First be empty ...

A person came to the Prophet Mohammed and said,“I don’t want this religion. By God, take it back. Ever since I entered your religion I’ve had no peace for a single day. My wealth is gone, my spouse has left, my child cannot be found, my respect is destroyed, my strength is sapped, even my lust has disappeared.”


Mohammed answered, “What did you expect? Wherever our religion goes it does not return without uprooting that person and sweeping clean their house.”


“None but the purified shall touch God.”


So long as there remains in you a single trace of self-love, God will not show His face to you. You will not be worthy of His presence. You must become wholly indifferent to yourself and the world, so that Friend can show His face. So, whenever our religion lodges in a heart, it will not withdraw its hand until it brings that heart to God and severs from it all that is untrue.

The Prophet went on to say to that person,“You have no peace because sorrow’s purpose is to empty you of previous joys. So long as food fills your stomach, you are not given new food to eat.

During fasting, we eat nothing. When we are empty and hungry, then we are given food. Be patient and grieve, for grieving is the emptying of yourself. After you are empty, then joy can enter—a joy with no sorrow, a rose without a thorn, a wine without crop - sickness.”

:: From Fihi Ma Fihi (Discourses) of Rumi. You can download the complete book from here.

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