Attar Quotes

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Blue is for cruel bargains; green is for daring what you oughtn’t; violet is for brute force. I will say to you: Coral coaxes; pink insists; red compels. I will say to you: You are dear to me as attar of roses. Please do not get eaten.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1))
People will love you. People will hate you. And it always has more to do with them, than it does with you.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
I have no news of my coming or passing away-- the whole thing happened quicker than a breath; ask no questions of the moth.
عطار نیشابوری
You can either choose love or you can choose hate, because where one lives, the other will die.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
I want to remember this,” he said, pulling me into his arms. “If I die tonight, I want to die remembering what it was like to hold the whole world in my hands.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
The home we seek is in eternity; The Truth we seek is like a shoreless sea, Of which your paradise is but a drop. This ocean can be yours; why should you stop Beguiled by dreams of evanescent dew? The secrets of the sun are yours, but you Content yourself with motes trapped in its beams. Turn to what truly lives, reject what seems -- Which matters more, the body or the soul? Be whole: desire and journey to the Whole.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
You don’t always get the treasure by holding on. Sometimes the magic happens when you let go.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
If the eye of the heart is open, in each atom there will be one hundred secrets.
عطار نیشابوری
I doubt my doubt, doubt itself is unsure I love, but who is it for whom I sigh? Not Muslim, yet not heathen; who am I?
عطار نیشابوری (The Conference of the Birds)
Mystics are not themselves. They do not exist in selves. They move as they are moved, talk as words come, see with sight that enters their eyes. I met a woman once and asked her where love had led her. Fool, there's no destination to arrive at. Loved one and lover and love are infinite.
عطار نیشابوری
Because when we love, we carry it on the inside, and we can turn on its light even in our darkest moments. The deeper we love, the brighter it shines.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
It’s not over, you know. It never has been,” he said. “Whether you say yes or no, you will always be my forever.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
So what's it like? To have it all? Like flying. Soaring. Until you come across the one thing you'd give it all up for, and can never have.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
A man whose eyes love opens risks his soul - His dancing breaks beyond the mind's control.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
But you don’t always get what you want. Sometimes you get exactly what you need.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
there is no space too dark or too vast or too irredeemable that can’t be filled with love.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
The people of this world are like the three butterflies in front of a candle's flame. The first one went closer and said: I know about love. The second one touched the flame lightly with his wings and said: I know how love's fire can burn. The third one threw himself into the heart of the flame and was consumed. He alone knows what true love is.
Attar of Nishapur
We are sand and rock and water and sky, anchors on ships and sails in the wind. We are a journey to a destination that shifts every time we dream or fall or keep or weep. We are stars with flaws that still sparkle and shine. We always strive, always want, always have more questions than answers, but there are moments like these, full of magic and contentment, when souls get a glimpse of the divine and quite simply, lose their breath.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
There is nothing to hide anymore. When love looks at you, when it truly pins you down and stares into your soul, it renders you defenseless. And in that moment, in that state of humbling nakedness, it makes you completely invincible.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
My greatest loss had led to my greatest love. Hearts were broken, and hearts were healed. Lives were lost, and lives were saved.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Some circles never close, some wounds never heal. Love is like that. It leaves you forever open, forever vulnerable.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
We all die, Shayda.” He turns and looks at me. “It’s about how we choose to get there.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
Sometimes everything gets dismantled so something better can be pieced together.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
This is what it looks like when you wander somewhere between the sand and stardust, and meet a piece of yourself in someone else.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Heart’s blood and bitter pain belong to love, And tales of problems no one can remove; Cupbearer, fill the bowl with blood, not wine - And if you lack the heart’s rich blood take mine. Love thrives on inextinguishable pain, Which tears the soul, then knits the threads again. A mote of love exceeds all bounds; it gives The vital essence to whatever lives. But where love thrives, there pain is always found; Angels alone escape this weary round - They love without that savage agony Which is reserved for vexed humanity.
عطار نیشابوری (The Conference of the Birds)
How deluded we become when we start believing that everything in the world is about us. How hard we work to make things fit into our made-up theories. How blindly we follow our worked-up emotions, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
If you will but aspire You will attain to all that you desire. Before an atom of such need the Sun Seems dim and mirky by comparison. It is life's strength, the wings by which we fly Beyond the further reaches of the sky.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
In the grand scheme of things, we do the best we can, all of us, and we make up our stories as we go along; we write them and direct them and project them into the world. And sometimes we get other people’s stories, and sometimes we don’t, but always there is a story behind a story behind a story, linked in a chain that we can only see a small part of, because it’s there when we’re born and it continues after we’re gone. And who can comprehend all of it in one lifetime?
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
I wanted to stay with him so I could put together all the dented, shattered parts of him, because I could never be whole where he was broken.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
This is what he does to me. Open up the windows of my soul and pushes me out.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
To seek death is death's only cure.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Had I known how listening is superior to speaking, I would not have wasted my life preaching.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw, And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw
عطار نیشابوری
How strange it was that man could neither brook The presence nor the absence of his look!
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw, And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw: Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide Return and back into your Sun subsid
Attar of Nishapur
but there are moments like these, full of magic and contentment, when souls get a glimpse of the divine and quite simply, lose their breath.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Because Damian in love was a thing of beauty—intoxicating, addictive, demanding, attentive, and always, always hungry.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Let love lead your soul. Make it a place to retire to, a kind of cave, a retreat for the deep core of being.
