If you wish to traverse this path quickly and attain ultimate realisation, undertake to perform the obligatory and highly stressed supererogatory prayers, and learn what is fundamental of the exoteric sciences, because God is not worshiped except by means of them, but do not go to great depths in one’s studies of the exoteric sciences; rather what is required is that you go to great depths in the studies of the esoteric ones. Turn against your caprices and surely you will see wonders.
High moral character is the essence of Sufism, according to the folk of this discipline. It is the very core of the religion itself according to the people of religion, and may God strike me down if I should be lying! Flee always from the sensory for it is opposed to the spiritual realities; the esoteric and the spiritual realities do not mix. Every step you take closer to one is a step further from the other.
Listen to what occurred with our teacher, Sidi ‘Ali al-Jamal, may God be pleased with him, at the beginning of his affair when he sowed three measures of wheat. When he informed his teacher, Sidi al-‘Arabi bin Abdullah, of this he replied, ‘The more you absorb yourself in the sensory, the further you draw away from the spiritual realities and vice-versa.’
The issue is clear for once you catch the scent of the people: you won’t find even a sniff of the spiritual realties on them; all you smell is the odour of their own sweat since the sensory has a grip on them. It has taken hold of their hearts, limbs and all the benefit they might have had. All they do is busy themselves therein, addressing nothing else besides it. They are unable to free themselves of it, despite many others having been able to do before them. Those people immersed themselves in the spiritual realities through their turning away from the sensory throughout their lives, may God be pleased with them and let us benefit from their blessings Amen! Amen!
It is as if God has written that they should never have a portion of the spiritual realities even though every one of them has his portion deep within him just as the sea has waves. If they knew that to be so, they would not spend a moment of their time occupied in the sensory. If only they knew, they would find themselves oceans without shores, and God is witness to what I say. Peace.