Sufism is not a religion.
It is the living, beating heart of faith,
regardless of what religion you happen to be.
Other People of the Book have Sufis,
although since they speak other languages
they have other words for them.
Religion is the husk surrounding the grain.
Living faith is the meat it protects,
like a shining pearl in its shell.
Religion is the container, the clothes, the form
that contains and provides a vehicle for
a living faith that cannot be spoken, or written down.
Do not, O Muslim, confuse Islam with living faith.
Yet living faith cannot survive without Islam,
nor can Islam survive without living faith.
But they are not the same. The practice of Islam
leads either to the soul’s entombment or its liberation.
Whether living faith is present will determine its destiny.
Sufis do not seek to form a religion—we already have a fine one.
We seek only to set Islam on fire by igniting its heart.
We seek only to make it live.