The Difference in Means of Expression between Islamic and other Mysticisms

The delicate and refined expressions of Islamic mystical doctrine in contrast to the formulation of other mysticisms, and especially to that of the Indians, has the advantage of elucidating mystical verities within the wrapping of formulations of a more general nature. Hence, everyone is able to profit from them, each in the measure of his understanding. Other mystical ways do not possess this distinction.

It is for this same reason that Islam has been saved from the harmful results, which have affected other religions, by presenting mystical truths openly and unambiguously. For example, in the case of Indian mysticism, if we study the Upanishads carefully, we will see that the doctrine presented there is a precise and extremely profound expression of the Unity of God, but at the same time that it is so bold and explicit that any one who refers to it who is not completely versed in mystical and metaphysical doctrine will consider its marvelously complete formulations as nothing but superstitious prattle, or at the very least he will interpret passages which express the Unity of God in the most sublime manner as being nothing but incarnationism, pantheism and idol worship.

This claim, moreover, is proved by the opinions which many orientalists who have specialized in Sanskrit have voiced concerning Indian mysticism; for after the tremendous amount of research which they have undertaken in the original Hindu and Buddhist texts they still consider Indian mystical doctrines as nothing but superstition, produced by the minds of men deprived of the advantages of life. And the basic reason for all such opinions on the part of orientalists is the explicitness and the shocking nature of the bold formulations of these texts.