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Sufi Tale on Sincerity

Alms in secret [extinguishes the wrath of the Lord] are that you are so immersed in sincerity and in preserving that sincerity that you have no pleasure in giving alms. I mean being busy with regret – “too bad that it’s not better than this” or “more than this.”

Abu Yazid, God’s mercy be upon him – mostly went on the hajj on foot. He has gone on the hajj seventy times. One day he saw that the people of the road of the hajj had become extremely distressed because of water and were perishing. He saw a dog near a well of water at which the hajjis were crowded and crushed together. The dog cast a glance at Abu Yazid, and inspiration came: “Get water for this dog!”

He called out, “Who will buy a pious, accepted hajj for a drink of water?”

No one paid any attention. He added to it: “Five accepted hajjes on foot …, six, … seven?” Until he reached seventy.

Someone called out, “I will give it to you.” It passes into Abu Yazid”s mind, “Good for me – I’ve spent seventy hajjes on foot for that drink of water!”

When he put the water in a bowl and placed it in front of the dog, it turned its face away.

Abu Yazid fell on his face and repented. A call came, “How long will you say to yourself, ‘I did this and I did that for the sake of God?” Don’t you see that a dog doesn’t accept that?”

He shouted out, “I repent, I will no longer have such thoughts!”

At once the dog put its face into the water and began to drink.

- From Me and Rumi
The Autobiography of Shams I Tabrizi
Translated by William C. Chittick

Truly We sent Scripture down to you in truth, so worship God in sincerity, for God’s is sincerely practiced way of life.
- The Qur’an 39:2

As for anyone who perform towards God sincerely for forty days, God will make the springs of wisdom come out of his heart and tongue. - The Praised one

Perform your deeds with sincerity, for (then, even) a slight of it shall be sufficient for you. - Imam Ali

Sign of a sincere person is that he says “yes” when he means yes, “no” when he means no. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the deceiving one. - Blessed Christ, Matthew 5:37.


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Technology of the Heart: Sufi Tale on Sincerity
Sufi Tale on Sincerity
Technology of the Heart
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