The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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The translators and readers of the Persian poets, while admiring and praising them highly, have often made the mistake of not giving credit where it was due. They have spoken of the poets as if they had produced everything out of themselves, and inherited nothing from the lore of the past. But Persia, lying between Greece, Egypt, Arabia, and India, came under the influence of Plato and Socrates, of Hinduism and Buddhism, and especially of their poetry and philosophy. Everything in the world is influenced in some way by other things, so it cannot be said that Sufism was born in Persia and that it did not exist before; it is an undeniable fact that Sufis existed in the time of Muhammad and even previously, and that Muhammad liked to converse with them and advise them. Thus Sufism in the course of time absorbed the influence of many religions; and in its turn also influenced many other religions. Though very little of the ancient writings survives, and though that little has lost much through wrong interpretation, yet traces of this ancient Sufism can still be found.