There are no principles that the Sufi is obliged to follow, but there are certain characteristics that are favourites of the Sufi, and which make his life easy on the path to perfection.
The first characteristic is to recognise the divine in man, which in time develops so that he recognises the divine in all, deserving or undeserving, wise or foolish, saint or sinner. In all forms of life he sees God, and thereby he has toward everybody that attitude which a lover of God, a worshipper of God has toward God. Therefore the Sufi complains no more, has no grudge against anyone, has nothing to grumble about: “That person insulted me,” or “treated me badly,” or “behaved unjustly,” or “acted unkindly,“—no complaint whatever, for complaint comes to a person who thinks of himself most of the time. He is inclined to self-pity at every moment, self-pity which is the worst poverty. The one who is sensitive to all things that come from the people around him will have a thousand complaints, whatever be his life’s position. In a palace or in a cottage, be he poor or rich, he is always full of complaints. Nothing is right to him, nothing is just except himself, everybody is cruel to him; and for that poor person, life is death.
If this person thinks of his health, then he has many complaints to make about different pains and aches and disagreeable things he feels, and if he thinks of his friends and foes, then he has many things to say about them. The Sufi therefore finds the only way out of the distress of life, the life which will always fail to prove true to one’s ideal. He rises above it, taking all things as they come, patiently. He does not mind how he is treated. His principle is to do his best, and in that is his satisfaction. Instead of depending on another person to be kind to him, the Sufi thinks if he were kind to another person, that is sufficient. Every wise man in the long run through life will find in this principle the solution of happiness. For we can not change the world, but we can change ourselves; and if we made ourselves as we wish others to be to us, it would not be a small achievement in life.
The fourth characteristic of the Sufi is to fulfil this obligations to think what he is expected to do by all those with whom he comes in contact in life, to answer their demands to the best of his ability, willingly, patiently.
And the fifth characteristic of the Sufi is to practise forgiveness, showing thereby the Divine Spirit reflected in his heart. Forgiveness can be practised in different ways. In all such things as tolerance, forgetting, and overlooking, forgiveness acts in different forms.
The Sufi need not speak about these five principles, but practise them. The Sufi does not profess to have these five characteristics, but he tries to practise these principles, which enables him to tread the path with less difficulty and with ease.