When Khwaja Abdullah Ansari (1006–1088 CE), who came to be known as the Pir of Herat, was in his late twenties, he had a decisive experience. At a sema, a musical Sufi gathering, he passed into ecstasy and tore his clothes, and many of those attending the sema praised him and offered him gifts. Ansari, however, seeing no merit whatsoever in himself, refused to attend such gatherings in the future, and opted for what could be called ‘sober’ Sufism.
Anyone who said, “I found You!”
has to be delivered from himself.
the Present cannot be sought by the absent,
nor the Existent by the non-existent.
Anyone who has found you has seen You,
and anyone who has seen You
has ceased to see himself.
I am a veil to myself,
I am in torment from myself, and
I am hurrying uselessly.
What shall I discover then,
once I cease to be?
Translation A.G. Ravan Farhadi