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Volume IX - The Unity of Religious Ideals

Part II


The infinite God is the Self of God, and all that have been manifested with name and form is the outward aspect of God. When we take all the existing forms and names and put them together, they become one form. In other words, all names are the name, and all forms are the form of God, but as God is one, His form also is one; and that is the sum total of all names and forms; there is no thing or being which is not the Being of God. In order to teach this, the wise have said God is in everything and in every being.

Many have wondered, if He is in everything, how he lives in everything, and as what; if He is in man, where is He to be found, and what part of man's being is considered to be God? Many answers may be given, yet none of them will satisfy, for the true answer is that all is God and God is all: none exists save He. And the question of what we are may be answered by the phrase in the Bible, that we live and move and have our being in God. God is we, but we are not gods. The difference between God and our being is not of the being; in being, God and we are one. The difference lies in our limitation and in the perfection of God.

How are we to conceive of the idea of God the Absolute? We are not meant to conceive of this. As limited beings we are not able to know perfection; only perfection itself can know perfection. We can imagine and make a God of our own, in order to make God intelligible to us and to make it easier for us to advance on the spiritual path. As we advance, the unlimited Being, working through us, makes His own way and realizes His perfection; for in doing this He only realizes Himself, which is not at all difficult for Him.

Man thinks that he has learned religion or philosophy or mysticism as he has evolved. Indeed, it is true, but the result of all this learning and evolution is realized to a certain degree not only by unevolved human beings, but even by the animals and birds. They all have their religion, and they all worship God in their own way. The birds while singing in the forest feel that exaltation even more than man after he has worshipped God; for not all men who join in prayer are as sincere as the birds in the forest, not one of which utters its prayer without sincerity. If a human soul were awakened to feel what they feel when singing at dawn, he would know that their prayer is even more exalting than his own, for their prayer is more natural. The godly, therefore, worship their God together with nature, and thus they experience perfect exaltation as the result of their prayer.

Man thinks he is able to meditate and concentrate, but he cannot do it any better than the animals and birds in the forest. The cobra attracts its food by thought. There are certain cobras whose food comes and falls into their mouths; they fast patiently for a long time not worrying about the food for the morrow. There are men, on the contrary, who are anxious about their breakfast: they are not even certain of their luncheon. They have no confidence in their own power nor faith in the providence of God.

In short, spirituality is attained by all beings, not only by man but also by the beasts and the birds; and each has its own religion, its principle, its law and its morals. For instance a bird, whose honor it is to fly over the heads of those who walk on the earth, feels it is beneath its dignity to be touched by an earthly being; it feels it is polluted. And if this bird is touched once by a human being, its fellow-creatures will not rest till they have killed it, for to them it is an outcast. They dwell in the air and it is their dignity to act thus. The study of nature is of interest not only to the student of science, but also to the one who treads the path of spirituality, the study of nature is of immense interest. Man will find at the end of his search on the spiritual path that all beings, including trees and plants, rocks and mountains, are prayerful, and all attain to that spiritual perfection which is the only longing of every soul.


In Sufi terms the self of God is called Zat, and His qualities, His merits, are named Sifat. The Hindus call the former aspect of God Purusha and the latter Prakriti, which can be rendered in English by the words spirit and matter. Zat, the Spirit of God, is incomprehensible, because that which comprehends itself is intelligence, God's real being; and comprehension has nothing to comprehend in its own being. No doubt, in our usual terms it is the comprehending faculty in us which we call comprehension; but this is not meant here, for intelligence is not necessarily intellect. Merit is something which is comprehensible; it is something, which is clear and distinct, so that it can be made intelligible; but intelligence is not intelligible except to its own self. Intelligence knows that I am; but it does not know what I am.

Such is the nature of God. Intelligence would not have known its own power and existence if it had not known something besides itself, so God knows Himself by manifestation. Manifestation is the self of God, but a self which is limited; a self that makes Him know that He is perfect when He compares His own Being with this limited self which we call nature. Therefore the purpose of the whole of creation is the realization which God Himself gains by discovering His own perfection through this manifestation.

Among Christian ideas there is one which, if we can solve its riddle, helps us to discover the truth of life. It is the idea of the Trinity. What keeps the soul in perplexity is the threefold aspect of manifestation, and as long as the soul remains puzzled by this, it cannot arrive at the knowledge of the One. These three aspects are the seer, sight, and the seen; the knower, knowledge, and the known. In point of fact these are three aspects of life. One aspect is the person who sees; the second aspect is the sight, or the eyes, by the help of which he sees; and the third aspect is that which he sees. That is why one cannot readily accept the idea that what one sees is the same as oneself, nor can one believe for a moment that the medium by which one sees is oneself, for these three aspects seem to be separate and to be looking at one another's faces, as the first person, second person, and third person of Brahma.

When this riddle is solved by the realization that the three are one, then the purpose of the God-ideal is fulfilled. For then the three veils which cover the One are lifted, then they no longer remain three, and then they are found to be One, the Only Being. As Abdul Karim al Jili, the fifteenth-century mystic, says, 'If you believe in one God, you are right; if you believe in two Gods, that is true; but if you believe in three Gods, that is right also, for the nature of unity is realized by variety.'


Mankind tends to consider that all that is pleasant has come from the mercy of God, and all that is unpleasant either from the wrath of God or not from God at all, because he thinks that God is just and merciful. In reality God's goodness and mercy and justice are hidden under all pleasant and unpleasant experiences in life. We call things unjust when we cannot see their justice; things are unpleasant to us when the standard of our pleasure is limited; things appear unmerciful to us when we restrict and limit mercy. But sometimes things that do not seem just to us, are just according to their real nature; unmerciful things often contain a hidden mercy. Therefore the Sufi takes all that comes from God with resignation, seeing and recognizing in it His mercy, goodness, and justice.

We, the children of the earth, are like children, all through our evolution, to our heavenly Father; and in our ignorance our actions are like those of a child. If the parents give it sweets, it takes this as their kindness if they give the child bitter medicine, it considers it anger on their part, not knowing that in giving that bitter medicine they show their kindness just the same. There are many things that we think are good for us, but in fact they may be the worst possible. One person cannot obtain a certain position which he wanted, another cannot settle in a town where he desired to live, another is unable to visit a city that he wished to see, while sill another does not succeed in gaining the wealth he wished for. All such unpleasant experiences make a man discontented; and if he has not enough faith he begins to think that there is no such being as God. If we only considered how perfect is that mechanism of the infant's body, and how it works in such an orderly way, we should see and realize that there is a power behind everything, with full wisdom and understanding, which sets all things going harmoniously, and it is the same with the mechanism of the whole universe.

There is a story that Moses had sought to associate himself with Khizr, the guiding angel of all seeking souls, and had requested to be allowed to follow his path. Khizr said, 'No, Moses, teach the law that is given you; our way is complex.' After great persistence on the part of Moses, Khizr complied with his request, on one condition: that he should not interfere with his works, by any means, in any way. When on the seashore they saw a little child drowning, caught by a wave, and the mother calling loudly for help. Moses wished to run and help them, and he wanted Khizr to do the same. Khizr said, ' I have told you not to interfere with my works.' Moses said, ' Oh, would you allow an innocent child to be drowned like this when you can help? How dreadful!' Khizr said, 'Think of your promise and do not say another word.' They went on farther, and took a boat to some port, and while in the boat Khizr began to enlarge holes that were already in the boat. Moses said 'Oh how cruel! Anyone who sits in the boat will be drowned!' Khizr said, 'It does not matter. Think of your promise, and do not say one word more.' Because of the great persistence of Moses in asking him to explain what it all meant, Khizr said, ' The child that was drowning would have brought many families to destruction, therefore God intended that, before he became able to do so, he should be drowned. We have done nothing but allow the will of God to take its course. And the boat in which I made the holes, on its return will carry thirty robbers who intend to destroy many lives in a certain village in order to accomplish their robbery. It was meant by God that as they have prepared themselves to destroy innocent lives they should be destroyed before they can do so. This shows the meaning of a Sufi verse:

'The Controller of the world knows how to control it,
Whom he should rear and who he should cut off.'

[Note: the story about Moses and Khizr appears in the Quran 18:65-82]


Dependence belongs to matter and independence to the spirit. The independent spirit becomes dependent through manifestation. When the One becomes many, then each part of the One, being limited, strives to be helped by the other part, for each part finds itself imperfect. Therefore we human beings, however rich with the treasures of heaven and earth, are poor in reality because of our dependence upon others. The spiritual view makes one conscious of this fact but the material view blinds man, who then shows independence and indifference to his fellow man. Pride, conceit, and vanity are the outcome of this ignorance. There are moments when even the king has to depend upon a most insignificant person. Often one needs the help of someone towards whom one has always been proud and upon whom one has always looked with contempt.

