The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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The first stage is Shariat. This is where the God-ideal is impressed upon mankind as authority, as fear of God. This really means conscientiousness, not fear as is usually thought. If we love, we do not wish to displease; love does not force us to act, but it asks us to be conscientious and take care not to cause the least disharmony with the one whose happiness we want. The first lesson is to idealize someone who is above the personalities of the earth, more than mortal, a protector more than a father; a guardian, a king, mightier than the nations; richer than all the super-millionaires in this world. Wonderful though the goodness is that we see in a mother, causing us to realize how kind and merciful she is, it is nothing compared with the perfection of the kindness and mercy of God. That which attracts us in the mother is limited; unlimited mercy and kindness are only to be seen in God. We perceive that all things that give protection, peace, fear, or love are only found in their perfection in the one ideal, and that is in God.