Sending no light to view
There was no God, Prophet or Allah
No Omnipotent or the Wrathful.
The One was without any likeness or simile
Without any shape or form
Now He appears in shapes galore
Now I see the beautiful Friend.
- Bulhe Shah (1680-1758 A. D.), Punjabi Sufi Poet
(also written as Bulleh Shah)
This poem articulates a cosmology which bridges gaps between Greek Gnosticism, Judaic- Christian-Islamic monotheism, Hindu Vedantism and ancient animism. Sufi's God is not the God of institutionalized religions, feared more often by humans for their sins than loved. Neither is the Sufi God, a mere metaphorical abstraction.
Sufi God, as Beloved is the all pervasive Spirit That manifests its glory in the physical beauty of a human face or body, now in the person of a murshid, (the teacher), again in a Hindu deity, Krishna, or the various attitudes of Lord Buddha. Sufi God is a playful Beloved who appears so close at times, yet evades one's attempts at union.
The sufis readily draw their inspiration from verse of the Quran about the utmost nearness of God where God says that God is even nearer to man than his own flesh and blood.
"Verily We created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein". [The Quran, 050.016]