‘Not until every Mosque beneath the sun,
Is ruined will our holy work be done;
And never will true Muslim appear,
‘til Faith and Infidelity are one!’
The revered and rebellious Islamic ṣūfī mystic, Abū-Sa’īd Abul-Khayr.
‘The perfect mystic is not an ecstatic devotee lost in contemplation of Oneness, nor a saintly recluse shunning all commerce with mankind, but “the true saint” goes in and out amongst the people and eats and sleeps with them and buys and sells in the market and marries and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets God for a single moment.’ [Khayr]
Khayr was a contemporary of Ibn Sīnā [Avicenna; 980-1037 CE], the Persian polymath who was met by the Symbol ‘0’ on its westward journey to Venice. Khayr is credited with the origins of Sufi Love Poetry, made so famous by Rumi 200 years later. Nishapur must have been a special place, home to both Khayr and Omar Khayyam [‘Rubayyat‘].