Note is a quarterly column with inspirational words of wisdom from
the Editor-in-Chief of Sufism: An Inquiry, Shah
Dr. Ali Kianfar.
We Step Beyond Our
from Vol. 9, No. 4
is the Light God Pours
Into the Heart of whoever
from Vol. 2, No. 2
Editor's Note from
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From Vol. 6, No. 3
Shah Nazar Seyed Ali Kianfar
Does everyone have the essential capacity
to accept and receive the teachings and the principles taught by
Sufis? More precisely, can everyone make the principal focus of
their life the cultivation of discipline, learning, and advanced
morality? Truthful Sufis have a consensus on this important, though
The answer is
clear in nature: not every human being is capable of receiving,
accepting, and understanding spiritual teachings.
that everything is in the hands of Allah. This might seem to imply
that anything and everything is possible--but in truth this fact
does not alter the conclusion Sufis have affirmed. Allah has established
the harmony of Being, a world governed by laws, including spiritual
laws. One of the most basic of these is that there must be a harmony
between the sender and the receiver, both in the world of nature,
and in the world of the spirit--the two are, for Sufis, one realm
of being. In the spiritual domain, such harmony consists in understanding,
and that depends upon the inherent capability of the receiver.
The heart of
the human being is the locus of receiving spiritual truth, and the
truth that the individual is capable of receiving depends upon the
qualities of heart. Just as not every individual may be a mathematician,
a poet, or an inventor, so also not everyone may receive spiritual
teachings for many lack the necessary basis of understanding. To
admit this is merely to accept the nature of being, to acknowledge
the evidence of many years of teaching and the long history of Sufism.
may argue against this statement by claiming that everyone is equal,
and all can receive spiritual knowledge. But this is not really
argument, only empty sloganeering. Indeed, to think in this way
is itself a sign of a lack of essential inward understanding, or
a poverty of heart. Those who would make everyone equal deny the
uniqueness of heart, the reality of humanity, and reduce the human
being to the uniformity of a thing. Such people do not practice
reason, but instead express their own anger at Being. They question
God for His supposed lack of compassion--as if to make everyone
the same were to show Divine compassion. In so doing, they merely
expose their own lack of understanding: the God that is accused
in such a court and by such people is indeed unknown to them.
There is a story
told by a Sufi that may be mentioned here:
A group of bandits
once infested the mountains, waiting for passing caravans to rob
. . .
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