In these poetic lines by Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya, one of the most important founders of the mystical element of Islam, known as Sufism, we see an essential element of Sufi thought, the creation of which is often attributed to her: the ideal of divine love. Using the language of romance, Rabi’a’s verses elevate the divinity of God, all the while evoking the most intense elements of human love. Moreover, these verses reassert a central Islamic tenant—that is, the unity of one sole deity.

Source: Helminski, Camille Adams. Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure. Boston: Shambala, 2003.


O God, Whenever I listen to the voice of anything
You have made—
The rustling of the trees
The trickling of water
The cries of birds
The flickering of shadow
The roar of the wind
The song of the thunder, I hear it saying:
“God is One! Nothing can be compared with God!”