The Sufi way is a love-oriented path. Anyone can taste that fire of love in the poetry, music and dance created by the Sufis like Rumi, Hafiz, Jami, Iraqi, Khusro to name a few. The Sufi way has given birth to a culture of beautiful human beings with hearts of pure love and a highly developed aesthetic sense. The Shaykh helps his disciples to give birth to a true heart and nourishes him with spiritual milk like a mother. The role of a Shaykh is extremely important in forming a milieu of love in the life of his disciples, where gradually they are pulled to the level of Nafs al Mutma’inna (the contented self) as explained below. The Shaykh’s physical presence exists like a flame of love for his disciples and this is how when any soul catches fire from that flame, an unknown fragrance materializes on this very earth with a song of its own. Just as a flower takes so little from the earth in comparison to what it gives back in the form of emanating radiant colours and soft ripples of scent, likewise such a soul enriches the universe with his/her presence and adds a new dimension to life before departing for an unknown destination.
A beautiful poem by Sultan Bahu (R.A.) sheds light on this relationship of a disciple with his Shaykh:
ALLAH is like the jasmine plant which the preceptor planted in my heart – O Hu,
By water and the gardener of negation and affirmation – O Hu,
it remained near the jugular vein and everywhere – O Hu,
It spread fragrance inside when it approached the time of blossoming- O Hu,
May the efficient preceptor live long says BAHU who planted this plant- O Hu.