starsmAvailable from Threshold Books

Published by Bennett Books

An excerpt from The Masters of Wisdom


Some Sayings of Khwaja Baha’uddin Naqshband

“In my days of discipleship, according to the heritage of Khwaja Baba Samai, I listened to many traditions and I talked with many learned men. But on my path, that which helped me the most was abasement and humiliation. I entered by that gate and whatever I may have found, that is how I found it…”

“I learned utter devotion to the Search for Truth from a gambler. I watched a gambler lose everything he possessed and when a comrade begged him to give it up, he answered, “Ah my friend, if I had to give my head for this game, I could not do without it.” When I heard this, my heart was flooded with amazement and ever since I have pursued Truth with the same single-mindedness.”

“Our way is that of group discussion. In solitude, there is renown and in renown there is peril. Welfare is to be found in a group. Those who follow this way find great benefit and blessing in group meetings.”

“We do not accept everyone and if we do accept, we do so with difficulty.”

“The conditions of acceptance as they should duly be imposed are hard to fulfill. Either a pupil with capacity appears and a Master fit to receive him is lacking, or a Master is there and pupils with capacity are lacking.” This was said on the occasion of the admission of Yaqub Charkhi to the halqa.

“When I was responsible for groups, my state was such that whenever I was aware of two or three in conversation, I lent an ear. If they were conversing about God, I was blissful; if they were talking of anything else, I became sad and heavy at heart.”

We are means for reaching the goal. It is necessary that seekers should cut themselves away from us and think only of the goal.”

“The capacity of all hearts is the same, but the practical wisdom within the heart is very different from one heart to another.”

“If I were to look at the faults of my friends, I would be left without a friend. For there is no faultless friend. Everyone loves good people. The art is to learn how to love bad people.”

“The clarification of practical wisdom consists in showing people how to discover them in their own personal experience.”

His son-in-law and first successor, Khwaja al ad-din Attar, used to tell the story of how in the early days of his membership of the halqa, he was speaking to a “person of the way” at Ramadan, about the heart. “I said that I did not know the true nature of the heart. This person said that in his opinion the heart was like the moon three days old. I told this to our beloved Khwaja Baha ad-din. At the moment he was standing up. He placed his foot on mine. At that moment a great bliss came over me and I felt myself in contact with All Truth. When I recovered from this state, he said: ‘That is the heart; not what the dervish said. How can you expect to know the true heart, qalb, unless you have direct experience of it?'”