Attar of Nishapur
Sometimes we need to be jarred out of our own reality. We base so much of ourselves on other people’s perceptions of us. We live for the compliments, the approval, the applause. But what we really need is a grand, spine-chilling encounter with ourselves to believe we’re freaking magical. And that’s the best kind of believing, because no one can unsay it or take it away from you.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Just sitting here thinking how far you’ve come, and I’m overwhelmed with how much I love you.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
We were like two stars converging around the same axis, but with paths that missed each other by a fraction of infinity.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
I would die a thousand deaths to save her.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
We are sand that hasn’t been washed away yet,
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
I am alone; make me your single goal -- My presence is sufficient for your soul; I am your God, your one necessity -- With every breath you breathe, remember Me.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
What good is love if you don't show it?
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
I pulled back, my eyes still closed, knowing that I had just stolen an epic moment from life.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
But people’s eyes should never be so different that you no longer recognized their souls; they should never turn so hard that they shut all the doors to the past.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Hope is a hollow backbone. It can’t always carry the weight of reality.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
You ever wonder what we’d find if we could pick up the threads back to the point where things unravel, where paths cross, and lives pivot, and people come together?
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
We are a question that hasn’t been answered yet, a hiding place that hasn’t been found yet, a battle that hasn’t been fought yet.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
What is humanity? To feel pain at the sorrows of our neighbours, to feel humiliated at the humiliation of fellow-beings.
Idries Shah (The World of the Sufi: An Anthology of Writings about Sufis and Their Work)
When you lose someone you love, it doesn’t end with that event, or with their funeral, or with their name on the tombstone. You lose them again and again, every day, in small moments that catch you off guard. Almost
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
All of my wild, crazy exuberance fit perfectly in the quiet crevices of her dreams. It was as if all my life, I had been running towards this moment, this diamond sharp clarity of being and belonging, this strange, intriguing girl with her rose breath and her broken wings.
Leylah Attar (From His Lips (53 Letters for My Lover, #1.5))
We have an infinite capacity to love, but when you wrap up your love and give it to someone, they expect all of it. And that’s what you think too—that you’re giving them everything you’ve got. You really do. Until you realize that love is end-less, bottom-less, boundary-less. The more you give, the more gushes out. It spills over, refusing to be contained in neat little parcels, swelling like a river after a flash flood. And in the end, it doesn’t matter which part was whose, because in the end it’s all one, like streams merging into the ocean
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
Kissing Jack was like kissing a slumbering lion. He barely moved, but I could sense the raw power behind his restraint.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
And it all starts within, because within is where all things begin.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
It wasn’t just a kiss. It was a lesson—a fierce, burning imprint, so that my lips would always know the difference between being wanted and being craved.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
No one knows how many tomorrows they have. That’s what makes it all so precious.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
It was in China, late one moonless night, The Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight – He let a feather float down through the air, And rumours of its fame spread everywhere...
Attar of Nishapur (منطق الطير)
What we don’t understand always scares us.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
To enter the valley of love, one must plunge wholly into fire. Yes, we must become one with the fire itself, for otherwise one cannot live there. He that truly loves must resemble fire, his countenance aflame, burning and . impetuous like fire.
Attar of Nishapur
Terror is a bigger bitch than Panic. Terror swallows you whole.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Daddy?” said Lily. Her face was all lit up as she spoke into the phone. “I’m in the safe place now.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Don’t play with scorpions unless you intend to get stung.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
The Beginning is lost; the End stretches into eternity. Don't bother with them, they're all irrelevant. And since all is really nothing, then nothing is truly everything.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
The truth doesn’t always set you free. The truth can kill you, slice open your innards and turn everything inside out. Everything I believed, everything I thought was real had been turned upside down.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Because I'm scared. Because each time I see him, it's a little more overwhelming than before. Because I'm afraid it'll build up to a tsunami- like crescendo and come crashing down on me.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
Lift your head out of this hurricane to find solace and tranquillity. If you stay caught in the storm, your head will whirl as fast as a millstone and you will know so little peace that even a single fly can buzz away your peace. Parable
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
A thousand for his love expired each day, And those who saw his face, in blank dismay Would rave and grieve and mourn their lives away- To die for love of that bewitching sight Was worth a hundred lives without his light. None could survive his absence patiently, None could endure this king's proximity- How strange it was that man could neither brook The presence nor the absence of his look!
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Pull a thread here and a life unravels there.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
You’re like the broken chapter of my favorite story.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
But sitting here before Troy Heathgate now, I'm teetering on a knife's edge between honor and disgrace.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
Some circles never close, some wounds never heal. Love is like that. It leaves you forever open, forever vulnerable. I
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
I wish I could hold your hand outside this room, go for a walk, sit on a patio, watch the world go by.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
The dwellers in Paradise know that the first thing they must give up is their heart.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Hope is a hollow backbone. It can’t always carry the weight of reality. And I was tired of propping it up. I was tired of mending it each time it snapped. You can only cheat death so many times; you can only fight so long, so hard.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
He lay on the floor, taking stock of the rest of his body. Legs? Yup, still there. Arms? Present. And functional. Torso? All systems go. Junk? Come in, junk? Alive, captain. Not happy, but alive.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
It’s all fucked up, Rafael. There are no good guys or bad guys. Everyone has a reason.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Murder, rape, torture, abuse. Are we ever able to truly understand the ‘why’ or do we simply yearn for labels and boxes to organize the chaos we can’t control?
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
You kept tearing down my defences until I couldn’t fight you anymore. I’m in love with you, Skye. Bare, stripped down, completely vulnerable, in love.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
His part is mercy, ours is endless praise.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Vengeance only begets more vengeance, more chaos, more darkness. Vengeance abducts us and imprisons us and mutilates us, and we suffer and suffer until we unravel its probing parasitic suckers from around us.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
I want to share every sunrise and every sunset and every second in between with you. I want your laughter and your breath and your blood and your bones. You’re the one thing that centres my soul. I may circle the whole world, but you’ll always be home, Beetroot.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
One plods along in a state of amazement, sometimes smiling sometimes weeping.
