A Sufi teacher of my acquaintance said in my hearing when someone asked him to talk about God: ‘It would be an insult to God to speak of him to you; and it would be valuing me too highly to assume that I dared to talk of God.’
Most people’s ‘God’ is their vanity, their own self-conceit, their epithet, used for emotional and intellectual purposes. It is important to speak of a thing, let alone God, with reserve unless it be warranted.
The using of the word ‘God’ must depend upon the state of understanding of the person who uses the term and the person or people hearing or reading it. As Shabistari said in his Sufi manual The Secret Garden, in the fourteenth century:
‘If the Muslim knew what an idol was, he would know that there is religion in idolatry. If the idolater knew what religion was, he would know where he has gone astray. He sees in the idol nothing but the obvious creature. That is why, according to Islam, he is a heathen.’
Learning How to Learn
Read the book, for free, here: