The following was translated by Dr. Alan Godlas.
Imam as-Sulami (q.s.) reported in his Mahasin at-Taswawwuf that Shaykh Abu Musa ad-Dili (q.s.) said that he asked Shaykh Abu Yazid Tayfur ibn ‘Isa al-Bistami (q.s.), “What is taswawwuf?”
He replied, “Do you want the answer in the language of shari’ah, the language of al-haqiqah or the language of al-Haqq?”
Shaykh Abu Musa (q.s.) responded, “In all three.”
Shaykh Abu Yazid (q.s.) answered, “In the language of the law, taswawwuf is purification of hearts from impurities, using the Creation together with created nature, and following the Prophet (s.a.w.) in shari’ah. In the language of al-haqiqah, taswawwuf is the absence of exertions, departing from the requirements of the qualities, and contentment with the Creator of the heavens. In the language of the al-Haqq, the foundation is that al-Haqq has Purified them of their qualities by means of His Qualities. So al-Haqq has Responded to them in a Purifying…