Hazrat Inayat: The Sufi Point of View

Now I would like to say a few words on the idea of the Sufi point of view. It differs very much from the general point of view. It is not because of its difference from the others, but because of its profoundness. In the case of dealing with people, treating people, in whatever way one has to treat them, the first thing the Sufi thinks is: in what way I may spare the person’s susceptibilities; how can I avoid bringing the person displeasure by avoiding saying a word, or by avoiding doing something. How can I say to someone without saying something that will hurt the person? How can I act so that it will not hurt or it will not touch the person wrongly? In other words, it is a delicate point of view, to think delicately, and that is what the generality overlooks. It is not simple to be thoughtful; it is not easy to be considerate; it requires a great deal of delicacy, skill; one must know the art of approaching another.

And the other point of view of the Sufi is still more difficult, and that is to maintain sincerity, to maintain faithfulness, to maintain truth. False flattery, polished politeness, made-up refinement, these things are against the Sufi’s idea. And therefore, on one hand he must be extremely fine and polite and delicate, and on the other hand he may not prove to his own conscience in any way insincere and superficial. Very often there are some sincere people, but with their sincerity there is an abruptness. You will find many people saying, “Well, I tell the truth. If it does not agree with them, it shows that they cannot digest it, their digestive power is not great.” A person very proudly says, “I have given him a good talk. He feels that I am quite sincere.” But sincerity has no value without fineness. If one overlooks the law of fineness, of gentleness, and one wishes to be very truthful, that is an unbalanced condition. On one side fineness, on the other side sincerity, makes a balance in life.

Another Sufi attitude is to be resigned to the past, to be attentive to the present, and to be hopeful for the future. What is done is done, what is the use of grieving over it? It is past, it is gone; turn your back to it and forget it. And what is being done now, be attentive to it wholeheartedly; give your whole being to it to make it good. And what is to come, be hopeful towards it. In this way a person is able to have the Sufi attitude.

Sufism teaches tolerance. But by tolerance, it does not mean: defend the wrongdoer. By tolerance, it means the Sufi spares himself from judging someone whom he does not know. Whether the person is in the right or in the wrong, to judge whether a person is right or wrong – let him go. That is the attitude. But very often by judging people, you spoil people. As soon as you accuse a person of wrongdoing, you have thrown him down deeper. If you let him loose, his wrongdoing will become his greater teacher. And by interfering with that teaching which a person is getting in life, a person spoils the other person’s life. That is intolerance. Besides, one is never sure whether a person is in the wrong or right. What we can see is from one’s own point of view . One cannot see from the point of view of others. One does not know what is hidden behind it. Reason can take one so far and no further. Therefore the Sufi tries to keep himself back in judging persons and their actions. For himself his standard of right and wrong is what he thinks to be right and wrong for the moment. But by that standard he does not judge others. He says, “Maybe they have their own standard according to their particular evolution. I am not the person to judge it.” People might misunderstand a Sufi, owing to this; because either people are without a rule, or they are the slaves of the rule. And there are very few who take the rule for their use without being its slave, who make a rule, and who use the rule, and yet are not restricted by it.


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