[Shams says,] I have seen poverty-stricken villages, fields blackened by fire, and plundered towns where the rivers ran red and there were no men left alive above the age of ten. I have seen the worst and the best in humanity. Nothing surprises me anymore.
As I went through all these experiences , I began to compile a list that wasn’t written down in any book, only inscribed in my soul. This personal list I called The Basic Principles of the Itinerant Mystics of Islam. To me these were as universal, dependable, and invariable as the laws of nature. Together they constituted The Forty Rules of the Religion of Love, which could be attained through love and love only. And one of those rules said,
“The Path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God.”
nafs: false ego