June 28, 2014
Ayaz Ahmad Khan

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Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Sufism is the subject whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God. A renowned sufi scholar Ibn-e-Ajiba called it a science through which one can know how to travel into the path of divine, purify ones inner self from filth and beautify it with a variety of beautiful traits. The substance of Sufism is the truth and its meanings are the selfless experience and actualization of the truth whereas the practice of sufism is the intention to go towards the truth by means of love and devotion towards God.

Sufism also known as the Islamic mysticism is the experience of a mystical union or direct communication with the ultimate reality and the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth or the ultimate reality can be altered through subjective experience, intuition or insight.

The chief aim of all sufis is to seek pleasure of God by working to restore within them the primordial state of fitra, described in Quran, it may lead to abandon all the notions of dualism or multiplicity including a conception of an individual self and to realize the divine unity, the Touheed.

Here is the well renowned poetry of Bulleh Shah (1680-1758)

Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Not the pure amongst the impure
Neither Moses, nor the Pharaoh

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Nor in opium, neither in wine
Not in the drunkard’s intoxicated craze
Neither awake, nor in a sleeping daze

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Not from water, nor from earth
Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not an Arab, nor Lahori
Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
Hindu, Turk, nor Peshawari
Nor do I live in Nadaun

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Secrets of religion, I have not known
From Adam and Eve, I am not born
I am not the name I assume
Not in stillness, nor on the move

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

I am the first, I am the last
None other, have I ever known
I am the wisest of them all
Bulleh! do I stand alone?

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Well, I must elaborate these words of Bulleh Shah. He keeps saying that the little self that clings to the definitions and boundaries cannot know the Self Bulleh speaks of, not hemmed in the beginnings and endings, one’s self is eternal. An utterly whole and all encompassing with nothing external. If you want to encounter the deepest mystery, look into the mirror!

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

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