Sufi Framework for Service


Divine apportions the livelihood of mankind in their worldly lives and have raised some of them above other in degrees, that they may help one another in service. And the loving mercy of your Lord is better than (all the wealth) they gather together. - The Quran 42:32

Lo! those who are inside the divine presence of your Lord are not too proud to do Him service, but they praise Him and prostrate in humility before Him. - 7:206

Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds"  
- 6:162

Service as the Pivotal Axis

In the Sufi Path, service is the pivotal axis. The cosmogenesis knowledge of the Final Testament transmits that the purpose of the creation's manifestation is to serve God (51:56) and the paradoxical truth is that 'Allahu as-Samad', God is completely independent of the creation, the eternally Besought. God is al Ghani - The Self-Sufficient, The Independent; al Mughni - The Fulfiller of Needs, and Himself is free from all needs; al Warith - The Inheritor of All,  The Supreme Heir. If God doesn't need any service, then how is it that serving God is the sole purpose of creation?! The answer is that the pinnacle of creation, humanity can only serve God through the service to the creation, including the service to one's own self. And the greatest service of one's self is the attainment of God Consciousness (taqwa), realization of The Real, Gnosis. And that service to the self is echoed in timeless invitation of Christ, "Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven in Perfect." To forget about that inherent perfection within us which can be attained and reclaimed as our birth right - is compared to great injustice, oppression against the self in the Last Testament.

In this world of diversity, different Sufi Paths as living traditions that became embodied at different place and time in human history, have created different framework of service based on the basis of Quranic principle and practice of altruism, generosity, universal brotherhood, charity, giving up of the passing world for the sake of the Ever Abiding One, taking the path of blame, to carry the load of others and going beyond the fulfilling of the prescribed etc. For very practical reason, different Sufis of different orders directed their energy into various services, sometime which were inspired by the need of the moment. For example Naqshbandi sufis were directed to create roads in remote places so that sick could be taken to physicians, food could be transported easily and access to sacred education hubs could be made. Some Sufis became guardian of the weak and protected the public roads from bandits and outlaws. The Chishti Sufis established great many free kitchen to feed the hungry, established lodges to provide shelter for homeless and travelers. Others likewise in other lands engaged in different mode of service to the whole, thus service to the One Who is without divisions. The Sufi khanqahs supplied food and shelter to all sorts of people, no matter to what religion they belonged.

Its said that there are only three miracles in this world. Air to the birds, water to the fishes, and humanity to the humanity. For a true Sufi, service of God is identified with the service of mankind. Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi was quoted in the mystic circles of Delhi as saying that he found God among the poor people in the streets of Medina. Once Prophet Abraham was reluctant to ask a non-believer to partake of food with him. Prompt came the admonition from God: ‘Oh Abraham! We can give life to this man but you cannot give food to him.’ Shaikh Nizam-u’d-din Auliya used to fast regularly. When food was brought to him at the time of sahri (pre-dawn meal as preparation to fast the next day), morsels would stick in his throat as his mind went back to persons who had gone to bed without food.

Bibi Fatima Sam, a very respected mystic woman of medieval India whose hut in Delhi attracted people from far and near, used to say that the divine reward for giving a piece of bread and a glass of water to the hungry was greater than offering thousands of genuflexions of prayer and keeping thousands of fasts..

Shaikh Nizam-u’d-din Auliya classified devotion to God into two categories: ta’at-i lazmi and ta’at-i muta’addi. Ta’at-i lazmi consisted of prayers and penitences that an individual performed; the ta’at-i muta’addi consisted in helping the needy and the poor and feeding the hungry. He told his disciples that the reward of ta’at-i-muta’ addi was greater than that of obligatory prayers. Sa’di, the famous Persian poet, echoed the same sentiments when he said:

Higher spiritual life is nothing but service of humanity,
It is not (chanting) the rosary,
(remaining on the) prayer carpet
or (wearing) coarse garments.

Sign of Love

The sign of God's love is to bestow three attributes on His lover:
A generosity like that of the sea,
a kindness like that of the sun, and,
a humility like that of the earth.
- Bayazid Bistami

Practical Framework for Service

Based in California under the guidance of two of the most prominent sufi teachers of our time Shaykh Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski, may God bless their path, The Threshold Society is affiliated with the Mevlevi Sufi Path. Founded by the intimate followers and companions of Shaykh Jelaluddin Rumi, God sanctify his soul, the Mevlevi Path has for seven centuries offered spiritual training based on the principles of Sufism.

The  fundamental matrix of the Threshold Society is based on the Qur'an as it has been understood over the centuries by the great Sufis and the teachings of classical Sufi Path. It is a rigorous path of initiation and service. In 1990 Kabir Helminski, was honored with the title and responsibility of Mevlevi Shaikh by the late Dr. Celaleddin Celebi of Istanbul, Turkey, head of the Mevlevi Tariqa (Path) and direct descendant of Mevlana Rumi. In 1999 Camille and Kabir Helminski moved from Putney, Vermont to Aptos, California. Under Camille's and Kabir's direction The Threshold Society is working to apply traditional Mevlevi principles to the conditions of contemporary life.