Attar of Nishapur
Hate was an illusion, rage was an illusion, vengeance was an illusion. They were all empty husks that he had watered and nurtured, and in the end, they bore no fruit.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
It’s me, MaMaLu,” he said, trying to get the words past his clenched throat. “Your Estebandido is home.” The
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Among lovers, only those with wings flee this worldly cage before death comes. The condition of these lovers is hard to recount, for such souls speak a different tongue. The one who learns and speaks their language will hold the elixir of happiness at Simorgh's court.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
How arrogant you are To think your wretched Self so singular! The disappointments of this world will die In less time than the blinking of an eye, And as the earth must pass, pass by the earth Don't even glance at it, know what it's worth; What empty foolishness it is to care For what must one day be dispersed to air!
عطار نیشابوری
It was the kind of magic that comes after a lifetime of searching, when you stumble upon something so perfect, you stop looking, and you say: Yes. This. I know this. I feel this. I’ve heard its footsteps echo down the hallways of my soul. We
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
It's strange how someone can walk into your life, shatter the windows, break down your doors, scatter your belongings, and then walk away without having the slightest inkling of the storm they'd brought.
Leylah Attar (From His Lips (53 Letters for My Lover, #1.5))
I needed his frost and his bite and his unrelenting fury to power us through the storm.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
We are busy with the luxury of things. Their number and multiple faces bring To us confusion we call knowledge. Say: God created the world, pinned night to day, Made mountains to weigh it down, seas To wash its face, living creatures with pleas (The ancestors of prayers) seeking a place In this mystery that floats in endless space. God set the earth on the back of a bull, The bull on a fish dancing on a spool Of silver light so fine it is like air; That in turn rests on nothing there But nothing that nothing can share. All things are but masks at God's beck and call, They are symbols that instruct us that God is all.
عطار نیشابوری
It said I was equal parts earth and stars, equal parts animal and soul. I was hope. I was calamity. I was love. I was prejudice. I was my sister. I was his daughter. I was Juma. I was Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
The only way to feel truly alive is to start living fearlessly.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
It was like we had found a pocket of quiet, where all the ghosts in our mind had gone to sleep, and we were the only two people awake.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Taleenoi olngisoilechashur.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
I can promise you one thing. It'll be mad and passionate. Because I don't believe mediocre sex is worth having.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
I wished I could see myself through his eyes. Then again, Damian never looked at me with his eyes. He looked at me with his soul.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Your coat is beautiful, but where’s your brain?
Attar of Nishapur
Take that, I said to the naughty paperback lying on the floor.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Spawn of Satan,
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
This is what he does to me. Open up the windows of my soul and push me out. Fly, dammit, fly!
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
No one cares if, after a storm, they’re washed ashore naked. Only that they are alive.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
If I die tonight, I want to die remembering what it was like to hold the whole world in my hands.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
He was an ocean of want and need. All the raging, submerged currents that he’d kept at bay unleashed themselves on me.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
They tell you that an affair destroys everything, that there are no winners, that there is only heartbreak.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice; When will you free yourself from cowardice? Since you have such a short time to live here, What difference does it make? What should you fear? The world is filth and sin, and homeless men Must enter it and homeless leave again. They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if we Must perish in this quest, that, certainly, Is better than a life of filth and grief. If this great search is vain, if my belief Is groundless, it is right that I should die. So many errors throng the world - then why Should we not risk this quest? To suffer blame For love is better than a life of shame. No one has reached this goal, so why appeal To those whose blindness claims it is unreal? I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give My heart to home and trade and never live. We've been and heard so much - what have we learned? Not for one moment has the self been spurned; Fools gather round and hinder our release. When will their stale, insistent whining cease? We have no freedom to achieve our goal Until from Self and fools we free the soul. To be admitted past the veil you must Be dead to all the crowd considers just. Once past the veil you understand the Way From which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray. If you have any will, leave women's stories, And even if this search for hidden glories Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest Is not mere talk but an exacting test. The fruit of love's great tree is poverty; Whoever knows this knows humility. When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast, That man despairs of life and knows no rest. Love's pain will murder him and blandly ask A surgeon's fee for managing the task - The water that he drinks brings pain, his bread Is turned to blood immediately shed; Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant, Love forces him to be her combatant; He cannot take one mouthful unaware That he is floundering in a sea of care.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
You know what, Rodel?” He reached across the table for my hand. “Everything is new when I’m with you. Food tastes better. Colors look brighter. Music is sweeter. I feel hungry for the world again. I want to go to the places I’ve skipped, I want to share them with you—show you who I am, who I was, who I can be.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
fear is a liar. Don’t let it whisper in your ear. Turn that shit off. Do what scares you. Over and over again. And one day, your fear will become so small, you’ll be able to laugh at it.” “Big
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Are you an only child?" "Yep.The sole beneficiary of all their love and affection." I put the frame away and look around."So what's it like?To have it all?" "Like flying.Soaring.Until you come across the one thing you'd give it all up for,and can never have.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
Strive to discover the mystery before life is taken from you. If while living you fail to find yourself, to know yourself, how will you be able to understand the secret of your existence after you die?
