The Sufi Way

by Seyh Ibrahim Efendi

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat
Original Language Turkish

They say the Sufi way
     is to give one's life away.

The Sufi way is to become a sultan
     on the throne of the soul.

In the station of the Path,
     it is to destroy appearances.
In the station of Reality,
     it is to become a guest
in the innermost palace of the heart.

They say it is to be pure of body,
     the light of the Beloved.
The Sufi way is to gradually take off
     the dress of earth and water.

They say it is to burn up in Love's fire --
The Sufi way is to be utterly inflamed
     with the light of the Beloved.

They say it is to believe and follow the rules --
The Sufi way is to discover the rules
     of the multitude of heavens.

They say it is to become a medicine for every ailment --
The Sufi way is to know and become all the secrets
     of creation.

They say it is to destroy the illusion of bodies --
The Sufi way is to open the secrets of the body
     with the key of the Divine Names.

O Sufi, to comprehend it, one must be it.
The one who gets lost in words
     will never be their meaning.

They say it is to become the secret of God
     within one's innermost heart --
The Sufi way is to read the outer signs
     and know the inner meanings.

They say it is to be in wonder
     at the greatness of creation --
The Sufi way is to be constantly amazed
     by the nature of Reality.

They say it is to make each heart
     the throne of God --
The Sufi way is to remove all else but God
     from the heart's dwelling.

They say it is to watch over all humanity --
The Sufi way is to cover East and West
     with every breath.

They say it is to shine as brightly as the sun --
The Sufi way is to perceive God
     in every minute thing.

They say it is to be in harmony
     with every kind of person --
The Sufi way is to appear
in a hundred thousand forms daily.

They say it is to be like Solomon
     to the whole universe;
The Sufi way is to understand
     and speak in every language.

They say it is to become an ocean
     from a single drop --
The Sufi way is to make your heart a cellar
     to hold the wine of the Truth.

They say it is to become a human being
     illuminated with the light of Being --
The Sufi way is to destroy Being utterly
     in the light of Non-Being.

They say it is to become a life
     for each particle of life --
The Sufi way is to die a thousand times
     and return to life each moment.

They say it is to become a master
     of wisdom and eternal justice --
The Sufi way is to become an eye
     looking out from every hair.

They say it is to surrender
     your soul to the Beloved --
The Sufi way is to become
     the soul of the Beloved.

They say it is the proof
     of Muhammad's message --
The Sufi way, O Ibrahim,
     is to embody God
          as one's own self.

-- from Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, Translated by Jennifer Ferraro / Translated by Latif Bolat

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/ Photo by M.Omair /


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Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey





The Sufi Way