As individuals depend upon other individuals, so nations and races depend upon one another. No individual can say that he can get on without anyone else and no nation can really be happy while another nation is unhappy. But both individuals and communities depend most upon God, in whom we all unite. Those who depend upon the things of the earth certainly depend upon things that are transitory, and some day or other they must lose them, so there remains only one object of dependence, and that is God who is not transitory, and who always is and will be. Sadi has said, 'He who depends upon Thee will never be disappointed.'

No doubt dependence upon God, which in Sufi terms is called Tawakkul, is the most difficult thing. For an average person, who has not known or seen God, but has only heard in church that someone exists in the heavens who is called God, and who has believed this, it is difficult to depend entirely upon Him. A person can hope that there is a God. And that by depending on Him he will have his desire fulfilled; a person can imagine that there can be someone whom people call God, but for him also it is difficult to depend entirely upon God. It is for them, that the prophet has said, 'Tie your camel and trust in God.' Daniel was not told to take a sword and go among the lions.

One imagines God, another realizes God; there is a difference between these two people. The one who imagines can hope, but he cannot be certain. The one who realizes God is face to face with his Lord, and it is he who depends on God with certainty. It is a matter of either struggling along on the surface of the water, or courageously diving deep, touching the bottom of the sea. There is no greater trial for a person than dependence upon God. What patience it needs, besides boundless faith, to be in the midst of this world of illusion and yet to be conscious of the existence of God! To do this, man must be able to turn all that is called life into death, and to realize the true life in what is generally called death. This solves the problem of the false and the real.


Divine grace is a loving impulse of God which manifests in every form: in the form of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, beneficence, and revelation. No action, however good, can command it, no meditation, however great, can attract it. It comes naturally, as a wave rising from the heart of God, unrestricted and unlimited by any law. It is a natural impulse of God. When it comes, it comes without reason. Neither its coming nor its absence has any particular reason. It comes because it comes: it does not come because it does not come.

It is in grace that God's highest majesty is manifested. While pouring out His grace He stands on such a high pedestal that neither law nor reason can touch it. Every blessing has a certain aspect, but manifests through all aspects. Grace is all-sided; from it come health, providence, the love given by all those around us, inspiration, joy, and peace.


The question of the will, human and divine, may be seen from two points of view: from the point of view of wisdom and from the point of view of the ultimate truth. If words can explain anything, it is from the former point of view; the latter point of view allows no word to be spoken, for in the absolute truth two do not exist; there is no such thing as two; there is One alone.

From the wisdom point of view it can be seen that one is weaker and the other stronger, and that one has to give in to the power of the other. This is observed in all aspects of creation. The little fish is eaten by the larger fish, but the little fish lives upon still smaller fish. So there is no one in this world so strong that there is not another stronger still, and there is no one in this world so weak that there is not another who is weaker.

The next subject to think about is the opposing conditions and situations which appear to a willing mind and a striving person like a stone wall, so that with every wish to do and to accomplish something he does not find his way. It is this experience, which has made one say that man proposes, and God disposes. The Hindu philosophers have called these two great powers, one of which is like an intention and the other the power of destruction, by the names Brahma the Creator, and Shiva the Destroyer. The most wonderful thing about this creation and destruction is that what Brahma creates in a thousand years, Shiva destroys in one moment. Since God is almighty, the wise see the hand of God in the greater power, manifesting either through an individual or through a certain condition or situation; and instead of struggling too much against the difficulties in life, and instead of moaning over losses which cannot be helped, they are resigned to the will of God.

In short, every plan that a person makes, and his desire to accomplish that plan, is mostly a outcome of his personal will; and when his will is helped by every other will he comes in contact with, then he is helped by God. As every will goes in the direction of his will, so his will becomes strengthened, and then a person often accomplishes something which a thousand people might not have been able to accomplish. Then there is another person who has a thought, a desire, and meets with opposition from every side; everything seems to go wrong, and yet he has the inner urge to continue on the path of attainment. There also the hand of God is at his back, helping him on; even though there might seem opposition at the beginning of his strife, yet as the saying is: all's well that ends well.

The saintly souls, who consider it their religion to seek the pleasure of God and to be resigned to His will, are indeed blessed, for their manner is pleasing to everyone, because they are most careful lest they hurt anybody's feelings. And if by some mistake they happen to hurt someone's feelings, they feel they have hurt God whose pleasure they must constantly seek, for the happiness of their life lies only in seeking the pleasure of God. They watch every person and every situation and condition, and by constantly observing life keenly their heart becomes trained, like the ear of a lover of music who in time learns to distinguish between the true and the false notes. So they observe every desire that springs up in their heart, to see if it is in accordance with the will of God. Sometimes they know it the moment the desire has sprung up; sometimes they  know it when they have gone half-way in its pursuit; and sometimes they only know it at the end of their striving. But even then their willingness to resign themselves to the will of God becomes their consolation, even in the face of disappointment. The secret of seeking the will of God lies in cultivating the faculty for sensing harmony; for harmony is beauty and beauty is harmony. The lover of beauty in his further progress becomes the seeker of harmony, and by trying always to maintain harmony man will tune his heart to the will of God


Man's relation to God may be likened to the relation of the bubble to the sea. Man is of God, man is from God, man is in God, as the bubble is of water, from water, and in water. So much the same and yet so different! The bubble is different and the sea is different and there is no comparison between them. So although God and man are not different, yet there is such a difference that it is immeasurable. As Hafiz says, 'What comparison is there between earth and heaven?' for the same reason that man is small before God, the bubble is small before the ocean, and yet it is not apart from the ocean, nor does it consist of any other element than the ocean. Therefore divinity is in man as in God. The divinity of Christ means the divinity of man, although divinity itself is the ideal.

The word divine has its origin in the Sanskrit word Deva, which also means divine. And yet the root of this word means light, which explains that the divine is part of beings which is illuminated by the light within. Therefore, though in man there is light hidden, if not disclosed, he is not divine. If the hidden light were divine, then the stone could be divine too, for the spark of fire is hidden in the rock. All life is one, without doubt, and all names and forms are of the same life. But the part of life from which light springs, illuminating itself and its surroundings, and bringing recognition of its own being, is divine; from this is the fulfillment of the purpose of the whole creation, and every activity is directed towards achieving the same purpose. How calmly the mountains and hills seem to be waiting for a certain day to come! If we went near them and listened to their voices, they would tell us this. And how eagerly the plants and the trees in the forest seem to be waiting for some day, for some hour, the hour of the fulfillment of their desire! If only we could hear the words they say! In animals, in birds, in the lower creation, the desire is still more intense and still more pronounced. The seer can see it when his glance meets their glance. But the fulfillment of this desire is in man: the desire that has worked through all aspects of life and brought forth different fruits, yet always preparing a way to reach the same light which is called Divinity. But even man, whose right it is, cannot reach it unless he acquire the knowledge of the self, which is the essence of all religions.

It is easy to claim, 'I am God!'; but is it not insolence on the part of man, who is subject to illness, death, and disease? It is bringing the highest ideal of God down to the lowest plane. It is as if the bubble were to say, 'I am the sea', when its own consciousness, as well as everybody else, sees that it is a bubble. And again it is blindness on the part of man, however righteous and pious he may be, to say, ' I am separate, God is separate. I am on earth, God is in heaven.' He may pray and worship a thousand years and not come near God. Since according to the astronomers it would take so many hundreds of years to reach a certain planet, how could one reach as high as the abode of God, which is supposed to be higher and farther off than anything else? No man has the right to claim divinity as long as he is conscious of his limited self. Only he who is so absorbed in the contemplation of the perfect Being that his limited self is lost from his sight, could say this, but in most cases he will not say it. It is at this stage that man closes his lips, lest he should say a word that might offend the ears of the people of the world. 'O bird, cry gently, for the ears of the beloved are tender!' says the poet. And if anyone, such as Mansur [Hallaj], has claimed divinity, it is only after having drunk that wine of divine life which intoxicated him, and in his ecstasy the secret came out as it comes from a drunken man, who if he had been sober would never have let it escape.