Attar of Nishapur
We started slow—a little drunk, a little dizzy—taking sips of honeyed bliss from dawn-colored lips. The world rolled below us—bicycle bells and newspaper boys, unaware that we were slowly setting the room on fire.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
I feel like a tree exposed to the elements, my roots clinging to the soil, my branches flirting with heaven.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
My heart thunders like the hooves of a thousand wild horses.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
Damian fucking Caballero laughed. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
MaMaLu knew how to fix things—lost things, hurt things, cracked things, cut and bruised things.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
You were born on a day when the clouds were big and swollen with rain,” my nanny would say as she stroked my hair. “We were ready for a storm, but the sun filtered through the sky. Your mother held you by the window and noticed the gold flecks in your little gray eyes. Your eyes were the color of the heavens that day. That is why she named you Skye, amorcito.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Welcome, O Goldfinch! Come joyously. Be eager to act, and come as the fire. When you have burnt up your attachments the light of God will manifest itself more and more. Since your heart knows the secrets of God, remain faithful. When you have perfected yourself you will no longer exist. But God will remain.
Attar of Nishapur
A Drunkard accuses a Drunkard... A sot became extremely drunk - his legs And head sank listless, weighed by wine's thick dregs. A sober neighbour put him in a sack And took him homewards hoisted on his back. Another drunk went stumbling by the first, Who woke and stuck his head outside and cursed. "Hey, you, you lousy dipsomaniac," He yelled as he was borne off in the sack, "If you'd had fewer drinks, just two or three, You would be walking now as well as me.
عطار نیشابوری
No soul in the world is without a particular mission to perform and accomplish, and the misery of every soul is in not having come to understanding of the purpose for which he is born. The lifetime of confusion is always caused by souls wandering all the time away from the purpose of which they were born. Inayat Khan (1882 – 1927).
Various
Every time the sun shines through the rain, I will look for you. I will look for you in rainbows, and I will remember a man who holds the whole sky in his eyes.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Growing old isn’t for sissies,” she said softly. “You lose the people you love. Over and over again. Some get taken away from you. Some walk away. And some you learn to let go.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Kiss me hard, then let me go,
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Family is family. Friends aren’t forever. Everything will break. People say goodbye. Get too close and you get hurt.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
People plug in to you, and when they’re gone, you stop working for a while. You have to reconfigure yourself, rework your wiring, so you can get out of bed in the morning.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
You think there’s such a thing as too much happiness?” he asked. “Because right now, I feel like I can’t contain it and the universe is going to step in to restore the balance.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
محبت درست نشود مگر در میان دو تن که یکی دیگری را گوید که: ای من!
Attar of Nishapur (تذکرة الاولیاء)
The idea that his wedding band was some kind of talisman nauseated him like the smell of attar.
Stephen R. Donaldson (Lord Foul's Bane (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, #1))
My grandma used to say that people born on the same day are two halves of the same soul
Leylah Attar
I wanted to know what your lips taste like after a smile.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Maybe that’s what life was about. Seven billion people playing hide and seek, waiting to find and be found.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
I knew that whenever I thought of love, it would have a face, a name, a voice. And I would hear its heart beating from inside a tent in the wilds of Africa.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
The most profound, most memorable moments of life are the ones that make you feel.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Something clicked inside me at that moment. I stood outside of myself, realizing how easy it was to judge someone, to vilify and condemn the things we don’t understand, because:
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
What’s it like to face your own mortality? “It makes you think,” I reply. “The big things, the small things. The dreams, the regrets.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
in her own zone, breathing her own air.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
God, he was intense. And deliberate. And he could say things with his eyes that made my knees tremble.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Once you’ve been loved by a man like Damian, once you’ve been branded and molded in the fires of that possession, you will never be moved by tepid, impostor kisses.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
You have the colours of Those jewels you so inordinately love, And yet you seem -- like your excuses -- lame.
Attar of Nishapur
This is what great masterpieces must feel like on museum walls—like sighing, like climbing out of their rigidly stretched frames, and falling, boneless, into a lover’s glance.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
In this valley, Love is represented by fire, Reason by smoke. When Love bursts into flame, Reason is forthwith dissipated like smoke. Reason cannot coexist with Love’s mania, for Love has nothing whatever to do with human Reason. If ever you attain a clear vision of the unseen world, then only will you be able to realize the source of Love. By the odour of Love every atom in the world is intoxicated. It owes its existence to the existence of Love. If
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
I thought of all the nights I’d spent in temperature controlled clubs and restaurants, under artificial lights, drinking artificial cocktails with artificial friends. Artificial problems. Artificial drama. How many real, glorious nights had I missed? Nights like this, when the universe dances for you, and you become a tiny but beautiful note of the magical song it sings.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Cupbearer, fill the bowl with blood, not wine -- And if you lack the heart’s rich blood, take mine. Love thrives on inextinguishable pain; Which tears the soul, then knits the threads again.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
When they had understood the hoopoe's words, A clamour of complaint rose from the birds: 'Although we recognize you as our guide, You must accept - it cannot be denied - We are a wretched, flimsy crew at best, And lack the bare essentials for this quest. Our feathers and our wings, our bodies' strength Are quite unequal to the journey's length; For one of us to reach the Simorgh's throne Would be miraculous, a thing unknown. [...] He seems like Solomon, and we like ants; How can mere ants climb from their darkened pit Up to the Simorgh's realm? And is it fit That beggars try the glory of a king? How ever could they manage such a thing?' The hoopoe answered them: 'How can love thrive in hearts impoverished and half alive? "Beggars," you say - such niggling poverty Will not encourage truth or charity. A man whose eyes love opens risks his soul - His dancing breaks beyond the mind's control. [...] Your heart is not a mirror bright and clear If there the Simorgh's form does not appear; No one can bear His beauty face to face, And for this reason, of His perfect grace, He makes a mirror in our hearts - look there To see Him, search your hearts with anxious care.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Not a very regal send-off for a prince.” I laughed as the lions retreated into the bush again. “That was me and Goma when I was little,” said Jack, starting the car. “I was always chasing something, and she was always pulling me back.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
