The [spiritual] elites are with God. What do you say? That God Almighty is in paradise? Yes, He is in Paradise, but in His own paradise — in that paradise that Shibli spoke of: "There is, and will never be, anyone in Paradise except God Almighty. If you like, hear it also from Mustafa: "Verily God has a paradise, in which there are no houris, no palaces, no milk, and no honey." And what is in this "God's own Paradise"? That "which no eyes have seen, no ears have heard, and thought of which has not occurred to people's heart." For one who thinks of this as paradise, to seek the paradise of the masses is an error. If this group is dragged to paradise in chains of light and grace, they do not go and do not accept…
(Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani)
'Knowledge of God in Classical Sufism: Foundations of Islamic Mystical Theology'
By John Renard (Editor, Translator, Introduction), Ahmet T. Karamustafa (Introduction)
This volume, the ninth on Islamic material to be published in the Classics of Western Spirituality series, brings to light a highly significant but little known area of Islamic spirituality. Editor John Renard has assembled here a volume of texts, most translated here for the first time, culled from the great Sufi manuals of spirituality, on the theme of the complex and multi-faceted role of knowledge in relation to the spiritual life. He presents excerpts on knowledge from the works of nine major Muslim teachers, most translated from Arabic, but also including important texts from Persian originals. The Introduction offers a survey of the development of Sufi modes of knowing through the thirteenth century in their broader context, and then focuses on the manuals or compendia of Sufi spirituality treated here. Historical notes provide brief identifications of many of the individual sources and personalities mentioned throughout the treatises.