The wise realize the divine Being in the loss of the thought of self; they melt in Him and become absorbed in Him, and enjoy the peace that they can derive from the divine life; but they live in the world gently, meekly, and thoughtfully, just like any other man. It is the unwise who show themselves too wise. And with the increase of wisdom comes the beauty of innocence, which makes the wise a friend of everyone, both stupid and wise. It is the stupid who cannot agree with the wise, but the wise can agree with the stupid as well as with the wise. He can become both, while the stupid man is what he is.


In Sufi terms the divine manner is called Akhlaq-i Allah. Man thinks, speaks, and acts according to the pitch to which his soul is tuned. The highest note he can be tuned to is the divine note, and once man has arrived at that pitch, he begins to express the manner of God in everything he does. And what is the manner of God? It is the kingly manner, but a manner which is not known even to kings, for only the King of heaven and of the earth knows it. This manner is expressed by the soul who is tuned to God; it is devoid of narrowness and free from pride and conceit, it is a manner which is not only beautiful but is beauty itself. The soul which is tuned to God also becomes as beautiful as God, and begins to express God through all that it does, expressing the divine manner in life.

Why is it a kingly manner? By the word kingly we only mean someone who possesses great power and wealth. But the soul tuned to God, before whom all else fades away and in whose eyes all the little things which are so important to everyone else are lessened, that soul begins to express the divine manner in the form of contentment. It might seem to an ordinary person that to this soul nothing matters. To him no gain is exciting, no loss alarming; if anyone praises him, it is of no consequence; if anyone blames him, it does not matter to him; honor and insult are all a game to him, and at the end of the game, neither is the gain a gain nor the loss a loss, for it was only a pastime.

One might think, what does such a person do for others; what good is he to those around him? That person is a healing for others and for those around him; he is an influence for uplifting those souls who are suffering from the narrowness and limitation of human nature. For human nature is not only narrow and limited, but also foolish and tyrannical. The reason is that the nature of life is intoxicating, its intoxication makes people drunk. And what does the drunken man want? He wants his drink, he does not think about anyone else.

In this life there are so many kinds of liquor that man drinks: love of wealth, passion, anger, possession; man is not even satisfied with possessing earthly things, but he also wishes to possess those whom he pretends to love, and in this way proves to be both tyrannical and foolish. For all the things of this world that man thinks he possesses, he does not really possess; in reality he is possessed by them, be it wealth or property or a friend or position or rank. The soul with the divine manner is therefore sober compared with the drunken man of the world, and it is this soberness that produces in him that purity which is called Sufism, and it is through that purity that God is reflected in his mirror-like soul.

Nothing frightens the soul who reflects God. He is above all fear, for he possesses nothing; and fear is always connected with man's possessions. Does it mean he leaves the world and goes and passes his life in a cave on a mountainside? Not in the least. He may possess the wealth of the whole world, he may have the kingdoms of the whole universe under his rule, but nothing binds him, nothing ties him, nothing frightens him; for only that belongs to him, which is his own. And when his soul is his own, everything is his own, and what belongs to him cannot be taken away. If anyone took it away, it would be he himself who did so. He is his own friend and his own foe, so there is no longer pain or suffering, complaint or grudge; he is at peace, for he is at home, whether he is on earth or in heaven.

The difference between God and man is that God is omniscient while man only knows about his own affairs. As God is omniscient, He loves all and His interest is in all; and so it is with the godly soul. The divine personality, expressed through the godly soul, shows itself in its interest on behalf of all, whether they be known or unknown to that soul. His interest in another is not only because of his kind nature or his sympathetic spirit; he does not take an interest in the welfare and well being of another person because it is his duty, but because he sees himself in a another person. Therefore to the godly soul the life and interests of another person are as his own. In the pain of another person the godly soul sorrows; in the happiness of another person the godly soul rejoices, and so the godly soul who has already almost forgotten himself, also forgets the remaining part of the self in his interest in others.

It is natural for the godly soul to take interest in others. Only the one who has emptied himself of what is called self, is capable of knowing another person's condition. Sometimes he knows more then the other person himself, as a physician knows the condition of his patient better then the patient does.

Divine manner, therefore, is not only like that of parents towards their children, of a man towards his close friend, of a king towards his trusted servant, or of a devoted servant toward his master. Divine manner comprises all manners; it is expressive of every form of love; and if it has any peculiarity it is its divinity. For in every form of human love and affection, the self is somewhere hidden, asking for appreciation, for reciprocity, for recognition; but the divine manner is above all this. It gives all and asks nothing in return in any manner or form, thereby proving the action of God through man.