She was my calm in the middle of chaos, a little piece of innocence untouched by the turbulence of the past.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Sometimes heroes were found between the pages of a book, and sometimes they stood on a hill, their checkered togas fluttering in the wind, holding fort for the rest of us.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
We had found a pocket of quiet, where all the ghosts in our minds had gone to sleep, and we were the only two people awake.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
You snorted. And you call a dick a schlong.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
You’re ruled by things I can’t compete with. Your rage trumps love, and hope, and faith.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
دلها سه قسم است: دلی است مثل کوه که آن را هیچ از جای نتواند جنبانید. و دلی است چون درخت بیخ او محکم، اما باد او را گه گه حرکتی می‌دهد. و دلی است چون پری، که تا باد می‌وزد به هرسو می‌گردد
Attar of Nishapur (تذکرة الاولیاء)
Losing someone you love tunes you in to the fragility of life—of moments and memories and music. It makes you want to embrace all the foolish, inarticulate longings that pull at your heart. It makes you want to grasp un-played notes of un-played symphonies.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Black was One. There were no shades to black. Black was absolute, impenetrable. Black absorbed all the colors. If you fell into black, it swallowed you whole. Yet here was a different kind of black. It was black ice and burning coal. It was well-water and desert night. It was dark tempest and glassy calm. It was Black battling Black, opposite and polar, and yet still . . . all black.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Sometimes we have to let go of the people we love because we love them—because their hopes and dreams lie elsewhere. It’s the reason I let you go, the reason I never asked you to stay. And it’s why Goma is letting me go, because my heart is already with you, all day, every day. So if you want me, always and forever, here I am.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
I was pretty sure it was the response he drew from most women—the chance gaze, followed by a pause; the appreciation of something magnificent, no matter how fleeting. I would have to be six feet under not to react to him. It wasn’t just about the way he looked. He had something more. Solidity. Substance. The kind of thing the moon does to the tides, making the waves rise to attention. Jack could give you goosebumps simply by circling past you. I shuddered to think what it would be like if he deliberately decided to slay you.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
IT WAS A GOOD DAY for Louboutins. I hadn’t planned on wearing statement heels on the runway to death, but if this was it, if I was going to be killed by some random psycho with a thirst for blood, what better way to go down than with red-soled ‘fuck yous’ to my murderer?
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
I pulled back, my eyes still closed, knowing that I had just stolen an epic moment from life. Someday when I looked back, I would smile in the middle of the street and no one would know why, because it was just for me, so that I could say to myself: Once in Africa, I kissed a king . . .
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
A KING WHO PLACED MIRRORS IN HIS PALACE There lived a king; his comeliness was such The world could not acclaim his charm too much. The world's wealth seemed a portion of his grace; It was a miracle to view his face. If he had rivals,then I know of none; The earth resounded with this paragon. When riding through his streets he did not fail To hide his features with a scarlet veil. Whoever scanned the veil would lose his head; Whoever spoke his name was left for dead, The tongue ripped from his mouth; whoever thrilled With passion for this king was quickly killed. A thousand for his love expired each day, And those who saw his face, in blank dismay Would rave and grieve and mourn their lives away- To die for love of that bewitching sight Was worth a hundred lives without his light. None could survive his absence patiently, None could endure this king's proximity- How strange it was that man could neither brook The presence nor the absence of his look! Since few could bear his sight, they were content To hear the king in sober argument, But while they listened they endure such pain As made them long to see their king again. The king commanded mirrors to be placed About the palace walls, and when he faced Their polished surfaces his image shone With mitigated splendour to the throne. If you would glimpse the beauty we revere Look in your heart-its image will appear. Make of your heart a looking-glass and see Reflected there the Friend's nobility; Your sovereign's glory will illuminate The palace where he reigns in proper state. Search for this king within your heart; His soul Reveals itself in atoms of the Whole. The multitude of forms that masquerade Throughout the world spring from the Simorgh's shade. If you catch sight of His magnificence It is His shadow that beguiles your glance; The Simorgh's shadow and Himself are one; Seek them together, twinned in unison. But you are lost in vague uncertainty... Pass beyond shadows to Reality. How can you reach the Simorgh's splendid court? First find its gateway, and the sun, long-sought, Erupts through clouds; when victory is won, Your sight knows nothing but the blinding sun.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
But it’s not always enough, you know? And sometimes, it spills over because you can’t control it, because you need to make others feel your pain, your hurt, your rage, because it’s tough to walk around all scarred up, in a world full of slick billboards and bright, smiley toothpaste ads and shiny, happy people. Life’s not always fair. So suck it, lick it, stroke it, fuck it.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
I will remember the perfect oval of your face, the warmth of your throat, the way you hold a pen when you write. Most of all . . .” He cupped my chin, his eyes roving over my upturned face. “I will remember a strange, beautiful girl who liked the feel of old books and drank her coffee sweet. She snuck onto my porch on a gray day and taught me to see in color. She was a thief, my rainbow-haloed girl. When she left, she took my heart. And if I had another, I would give her that too
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
It was a sense of belonging that blurs the lines between two people, when you find your ankle wrapped around someone else’s, or your fingers intertwined, and it’s so natural, so automatic, that you have no conscious thought of it happening. When I think of God, I think of all these magical, inexplicable things, multiplied by infinity.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
İyiliğe gücün yetmezse kötülük yapma.
Attar of Nishapur
زبان تو ترجمان دل توست و روی تو آینهٔ دل توست. بر روی پیدا شود آنچه در دل نهان داری
Attar of Nishapur (تذکرة الاولیاء)
If you can’t take, don’t give. ~Damian
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
If you become sure-footed in love, you'll transcend everything, even blasphemy and belief.
