 have value, the love of people is something good that makes you happy – but compared to

the love of Allah, that love of people has no value.


Sayyidina Bayazid had created some problem in the city – we will not go into that story now,

but as a result they ordered him killed by stoning. He was given the power to destroy but instead

he forgave everyone.  They stoned him continuously, children and adults, until he fainted. 

And as he was being stoned, he was saying, “Ya Rabbi forgive them.  Ya Rabbi forgive them. 

Ya Rabbi forgive them.” 


            Who can do that now? They thought he was dead, so they threw him into the rubbish dump. 

Seven days he stayed there unconscious.  When he woke up he said, “Ya Rabbi,

I wish that they had thrown stones until I died, and You brought me back to life, and

I could be stoned to death again, my Lord, for Your love.

“Make my body as big as hell so that no one can go to hell except me. 

And let everyone else go to Paradise.” 

           That is the saints’ approach to the Divine Presence, among them Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami. 


From Keys to the Divine Kingdom by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani