Few things touch man to the core of his being like a sense of the Divine. A voice within each of us tells us that beyond the veil of ordinary perception there is something which if found, would prove greater than the sum of all things. In every revealed religion there have been men and women who focused upon this inner certitude and made it grow through the means vouchsafed them, until a light dawned within them such as few ever see.
In the history of Islam, those who tread the path of highest spiritual possibility were many more than in any previous religion. Revelation must speak to every level of those to whom it is sent, and the personal reality of each human being is not merely a body, or a body with a mind; but rather body, mind, and spirit, the subtle entity within each of us that opens onto the Divine. If the cultural imperium of the present age has little to offer these higher possibilities, the peace of body and mind that comes by “submission” to highest reality, the fundamental sense of the word Islam, has freed and continues to free the spirit of many to ascend.
The mystical flowering of Islamic orders or tariqas of those dedicated to Allah and a spiritual path was unprecedented in world history. They were not mere collectivities of worshippers, but men and women who while living in the world were actively engaged in the sapiential dawning of the Divine Presence in the heart, defined by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as “to worship God as though you see Him.”Though less in the modern day, in previous Muslim times and lands as many as eighty percent of the people were associated in some way or another with the mystic orders, which had great influence on all levels of society.
The light of finding this subtlety within one and taking it in one’s hands and proceeding to God-the purity of purpose of those who sought, the illumination of those who found-is reflected in almost all traditional expressions of Islamic high culture, from the simplicity and dignity of its clothing, to the warmth of its interiors, to the beauty of its calligraphy, to the soaring heights of its mystic love poetry, to the therapeutics of its medicine. The unity of all, perceptible to even bystanders, is of the Oneness that inspired it, a sea without shores of the divine beauty, a sea without shores of the divine perfection, a sea without shores of the divine largesse.
Everything has a point that it bespeaks and tends to, and in the Islamic vision that point is Allah, the incomparable One through whom all else exists; while the beginning of wisdom is realizing that one only is through the One Who Is. If the mystic maxims within this website awaken a sense of the Oneness experienced by the sages, it is surely a glimpse of the light that can never be put out, the light of finding one’s way back through the discordance of the finite to the limitless serenity of the Infinite. This is the spirit of Islamic medicine, or to put it more simply, the spirit of Islam.
MMIV © Nuh Ha Mim Keller