Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

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Ansari portrayed on a stamp

Abu Ismaïl Abdullah al-Herawi al-Ansari or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat (4 May 1006 – 8 March 1089), also known as Pir-i Herat (sage of Herat), Shaykh al-Islām was a famous Persian Sufi who lived in the 11th century in Herat. One of the outstanding figures in Khorasan in his century: commentator of the Qur'an, traditionist, polemicist, and spiritual master, known for his oratory and poetic talents in Arabic and Persian.


  • The heart in which love and compassion for all living beings resides, can have no room for seeking after personal pleasures. O friend, take care to do no harm to any living creature; to hurt his creation is to forget the Creator.
    • Quoted in Tales of the Mystic East: An Anthology of Mystic and Moral Tales Taken from the Teachings of the Saints (Radha Soami Satsang Beas, 1997), p. 208


  • Great shame it is to deem of high degree
    Thyself, or over others rackon thee.
    Strive to be like the pupil of thine eye—
    To see all else, but not thyself to see.
    • A Literary History of Persian, Vol. 2, p. 270
  • The heart enquired of the soul
    What is the beginning of this business?
    What its end, and what its fruit?
    The soul answered:
    The beginning of it is
    the annihilation of self,
    Its end faithfulness,
    And its fruit immortality.

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