Farid Al-Din Attar (The Conference of the Birds)
All this time I’ve been searching for her in the wrong places—in the rain, and in thunder, and lightning. And all this time . . . there she is, hiding in rainbows.
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
TIME. THE LESS you have of it, the more precious it becomes.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Whether you say yes or no, you will always be my forever.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Don’t cry, güerita.” Damian’s thumb swiped my cheek. “Hit me, slap me, punch me, but don’t fucking cry.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
گفتند: محبت را نشان چیست؟ گفت: آن که به نیکویی زیادت نشود و به جفا نقصان نگیرد
Attar of Nishapur (تذکرة الاولیاء)
...O deaf and mute and blind and beautiful and interminable rose who into time, attar and verse transmute
Cecília Meireles
The world will screw you over. It’s a given. Once you accept that, it gets easier.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Men who pick you up when they hug you,” said one of the girls. I didn’t know which of them it was, but they all sighed in unison. I stared at their spellbound faces. They caught me looking at them and cinched up their expressions. There was a moment of awkward silence. “Well, hopefully it’s a man you like,” I said. “Otherwise it could be a pepper spray moment.” It
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Sometimes we need to be jarred out of our own reality. We base so much of ourselves on other people’s perceptions of us. We live for the compliments, the approval, the applause. But what we really need is a grand, spine-chilling encounter with ourselves to believe we’re freaking magical. And that’s the best kind of believing, because no one can unsay it or take it away from you.” I
Leylah Attar (Mists of The Serengeti)
Hassan can, at a handclap, call a vassal at hand and ask that all staff plan a bacchanal - a gala ball that has what pagan charm small galas lack. Hassan claps, and (tah-dah) an Arab lass at a swank spa can draw a man's bath and wash a man's back, as Arab lads fawn and hang, athwart an altar, amaranth garlands as fragrant as attar - a balm that calms all angst. A dwarf can flap a palm branch that fans a fat maharajah.
Christian Bök (Eunoia)
Every time you share a meal with someone, you bring your history, your country, your region, your religion, your tribe, your grandmother with you. You sit with your past, your opinions, your love, your curiosity, your resentments, your hospitality. Food is where we all intersect. Everywhere you go, anywhere you go.
Leylah Attar (Moti on the Water)
He remembered that his brothers had been puzzled and angry that Ian had let Isabella lay a hand on his arm or give him a quick kiss on the cheek, when he refused to let the rest of his family touch him. Ian had thought his brothers fools about that. If they couldn't understand the difference between three overbearing Scotsmen who smelled of smoke and whiskey, and a lovely young woman scented with of attar of roses, he couldn't help them.
Jennifer Ashley (A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (MacKenzies & McBrides, #4.5))
I don't think I could have loved her more. How is that possible? When you think you've reached the very edge of love, that you can't possibly go any further, and then the circle stretched a little bigger. And the pain with it.
Leylah Attar (From His Lips (53 Letters for My Lover, #1.5))
For feverish mornings after he left, she lay awake in that guest room in their house, in the rumples of the sheet he had slept in. She would get him on every turn: his aftershave lingering on the sides of the pillow that sometimes caught her, waking up from her dreams of him, in nuclear nights, his gaze: drenching her like water drops on burning rocks. She herself didn’t have any smell. He had to really lean in the first time to make out the attar amidst the freckles on her neck. And then there would be at least two, never only one: Jasmine and that other thing that he could never place- a smell that was between imitation pearls and the insides of a Durga Puja afternoon. On some days even in Simla, this she, would waft in by his collars nonchalantly.’ ('Left from Dhakeshwari')
Kunal Sen
Don’t play with scorpions unless you intend to get stung.” He yanked the neckline apart. Round, glass buttons popped onto the floor and rolled around like eyeballs, astounded by the sight of my bare flesh. “We’re harsh and predatory and full of venom.” He gnashed his teeth at me and ripped my blouse in two.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Because those are all things we’re not supposed to do, and yet inside of me was a kernel of the inexplicable from which dark things bloom, something I couldn’t understand or justify. I knew better than to romanticize my captor, but there it was—sick and twisted and disgusting as it was. And it scared me. It scared me because I saw a glimmer of all the terrifying things we’re capable of, because the human psyche is such a fragile thing, a yolk contained within a brittle shell—one crack and out it spills: a neighbor goes on a suicide mission, tribes massacre tribes, countries turn their faces away from injustices. And it all starts within, because within is where all things begin.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
It started long before this, when stars were mere particles in swirling clouds of dust. And every event since has conspired to bring us together.
Leylah Attar (53 Letters for My Lover (53 Letters for My Lover, #1))
If you think you can use her to get to me, you -” “I don’t need to use Sierra. I get to you just fine.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
but this right here—this rain, this shack, this island, this moment—I want it to go on forever.
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
God is all, and things have only a nominal value; the world visible and the world invisible are only Himself.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
Wirst Du meinen Durst spüren, wenn ich begraben liege? Reich' Wasser mir, aus reiner Träne einen Tropfen nur.
