Thursday, January 05, 2006

Superiority of Deeds over Knowledge

"Knowledge (science) is a rind, a husk. Deeds [practice] are the essence, the life-juice. The shell is preserved to protect the essence. And the essence, the seed, is protected for extracting oil. If there is no essence in the shell, what use is it? And what use is the essence if it doesn't contain oil? Knowledge is gone, wasted. Because if one does not act on one's knowledge, that is, when action is gone, knowledge departs too, do doubt about it. This is why the Prophet said: 'Knowledge calls for action which uses that knowledge. If this is done, all is well. If not, knowledge passes away.' " - Abdul Qadir Jilani

- Bayman, Henry. The Black Pearl. Pg 96.

"They're all seeking the benefit of knowledge. You should seek for good deeds, so that you may obtain good from the Companion. This is the kernel, that is the husk." - Shams Tabrizi

- Chittick, Me & Rumi. Pg ??

“One of the most touching cat stories in early Arabic history relates the tale of the Sufi from Baghdad, Abu Bakr al-Shibli (d. 945) who dies and was seen by one of his friends in a dream. On being asked what God had done to him, he said that he had been granted admission to Paradise but was asked by the Lord if he knew the reason for this blessing. Shibli enumerated all his religious duties – fasting and praying, performing the Pilgrimage and giving alms – but none of these acts of piety had saved him. Finally the Lord asked him, ‘Do you remember the cold day in Baghdad when it was snowing and you were walking in your coat when you saw a tiny kitten on a wall shivering with cold, and you took it and put it under your warm coat? For the sake of this kitten We have forgiven you.’”

-Schimmel, Annemarie. Islam and the Wonders of Creation: The Animal Kingdom

"A dervish left the convent and became afilliated with the madrasah . I asked him why he had abandoned dervishhood for the sake of becoming a scholar. He said: ' A dervish tries to rescue his own prayer-rug out of the water. The scholar tries to save other people from being drowned.' "

- Saadi, The Rose Garden (Chapter: The Morals of Dervishes, pg 126)

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