Rabi’a, the Sufi saint

Rabi’a al-Adawiyya (713-801) roamed the streets of Basra. In one hand she held a bucket of water and in the other a flaming torch.

The people wondered if she had lost her mind. “What are you doing?”

She replied, “I will extinguish the fires of hell with the water in this bucket, and I will burn the gardens of Paradise with the flame of this torch. So God will be worshiped for the love of God alone, not out of fear of damnation in hell or the desire to enter Paradise.

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