The Sufi's conception of God is the means for the Sufi to rise from imperfection to perfection, as is suggested in the Bible, 'Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.' There is a vast gulf between the state of imperfection and the state of perfection; and God is the boat, in which one sails from the port of imperfection to perfection.

To a Sufi, God and man are not two; the Sufi does not consider God as separate from himself. The Sufi's God is not in heaven alone; He is everywhere. He sees God in the unseen and in the seen. He recognizes God both within and without. Therefore, in the eyes of the Sufi there is no name which is not the name of God and there is no form which is not the form of God. As  Jalaluddin Rumi says,

The Beloved is all in all. The lover only veils Him.
The Beloved is all that lives. The lover is a dead thing.'
                                    (Mathnawi I, 30)

In other words, this dual aspect of love, which is expressed as lover and beloved, is in fact one. And one will die and One alone will live. The one that will die is the imperfect self which covers perfection; the One that will live is the perfect Self.

The Sufi recognizes both these aspects in himself, the imperfect and mortal aspect of his being and the perfect, the immortal aspect of his being. The former is represented by his outer self, the latter by his innermost self. Since the imperfect self covers his soul and confines it in a limited being, he recognizes at the same time the greatness of the perfect Being, and calls himself 'I,' a servant of God, and he calls God the Lord of the whole of existence.

In the Sufi schools of the East, this idea is expressed in an allegory, which moves those who enjoy its poetic subtlety. In the Quran is related that when the first man was made, he was asked, 'Say who is thy Master,' and he answered, 'Thou art my Lord.' Philosophically, this idea is the picture of human life. Man begins his life on earth by accepting somebody's command, fearing lest he cause him any displeasure, looking upon someone as his support, protector, or guide, be it in the form of father or mother, relation, friend, master, or king. This shows that man begins his life in the world with his imperfection, at the same time recognizing, surrendering, and bowing to perfection in whatever form.

When man understands this better, then he knows that all the sources that demanded his surrender or recognition were limited and powerless in comparison with that perfect ideal, which we call God. The same attitude that the ordinary man has towards another, who is greater than he in strength, power, or position, the Sufi learns to show towards his God, the ideal of perfection; because in God he includes all forms in which he recognizes beauty, power, greatness, and perfection. Therefore the worship of the Sufi, is not only worship of the Deity. By worship he means drawing closer to perfection. By worship, he tries to forget his imperfect self in the contemplation of the perfect One.

It is not necessary for the Sufi to offer his prayers to God for help in worldly things, or to thank Him for what he receives, although this attitude develops in man a virtue that is very necessary in life. The whole idea of the Sufi is to cover his imperfect self even from his own eyes by the thought of God. That moment when God and not his own self is before him, is the moment of perfect bliss. My murshid, Abu Hashim Madani, once said that there is only one virtue and only one sin for a soul on this path: virtue when he is conscious of God and sin when he is not. No explanation can describe the truth of this except the experience of the contemplative, to whom, when he is conscious of God, it is as if a window is open, which is facing heaven, and when he is conscious of the self, the experience is the opposite. For all the tragedy of life is caused by consciousness of the self. All pain and depression are caused by this, and anything that can take away the thought of the self helps to a certain extent to relieve man from pain; but God-consciousness gives perfect relief.


The Sufi's have a meeting called Sama, which takes place as a part of their devotions. At this meeting musicians sing the words of inspired poets, either verses in admiration of the beauty or the qualities of the ideal, or describing the longing of the lover, his pain, his appeal. Sometimes the verses explain the finer laws of nature and of life: the difference between God, the perfect Being, and man, the imperfect individual. Sometimes the verses explain the nearness of man to God and the perfection of God in man.

The bodies of people, who are spiritually advanced, are generally ethereal, their hearts are tender, and their concentration is great. The verses and songs of these musicians become a reality to them. Just as the ordinary man is touched and moved by external conditions in his life, so musicians are touched and moved by the world they have created in their imagination, and this is helped by the verses and music. It expresses itself sometimes in tears, sometimes in movements of joy or sorrow. These movements are called Raqs, and their state at that time is called Hal, or Wajd, i.e. spiritual ecstasy. This is regarded with respect by those present.

checked 29-Sep-2006