Rabia Basri

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O my Lord! If I worship Thee on account of the fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee with the hope of Paradise, exclude me from it, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty.

Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya al-Qaysiyya (714/717/718 — 801 CE) was a female Muslim saint and Sufi mystic.

Quotes[edit]

  • Were Women all like those whom here I name,
    Woman to man I surely would prefer;
    The Sun is feminine, nor deems it shame;
    The Moon, though masculine, depends on her.
    • Literary History of Persia, p. 299
  • I so detached my heart from the world and cut short my hopes that for thirty years now I have performed each prayer as though it were my last and I were praying the prayer of farewell.
    • as quoted in Early Islamic Mysticism (New York: Paulist Press: 1996), p. 165
  • O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell
and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
But if I worship You for Your Own sake,
grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.
  • I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah.
    • as quoted in Farid al-Din Attar, Memorial of the Friends of God (c. 1230, 2009 Translation edited by Losensky).

The Sayings and Teachings of the Great Mystics of Islam (2004)[edit]

  • Love, for Rabia, is the basis of spiritual perfection at all the stages on the journey to God. She teaches to love God for the sake of God.
    • p. 29
  • O my Lord! If I worship Thee on account of the fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee with the hope of Paradise, exclude me from it, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty.
    • p. 29, also quoted in her prayer.
  • I have not served God for fear of Hell, for I should be like a wretched hireling, If I did it for fear: nor for love of Paradise, for I should be a bad servant if I served for the sake of what was given, but I have served Him only for the love of Him and out of desire for Him.
    • p. 29-30
  • Repentance is attained by the saints with the Divine grace and it comes from the side of God who enlightens the hearts of those whom He loves. Seeking a formal forgiveness is the sin for lying. If I seek repentance of my self, I shall have need of repentance again.
    • p. 30
  • Seclusion is the soul's ideal preparation for reaching God. It is in the state of solitude that the soul contemplates on the attributes of God.
    • p. 30
  • The soul comes from God and it can be united with Him if it is purified through the process of mortification.
    • p. 30

External links[edit]

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