Attar of Nishapur
گـر تفــاوت باشـدت از دســتِ شــاه ســنـگ با گوهــــر نـِه‌ای تو مــردِ راه گـر عــــزیز از گوهــری، از سـنــگ خــــوار پــــس نـدارد شـــــاه اینـجـــا هــیــــچ‌کــار ســنـگ و گوهـــر را نه دشــمـن شـو نه دوســــت آن نظـــر کـن تـو که این از دســــتِ اوســــت گـر تــرا سـنــگی زند معــشـــوقِ مــســـت بِـه که از غـیــــری گـهــــر آری به دســـــت وادی طلب
Attar of Nishapur
My eyes were still closed when Damian grabbed my left hand, forced it palm-down on the cutting board and WHAM! He severed the tip of my pinky finger off, sliced the top third—nail, bone and all—clean off,
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
Our life is like a journey…’ – and so the journey seems to me less an adventure and a foray into unusual realms than a concentrated likeness of our existence: residents of a city, citizens of country, beholden to a class or a social circle, member of a family and clan and entangled by professional duties, by the habits of an ‘everyday life’ woven from all these circumstances, we often feel too secure, believing our house built for all the future, easily induced to believe in a constancy that makes ageing a problem for one person and each change in external circumstances a catastrophe for another. We forget that this is a process, that the earth is in constant motion and that we too are affected by ebbs and tides, earthquakes and events far beyond our visible and tangible spheres: beggars, kings, figures in the same great game. We forget it for our would-be peace of mind, which then is built on shifting sand. We forget it so as not to fear. And fear makes us stubborn: we call reality only what we can grasp with our hands and what affects us directly, denying the force of the fire that’s sweeping our neighbour’s house, but not yet ours. War in other countries? Just twelve hours, twelve weeks from our borders? God forbid – the horror that sometimes seizes us, you feel it too when reading history books, time or space, it doesn’t matter what lies between us and it. But the journey ever so slightly lifts the veil over the mystery of space – and a city with a magical, unreal name, Samarkand the Golden, Astrakhan or Isfahan, City of Rose Attar, becomes real the instant we set foot there and touch it with our living breath.
Annemarie Schwarzenbach (All the Roads Are Open: The Afghan Journey)
The tree outside Skye’s bedroom had grown taller; the branch he’d used to climb in was now scraping the roof. Damian tilted his head back, following it, and saw a pair of brown legs dangling through the leaves. It was the nut-busting girl, with her scuffed-up, nut-busting shoes. She was leaning against the trunk, reading a book, unaware of being observed. Damian instinctively cupped his balls. What the fuck was she doing back here?
Leylah Attar (The Paper Swan)
When I was young, it was never about finding love. Love was something you cultivated. Your parents picked your life partner. Romance never entered the equation until then. People didn’t marry people. Families married families. Your father liked his father, or his grandmother played cards with your grandmother. That was how it started. Marriage was a garden that grew slowly. You only got one patch, so you worked hard at it. You planted the seeds, you watered them, you waited for things to bloom—love, respect, intimacy, connection. But things are different now. Everyone expects fruits and flowers right off the bat. When those are done, it gets plain and boring. Then it’s time to move on to the next patch. Relationships are more disposable now. So many people, so many choices. I look at you, I look at Isabelle, and I see both the blessing and curse that freedom brings you—so much potential for happiness, so much pressure to realize it.
Leylah Attar (Moti on the Water)
The world is a talisman with treasures in its depth.yet,the talisman will be removed,along with the body chains. as the talisman is gone,the life appears. then another talisman awaits your life;in the unseen your life is abody ,a new strife.
عطار نیشابوری
You know what’s heartbreaking?” He slipped his hands into his pockets, as if to keep them from touching me. “It’s not when bad things happen to you, or when your life turns out completely different from what you thought it would be, or when people let you down, or when the world knocks you down. What’s heartbreaking is when you don’t get back up, when you don’t care enough to pick up the million broken pieces of you that are screaming to be put back together, and you just lie there, listening to a shattered chorus of yourself. “What’s heartbreaking is letting the love of your life walk away, because you can’t give up your work or your home to go with her, because everything you love gets taken away from you. So I’m saying no to heartbreak. Right here, right now. This is me getting back up, crossing an ocean and coming straight to your door, Rodel. “I can’t unlove you. And I can’t stop thinking about you. So I’m here to say the words because I never said them and that is what’s breaking my heart. I’m not saying them to hear it back. I’m not saying them so we can have a happily ever after. I don’t know where you’re at, or if you still think about us, or if we can even make it work. I’m saying them for me. Because they’ve been growing in my chest with every breath I take, and I have to get them out or I’ll explode. I love you, Rodel Emerson. That’s what I’m here to say. This is me, unbreaking my heart. I know it’s selfish and thoughtless and just plain arrogant to show up like this, but I couldn’t go another day without seeing you.” -Jack Warden
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
The name Gilberte passed close by me, evoking all the more forcibly her whom it labelled in that it did not merely refer to her, as one speaks of a man in his absence, but was directly addressed to her; it passed thus close by me, in action, so to speak, with a force that increased with the curve of its trajectory and as it drew near to its target;—carrying in its wake, I could feel, the knowledge, the impression of her to whom it was addressed that belonged not to me but to the friend who called to her, everything that, while she uttered the words, she more or less vividly reviewed, possessed in her memory, of their daily intimacy, of the visits that they paid to each other, of that unknown existence which was all the more inaccessible, all the more painful to me from being, conversely, so familiar, so tractable to this happy girl who let her message brush past me without my being able to penetrate its surface, who flung it on the air with a light-hearted cry: letting float in the atmosphere the delicious attar which that message had distilled, by touching them with precision, from certain invisible points in Mlle. Swann's life, from the evening to come, as it would be, after dinner, at her home,—forming, on its celestial passage through the midst of the children and their nursemaids, a little cloud, exquisitely coloured, like the cloud that, curling over one of Poussin's gardens, reflects minutely, like a cloud in the opera, teeming with chariots and horses, some apparition of the life of the gods; casting, finally, on that ragged grass, at the spot on which she stood [....]
