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The Silence and Adab of the Sufis

Listen, O Sufis, to this discourse on our inner state

so that your souls may become free of idle talk.

Talk is not appropriate in the company of the drunken; 

silence is golden for the Sufi who is pure. 

By silence we do not mean the closing of one’s lips; 

we mean containing oneself while burning.

Many a Sufi sits in silence

while his heart stirs within his breast.

Though his lips are closed to speech,

speech abounds in the Sufi’s eyes.

Many a Sufi who speaks fine words with eloquence

does not have a burning heart and an anguished soul.

One must become silent both outwardly and inwardly, 

without thought of fire and light or sting and salve, 

for the Sufi’s state is higher than these; 

the devotee of the Truth is beyond such experiences.

Progress on the path is not measured by clamor and commotion; 

the Sufi’s fervor and inner state are governed by the heart. 

If a Sufi lets go of himself

words become worthless to him.

Observing true silence, in reality he has no existence; 

that silence is the mystery, the secret, of drunkenness.

A spiritual state itself is no better than talk to him; 

people of heart are not concerned with states.

He is liberated from spiritual states and stations; 

he is not a seeker of the miraculous.

Since his God-seeking is without limit, 

he is totally obliterated in God and does not exist. 

                    * * * * *

If you consider yourself a Sufi, 

why are you so attached to words?

The heart uses another language; 

the speech of the heart communicates in a different way.

The heart’s discourse is not in words; 

its realm is above that of “I” and “we.”

People of the heart speak with one tongue, 

though the words and phrases are innumerable.

Become acquainted with the vision of the people of heart

so that you may learn the secrets of love. 

                    * * * * *

The Sufi breaks free from all limits and bonds; 

he surrenders completely, both outwardly and inwardly.

O Sufi, abandon the observance of adab; 

the people of heart are beyond mere manners.

While you are traveling the path you must observe adab, 

but when you reach God your adab will be considered unbelief.

Reason says, “Mind your manners!”

Love declares, “Break free from your self!”

While you are thinking about adab, you are governed by reason; 

you are dragging your feet in the practice of love.

One who is annihilated in God transcends adab

and closes the book of etiquette.

Give up adab and follow your heart;

be drunk and love-crazed in pursuit of the Beloved! 

To show off your adab is an expression of self-existence;

the convention of lovers is intoxication.

As long as you focus on manners you make a display of your self,

a focus and display that distance you from Being Itself.

Become crazy on the path of loving! 

Become estranged from yourself and your world.

If you come to dwell in God’s sanctuary,

you’ll become free from fear and hope.

You’ll be free from existence and its ups and downs;

its joy, pain and sorrow will all be the same. 

Be a person of heart and therefore without self!

Be a mad lover! Be a dervish!

As long as you are concerned with outward adab, 

you will not discover the mysteries of the heart’s inner sanctuary. 

                    * * * * *

Leave behind manners, words and talk, 

station and state, ecstasy and shouting. 

If you seek the Beloved, stay silent;

let your outward and inward being become an ear.

Whoever opens the heart’s eye to God 

becomes free from all adab and discussion.

One is concerned with neither spiritual state nor speech;

one has no question, no “why” in one’s mind.

One gives up both worlds, becoming annihilated, 

free of concern for what is proper adab. 

While you talk of your identity and your reputation

you are occupied with loving yourself.

As long as you are a prisoner of self, preoccupied with spiritual states,

your place is secure at the “station” of mere talk. 

                    * * * * *

The Sufi who is sincere is stupefied and drunk,

unaware of everything except the Beloved.

He is in the tavern of ruin, lost from self, 

like a grape that has become wine in the vat.

He is liberated from spiritual states, stations and shouting;

in reality, he is no one other than the Friend.

Otherwise, he is a Sufi only in name,

a title for impressing others.

How long will you remain trapped in the bonds of words? 

If you call yourself a Sufi, you must die to your self.

How long are you going to remain in the cage?

Open the door! Be drunk! Be crazy! Take flight!

Otherwise, my friend, you’re no Sufi. Be gone! 

Don’t bother to look for the home of the Simorgh.

To reach the Mount Qaf of nothingness, 

dispense with “I am this, you are that.” 

Spur your heart on, like Rakhsh, racing towards God, 

until He bestows light upon your annihilation.

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