Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abu al-Khayr (q.s.) on Duality

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is an adapted from an excerpt from “The Grand Shaykh of Khurasan: Abu Sa’id Abu al-Khayr.”

Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abu al-Khayr (q.s.) said, “Your biggest barrier on the Path is the same as everyone else’s – your self.  As long as ‘you’ exist and ‘He’ Exists, there will be two and that is dualism.  You must put aside your ‘self’ completely.  Hell is where ‘you’ are and Paradise is where ‘you’ are not.  Until you forget your self, you will never truly be a believer in God.”

He also said, “Seven hundred Sufi masters have spoken of the Path, and the last has said the same as the first.  Though their words may have differed, their meaning was one: Sufism is the abandonment of affectation.  And of all of your affectations, none is worse than your ‘you-ness’.  When you are occupied with yourself, you remain far from Him.  Your self leads you to dependence on the creatures.  It whispers in your ear, ‘this one has treated you badly’ and ‘that one has done good for you’.  All this is but polytheism and duality.”

O Shaykh, how can this be?” the dervish uttered, totally confused.

Because Sufism consists of guarding the heart from what is other than God.  And there is nothing other than God.”

Shocked by the shaykh’s answer, the disciples once again fell silent.  “Can you tell us more about what Sufism is,” another dervish finally pleaded, breaking the silence.

“Sufism is the heart standing alone with God, with nothing between.  In the beginning, it is but a name; when it is finished, only God Remains.  It consists of but two things: looking in one direction and living in one way.  Real Sufism cannot be completed with mere words.  It cannot be stitched on with needle and thread.  Blood does not flow without an incision, and to speak about an incision is not the same as making one.  Of all the sayings of the masters who have discoursed upon Sufism, the best and most concise is this: Sufism is to seize the moment and use it appropriately.”

Having said this, Shaykh Abu Sa’id Abu al-Khayr (q.s.) bestowed a blessing upon the gathering and departed, leaving the dervishes to the moment.


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