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
Perhaps the forces of winged retribution. The prophet Elijah being fed to the ravens. Like Baida, I have killed my three pigeons.’ ‘Two,’ Adam said. ‘Two died instead of Vishnevetsky. One died instead of my brother. Long ago. Attar, the Persian poet, saw the destiny of souls as a flight of birds across the seven valleys of Seeking, Love, Knowledge, Independence, Unity, Stupefaction and Annihilation, before at last being lost in the divine Ocean and thenceforth happy. A charming, if sterile, conceit. Next time, the bird may escape,’ Lymond said. ‘Happy pigeon. Next time, the archer may die.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Ringed Castle (The Lymond Chronicles, #5))
Love is a cruel pain that devours everything. Sometimes it tears the veil from the soul, sometimes it draws it together. An atom of love is preferable to all that exists between the horizons, an atom of its pain better than the happy love of all lovers. Love is the marrow of beings; but there can be no real love without real suffering. Whoever is grounded firm in love renounces faith, religion, and unbelief. Love will open the door of spiritual poverty and poverty will show you the way of unbelief. When there remains neither unbelief nor religion, your body and your soul will disappear; you will then be worthy of the mysteries- if you could fathom them, this is the only way.
Farid Al-Din Attar (The Conference of the Birds)
To be ultra is to go beyond. It is to attack the sceptre in the name of the throne, and the mitre in the name of the attar; it is to ill-treat the thing which one is dragging, it is to kick over the traces; it is to cavil at the fagot on the score of the amount of cooking received by heretics; it is to reproach the idol with its small amount of idolatry; it is to insult through excess of respect; it is to discover that the Pope is not sufficiently papish, that the King is not sufficiently royal, and that the night has too much light; it is to be discontented with alabaster, with snow, with the swan and the lily in the name of whiteness; it is to be a partisan of things to the point of becoming their enemy; it is to be so strongly for, as to be against.
Victor Hugo (Works of Victor Hugo. Les Miserables, Notre-Dame de Paris, Man Who Laughs, Toilers of the Sea, Poems & More)
Now the Sun celestial began to shine forth in front of them, and lo! how great was their surprise! In the reflection of their faces these thirty birds of the earth beheld the face of the Celestial Simurg. When they cast furtive glances towards the Simurg, they perceived that the Simurg was no other than those self-same thirty birds. In utter bewilderment, they lost their wits and wondered whether they were their own selves or whether they had been transformed into the Simurg. Then, to themselves they turned their eyes, and wonder of wonders, those self-same birds seemed to be one Simurg! Again, when they gazed at both in a single glance, they were convinced that they and the Simurg formed in reality only one Being. This single Being was the Simurg and the Simurg this Being. That one was this and this one was that. Look where they would, in whatever direction, it was only the Simurg they saw. No one has heard of such a story in the world. Drowned in perplexity, they began to think of this mystery without the faculty of thinking, but finding no solution to the riddle, they besought the Simurg, though no words passed their lips, to explain this mystery and to solve this enigma of I and Thou. The Simurg thereupon deigned to vouchsafe this reply to them: “The Sun of my Majesty is a mirror.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
As everyone knows, Islam set up a social order from the outset, in contrast, for example, to Christianity. Islamic social teachings are so basic to the religion that still today many people, including Muslims, are completely unaware of Islam's spiritual dimensions. Social order demands rules and regulations, fear of the king, respect for the police, acknowledgement of authority. It has to be set up on the basis of God's majesty and severity. It pays primary attention to the external realm, the realm of the body and the desires of the lower soul, the realm where God is distant from the world. In contrast, Islamic spiritual teachings allow for intimacy, love, boldness, ecstatic expressions, and intoxication in the Beloved. All these are qualities that pertain to nearness to God. (...) In short, on the social level, Islam affirms the primacy of God as King, Majestic, Lord, Ruler. It establishes a theological patriarchy even if Muslim theologians refuse to apply the word father (or mother) to God. God is yang, while the world, human beings, and society are yin. Thereby order is established and maintained. Awe and distance are the ruling qualities. On the spiritual level, the picture is different. In this domain many Muslim authorities affirm the primacy of God as Merciful, Beautiful, Gentle, Loving. Here they establish a spiritual matriarchy, though again such terms are not employed. God is yin and human beings are yang. Human spiritual aspiration is accepted and welcomed by God. Intimacy and nearness are the ruling qualities. This helps explain why one can easily find positive evaluations of women and the feminine dimension of things in Sufism. (...) Again, this primacy of yin cannot function on the social level, since it undermines the authority of the law. If we take in isolation the Koranic statement, "Despair not of God's mercy surely God forgives all sins" (39:53), then we can throw the Sharia out the window. In the Islamic perspective, the revealed law prevents society from degenerating into chaos. One gains liberty not by overthrowing hierarchy and constraints, but by finding liberty in its true abode, the spiritual realm. Freedom, lack of limitation and constraint, bold expansivenessis achieved only by moving toward God, not by rebelling against Him and moving away. Attar (d. 618/1221) makes the same point more explicitly in an anecdote he tells about the great Sufi shaykh, Abu'l- Hasan Kharraqani (d. 425/1033): It is related that one night the Shaykh was busy with prayer. He heard a voice saying, "Beware, Abu'l-Hasan! Do you want me to tell people what I know about you so that they will stone you to death?" The Shaykh replied, "O God the Creator! Do You want me to tell the people what I know about Your mercy and what I see of Your generosity? Then no one will prostrate himself to You." A voice came, "You keep quiet, and so will I." Sufism is concerned with "maintaining the secret" (hifz al-sirr) for more reasons than one. The secret of God's mercy threatens the plain fact of His wrath. If "She" came out of the closet, "He" would be overthrown. But then She could not be found, for it is He who shows the way to Her door.
Sachiko Murata (The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic Thought)