Photo: Mevlevi dervishes of Turkey.
The haunt of the hearts of the gnostics is a mead
Celestial -- beyond it are the veils of the Lord.
His nearness their sole boundary from the world of the Secret --
Melt they would with love if their moment had come.
For their thirst is a cup purely filled from His love,
And the cool of a breeze beyond words to describe.
Hearts near the Throne-Lord -- they had sought to be near --
With what blessings the King in their nearness hath graced them!
Pleased with them, He hath pleased them unto ultimate pleasure:
The Beloved's welcome is the abode wherein they dwell,
Most penetrant their resolve; by it they have travelled,
By it their thoughts pierce to what is hidden by the Veils.
Their secret ever goeth between the Beloved and themselves,
From other than nearness by nearness made safe.
(Dhun-Nun al- Misri; trans. by Martin Lings)
'The Book of Certainty: Sufi Doctrine of Faith, Vision and Gnosis'
By Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din (Martin Lings)
'To express in the language of Sufism, that is, Islamic mysticism, some of the universal truths which lie at the heart of all religions'—this is the book's avowed purpose. It came into being because the author was asked by a friend to set down in writing what he considered to be the most important things that a human being can know. He was also asked to make it very easy, and despite the depth of all that it contains, it has in fact a remarkable simplicity and clarity, due no doubt to the constant use of traditional imagery which awakens and penetrates the imagination.