The following is a sharing of the framework of service offered by the Threshold Society, an organization of the American Mevlevi Sufi Order and offers a rare glimpse of the beautiful and practical support that a Sufi community gives under the guidance of its teacher for the aspirants to grow. Among other Sufi Path, the service framework may exist in different modes, in some its more pronounced, in some its more subtle. For every unique individual, the opportunity to serve is also unique. But this example can be beneficial to any to help understand the necessary "walking" as part of the 'journey', the great pilgrimage to become truly human.

The following article: Framework for Service is shared with credit to Threshold Society website and its always recommended to take up the guidance offered by the Sufis under a mature and authentic guide of the Sufi Path, instead of relying on one's own ego, its limited ability to comprehend the reality and its projections alone. When it comes to practices, Islamic Sufi principle demand that this be done in a community or in a company of aligned-hearted friends / truth seekers / spiritual companions. 

Within the Threshold Society we have been working with the “Bashi” system of service. “Bashi” means “head” or “chief.” There is a “Chai Bashi” in charge of tea; a “Meydan Bashi” in charge of the sacred meeting space, etc. This work cultivates beauty of character and deepens our capacity for service. It is an essential aspect of a mature dervish. With this in mind we have created a framework where those participating in this work have a structure to reflect upon one’s own unfolding as it applies to their Bashi responsibility. The undertaking of Bashi responsibilities may be seen as a mirror that as Shams says “is like a touchstone or a balance-scale; it always inclines towards the Truth.” This reflection is undertaken with honesty, sincerity and compassion. Reflection is a process of viewing and considering with open attention and without self-recrimination. What is essential rises to the surface enabling us to realign with our highest values. This self-evaluation concludes with an invitation to recommit to the three intentions we each personally glean from this process.

Four Principles

• Commit to our Highest Aim
• Find the Still Point
• Express Gratitude
• Radiate Blessing

Part I: Embracing the Tasks

Being Present

Do I consciously begin my work in a state of presence?
How well do I sustain presence during my work?
How can I return to presence when I forget?
Have I concluded my work in a state of presence?

Adab of Working

Is my inner state focused and directing my outer actions?
Am I physically grounded, and aware of the needs of the space around me and of my own movement within it?
Am I practicing Gorushmek (to ‘see with’ each other)?
Is my speech conscientious?

Reflecting Beauty

What are my feelings toward Beauty?
Do I recognize Beauty in the world around me?
Do I continually recognize and reflect beauty back to my world?

Self Reliance and Connection

Do I understand the value of being self-directed?
Am I willing to ask for help when I need it? Is it last minute?
Is my work demonstrably interdependent with the group?
Do I give this work my best effort as part of a shared experience?

Part II: Working in Community


Am I comfortable sharing and participating?
What is the condition of my Heart - is it giving or withholding?
Do I recognize my negative states and how this might affect others
Do I understand our group dynamics from a spiritual perspective?

Adab of Fellowship

Can I accept people as they are, even if they impede on the
principles & standards upheld for the good of the community?
Am I experiencing trust, respect and authenticity?
Do I model the Mevlevi Adab in my interactions with others?


Have I been present with others; have I truly listened?
Have I spoken too much, or too little, to support exchange?
Is there an assumption or expectation that should be recognized and expressed?
Have I been clear and respectful in my speech?
Have I considered inter-cultural factors that may apply?

Direction and Leadership

Do I wish to learn and to receive instruction and guidance from others?
Am I willing to address issues and blockages that are pointed out?
How am I accountable in the spiritual work I have undertaken?
How does my relationship with the tradition develop through selfless service?
What is my relationship with surrender to the path & all the teachers?


# Resources:
. The Basics of Practice Within The Threshold Society
. Threshold Society Statement of Purpose
. Kabir and Camille Helminski

