Rabia Basri

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Small drawing of Rābiʻa

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


  • 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).

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