The Seven Qualities of a Dervish

Peace, one and all…


The overarching theme of last year’s Threshold Society retreat was ‘Dervishood for Today’.  During the weekend, we looked at a number of issues connected to developing a spirituality appropriate to the times in which we live.  In particular, we looked at the essential qualities of a dervish, and at how we might bring these qualities into our daily lives, here and now.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to reflect more fully on these qualities, insha Allah.  In particular, I am interested in discussing these qualities with the wider world.  How might we become more conscious of our actions?  How might we develop these qualities within ourselves?

Shaykh Kabir outlined the 7 essential qualities of a dervish as follows:

  1. Awareness/Presence
  2. Humility/Adab
  3. Discernment
  4. Generosity
  5. Kindness
  6. Loyalty/Fidelity
  7. Courage

Ma’as salama,
Abdur Rahman


6 thoughts on “The Seven Qualities of a Dervish

  1. Salaam Dear Abdur Bhai 🙂

    All these seven qualities are aspects of love, and opening love in our hearts for all of Allah’s creation is the key to attaining the rest. For without love, some of them can turn to ashes. A person may be courageous and cruel, loyal and mean spirited. But if they grow out of love, they always tend to kindness and generosity. And it is not that we have to find love in ourselves, but merely to recognize and overcome the nafs.

    Your task is not to seek for love,
    but merely to seek and find
    all the barriers within yourself
    that you have built against it.
    – Rumi

    Ya Haqq!

  2. Salams Baba Darvish,

    Thank you for your sage advice. Allah knows I could use it!

    Allah! Shaykh Kabir said more or less exactly the same thing! 🙂

    Ya Allah! I know what you mean about the barriers. May Allah help me and all of us to tear the barriers within ourselves that keep us from His love, and from sharing that love with all.

    Ya Haqq!

  3. For myself, I am learning to love – both within and beyond myself. By nature, I tend to set myself impossible goals (and thus have the ego to think I can reach them all by my own efforts). Over the last few years, Allah has repeatedly shown me my limitations. These caused me great inward pain – but, looking back, it was a helpful pain. It showed me, in an experiential sense, just how faulty and damaged I am. This brought me a measure of humility and a real sense of my own poor worth in comparison with all others. However, if it wasn’t for God’s overflowing love, I would have damaged beyond repair

    Ya Haqq!

  4. Sailing, with God’s gracious assistance, into the unbounded beauty of God’s beautiful love brings us joy beyond the power of words to describe and answers all our deepest longings.

    Over the years God has taught me that criminality isn’t consequence-free.

    As criminals we have all approached God and demanded to be put in control of temporal time and the talents that He has supplied us with. And we have all said no to God’s schedule, plans and will and yes to our own personal aspirations!

    Over the years I have been blessed by God to discover that no one has a forgiving heart like Our God. In order to understand His character we must seek to emulate the incredible depth of His forgiving Spirit.

    You too can discover more fully that as you delight in seeking after God’s food of faith that He rewards us by casting out our fears.

    Over the years I have been blessed by God to discover that in order to be caressed and cuddled by God we need to start desiring to jump around like new born lambs and start searching sincerely for His unique food of faith, hope and love that endures for eternity.

    It was time for me to come home to the home of holiness.
    It was time for me to come home to My holy, merciful God, the God of heaven and earth who I had largely totally ignored.

    So I began praying to the King of love to bless me; so that I could give my heart more fully and with greater trust to Him; lest I lack for the vision and understanding that is vital for this life.

    As God observed the somewhat sincere moaning of a restless, unfulfilled soul I prayed on with my head well tucked in.

    At this moment I didn’t know where the Author of Truth was exactly as He did repair work on my rebellious heart.

    Yet as I abided in His true teachings more and more God’s love began to overshadow me like a band of lovely spring weather bringing confidence-catching color to my eyes, until it seemed like there was a richly compassionate Comforter in the living room of my soul.

    It was clear to me that beautiful, healing power was flowing from His holy heart and a sense of being increasingly comforted came into my heart.

    In loving me so profoundly, with such beautiful compassion, Our Creator was demonstrating how seriously He takes our and my need for restoration!

    Truly, Lord of Life, You restore our soul and offer us eternal life.

    How beautiful You are Our mighty, mighty, majestical Maker!

    Eternally loved and treasured Teacher, holy God, open up a special place reserved for adoration in all hearts longing to love You; so that their appreciation of and gratitude for Your ongoing work on their behalf is genuine.

    Victory is ours, fellow lovers of truth, provided we remain led by God’s bright shinning wisdom. Stunningly beautiful holy God every disease of the body, mind, soul and spirit disappears when You speak against it.

    Lord God, although we continue joyously singing our sincerest praises to Your Name living in this fallen world we grow dirty and more sinful all too quickly.

    Cleanse us, clean-hearted Creator God; so that we can always look forward and ahead with wings of faith to working productively under Your inspiring leadership. Blessed, wonderful, wonderful, peerless Friend of Friends, mighty miracles happen in Your glorious presence.

    Special, revered, glorious prize of heaven, we your servants give You our biggest most affectionate hug.

    Thank You for being Our wonderful, redeeming, holy God. What an honor it is to have the awesome privilege to meet You during this life and how we look forward to our next life together.

    Our prayer and highest delight is that You will continue to assist us in defending Your precious, peerless, pure Name to Your mighty glory now and into eternity. Amen.

    May God bless you richly Abdur and all your readers in your studies.

  5. Peace Josef,

    May God bless you always.

    Thank you for your beautiful and profound reflections. Amen to your lovely and love-filled prayers. They really help, and are most welcome here.

    May God allow us to always open into the beautiful rose gardens of His love.

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