When the archangel Gabriel asked our master the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), "What is divine benevolence?" the Last of the Prophets answered, "To pray and glorify Allah as if you are in His presence, as if you see Him." Reverence reflects in the heart of a believer who has reached the level of praying as if he sees Allah. Then our master the Prophet continued, "For if you are unable to see Him, He certainly sees you." The one who has reached that level of realization of divine benevolence will have conscience. He will feel that gaze of Allah upon him and will be ashamed to sin. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Conscience is total good." If a believer has conscience, he is aware of what he is doing and he cannot do wrong; when a heart is filled with conscience, the possessor of that heart encounters no harm either in this world or in the hereafter.
An excerpt from Happiness Without Death, by Assad Ali (Threshold Books, 1991)
The essence of God is love and the Sufi path is a path of love. It is very difficult to describe love in words. It is like trying to describe honey to someone who has never tasted or even seen honey, who doesn't know what honey is. Love is to see what is good and beautiful in everything. It is to learn from everything, to see the gifts of God and the generosity of God in everything, to see the gifts of God and the generosity of God in everything. It is to be thankful for all God's bounties.
Sayings of Bahauddin Naqshband, from The Masters of Wisdom, by J.G. Bennett (Bennett Books, 1996; available from Threshold Books)
There are three steps to achieving eternal life by dying to the world. The first step is to protect oneself against the love, the ambition, the lust, the pleasures of this world, whose attractions pull us down to it and whose illusions distract us from Truth.
When I closed my eyes, I found myself among a few hundred students seated before a teacher of majestic presence. As I shifted my position, I put my hand on my head and was surprised to feel a twisted lock of hair at the top of my head. Then I remembered that I was Chinese. Suddenly, I remembered many other things as well.
Excerpt from The Drop That Became The Sea, by Yunus Emre (Threshold Books, 1989)
Today for some reason I'm crying a lot again. I have also suffered a major relapse: my obsession makes itself conspicuous again, overshadowing everything else! And I really thought I'd outgrown that! But I suppose that would be too simple, such a sudden change after being stuck for so long. Hz. Mevlâna says: "There is that in me that has to be told 50 times a day, Stop hunting, step on this net". I suppose that's how it is, the relapse is something that says to me: Stop hunting, it doesn't work the way that you imagine.