And so the Sufis dare to ask this question: Who is searching for whom? Who is longing to acknowledge this union? Is it the limited self that longs to know the absolute Self, or is it the absolute Self that cannot be realized unless through the limited self? Ahmad Ghazali, 12th century Persian Sufi, answers this question in his Sawaneh, a book dedicated to love and spiritual journey:
The eye of the Beloved loveliness is shut to the door of illusion, for she cannot perceive her own perfect loveliness except in the mirror of the lover’s heart. This is a great secret in itself, the increase in my intoxication with her was not without reason, there was wine, and tavern, and no opponent in my joy. Do not say that it was I who wanted You, for it was You who had this quest since the beginning of time.
Perhaps this is the soul of all of our inquiries: a love story that permeates all and brings everything into union. Perhaps this is the greatest love story ever written on the pages of existence – a longing for union of humanly and godly, of seen and unseen, of the finite and infinite – all but reflections of the essence of all there is, the absolute Self. As Hafiz of Shiraz, 13th century Persian Sufi poet says: All these beautiful images reflecting all around, is only one image, the reflection of the wine bearer in the cup of wine.
Seyedeh Nahid Angha, Ph.D. Executive Editor of the journal, is CoDirector of the International Association of Sufism and founder of the International Sufi Women’s Organization. She is an acclaimed Sufi Master andNahid spiritual leaderPh.D. fromExecutive an ancient Seyedeh Angha, Editor of t Sufi lineage, anInternational active leaderAssociation in the is Co-Director of the of S interfaith community worldwide founder of the International Sufi Women’s Organiza and the Sufi first Master Muslimand woman initiated an acclaimed spiritual leader from in the Marin Women’s Hall in of Fame. Sufi lineage, an active leader the interfaith c worldwide and the first Muslim woman initiated in Women’s Hall of Fame.
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 4