The Sufi poetry teaches the feminine qualities of joy, love, tenderness and self sacrifice on a path of true knowledge derived from the spiritual heart. The spiritual rebirth of the individual is not unlike the trial and tribulation of physical childbirth, according to the Sufis. They take the principle of divine love and use it to facilitate the process of alchemical transformation from mundane human to spiritual being.
The fanaticism that we see in modern Islam is a new development in a religion that, in its early history, was famous for its tolerance and respect for other religions. In Islamâ€™s classical period in medieval Spain and Egypt perhaps only Buddhism rivalled Islamâ€™s tolerance. The fundamentalism that characterises the behaviour of many of todayâ€™s Muslims is in fact anti-Koranic.