'I stand witness that there is no god but God, He is one and there is no partner with Him. He is the First, such that nothing was before Him. He is the Last, such that there is not limit for Him. Imagination cannot catch any of His qualities. Hearts cannot entertain belief about His nature. Analysis and division cannot be applied to Him. Eyes and hearts cannot compare Him.'
(Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib)
'A Treasury of Sufi Wisdom: The Path of Unity'
By Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Foreword), Peter Samsel (Editor)
At the very heart of Islam lies the spiritual way of Sufism. Far removed from the negative portrayal of Islam in the headlines, Sufism is rooted in the harmonious qualities of peace, love, beauty, and wisdom. Its primary focus is to return human beings to unity with God. This select treasury of Sufi wisdom includes nearly 400 short sayings from as many as 100 of the greatest Sufi saints and sages in history, covering a vast span of 1,400 years. It includes notable sayings from well-known figures such as Rabiah, al-Hallaj, Junayd, al-Ghazali, Ibn al-Farid, Ibn Arabi, Rumi, and Ahmad al-Alawi. Also featured are over 150 verses from the Koran and the Hadith (Prophetic sayings), which form the foundational sources of this esoteric form of Islam. Whether expressing itself in pithy paradoxical aphorisms, extended intellectual instruction, or rapturous mystical poetry, this compendium of Sufi wisdom will illuminate the spiritual traveler's way of return to God.