. Threshold Society Centers in North America
. Threshold Books
. Mevlevi Women



99 names,36,abida,10,activism,42,adab,7,adamandeveit,1,advaita,2,advice,2,alchemy,7,alchemy of the divine,8,Ali,4,alka,1,Allah,54,almsgiving,4,americandiary,1,anab,5,analysis,1,antiwar,14,art,23,article,5,ascetic,1,attributes,28,audio,19,authority,1,award,5,bahai,3,bahaullah,3,bangla,8,bangladesh,8,baul,8,bawa,4,beauty,4,bengali,7,bhakti,3,bible,3,bill whitehouse,1,biography,6,blog,6,book,89,book review,39,booklog,9,bosnia,1,breath,5,bual,1,buddha,28,buddhism,25,calligraphy,1,carnival,16,carolyn,1,charity,21,children,1,Christ,27,christian,8,christianity,37,Christology,23,click,1,comparative,7,comparative religion,53,compassion,1,consciousness,9,contemplative tradition,1,conversation,2,cosmology,6,counsel,1,creative,20,creative thought,43,creative thoughts,83,crucifixion,2,current affairs,5,dante,1,darshan,1,death,31,deception,3,democracy,1,desert spirituality,1,desire,1,destiny,3,devotion,8,Dhikr,13,diary,12,documentary,5,donation,4,download,1,dreamwork,21,DVD,1,dying,1,earth,2,ecospirituality,4,ego,6,egypt,1,eid,3,end time,4,endtime,6,enlightenment,3,eschatology,4,esoteric,56,ethics,1,event,190,evil,4,exegesis,1,exergesis,4,experience,1,faith,8,fast,41,fasting,53,feminine,13,folk,2,forgiveness,1,freedom from sectarianism,2,fundraising,6,ghayb,1,gita,4,globaloneness,4,gnosis,11,God,130,golden sufi,10,gospel,5,governance,1,grace,1,gratitude,2,guestblog,25,guide on the path,5,gurdjieff,1,hadith,37,hadra,1,hafez,3,hafiz,18,haiku,5,hajj,17,haqiqat,2,haqqu,1,hasidic,2,headscarf,1,headscarves,1,healing,14,health,8,heart,24,hinduism,23,history,10,house rent,1,humanright,17,humor,2,husayn,2,illusion,4,imamuddin,4,imran-hosein,7,in_quest_of_oasis,6,inayat khan,15,infographic,7,inspiration,458,integral spirituality,36,interview,31,islam,203,islamophobia,10,jesus,35,Jesus Christ,51,Jewish,18,journalism,1,judaism,20,justice,1,kabir,6,kahlil gibran,1,kenwilber,1,Koan,1,Koran,2,krishna,1,language,1,last age,1,law of attraction,1,life,7,link,6,Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee,6,love,150,love. inspiration,1,lyric,10,mahmud shabistari,1,maktub,1,malamat,1,mansur hallaj,1,mary,2,mary magdalene,1,Mawlid,8,meditation,71,meditative quranic verse,109,mercy,2,metaphysics,8,miracle,5,miraj,7,Mohammad,2,mosque,4,movie,15,Muhammad,35,music,41,muslim,25,mystic,39,mysticism,173,mysticsaint poetry,87,mysticsaint prayer,6,mysticsaint thought,21,Nachman,1,naomi,13,naqshbandi,1,nature,1,news,6,news. jesus tomb,1,old age,1,oneness,17,origin,1,original,16,osho,7,palestine,1,paradox,20,peace,16,philosophy,7,photography,4,pir zia inayat khan,2,pluralism,2,podcast,4,poem,266,poem on God,9,poetry,275,poety,32,poll,1,porshee,4,positive psychology,1,poverty,4,practice,9,prayer,84,presence,1,present,1,project,3,Prophet Muhammad,91,protest,1,psychology,6,qawwali,6,question,1,quote,121,Quran,159,quranic,58,qurbani,1,rabbi meir ben Baruch,1,ramadan,68,reality,9,reincarnation,4,relation,3,religion,31,Remembrance,32,resource,9,Resurrection,7,retreat,2,review,10,roundup,1,rumi,72,sacred activism,9,sacred geometry,1,sacrifice,3,saint,37,saints,45,saying,1,sayings of Prophet,22,science,17,secret,1,secularism,2,self,14,service,5,Shadhiliyya,19,shamanism,1,Shamcher,1,Shaykh Nooruddeen Durkee,7,shrine,1,Sidi,4,Sikh,1,social media,1,sohbet,12,song,69,soul,6,sound,1,speedlink,4,spiritual,77,spiritual materials,7,spirituality,226,Sponsored,1,statistics,1,story,12,submission,1,sufi,306,sufi healing,16,sufi podcast,10,sufi poetry carnival,15,sufi tale,1,sufi tariqa,2,sufi text,1,sufi wisdom,57,sufi-infographic,4,sufihaqqu,6,sufis,12,sufism,419,sufism wisdom,42,sufism. hinduism,1,sufitale,2,surrender,3,survey,2,symbology,12,tafsir,16,tagore,17,tantra,1,tao,5,teaching,27,technology,1,ted,1,temple,1,terrorism,4,the secret,3,thelogy,1,thought,14,thoughts,14,time,7,translation,31,travel,17,tribute,1,truth,4,unity,2,upanishad,1,vatican,1,veda,3,veil,2,video,8,view,2,violence,2,visit,1,webcast,2,wisdom,175,witness,1,woman,3,workshop,1,worship,2,yoga,10,zakat,1,zawiya,1,zen,19,zen mind,8,Zikr,44,
Technology of the Heart: Sufi Framework for Service
Sufi Framework for Service
Technology of the Heart
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy