Sufism can be seen to have functioned as a positive and healthy reaction to the overly rational activity of the philosophers and theologians. For the Sufis, the road to spiritual knowledge could never be confined to the process of purely intellectual activity, without the direct, immediate experience of the Heart. In this book we are concerned with one art that the Sufis made peculiarly their own: poetry. Why should Sufis in general, and Persian Sufis in particular, choose to write poetry? When they wanted to 'be themselves', lovers of the Truth, they needed a language more intense, closer to the centre of human awareness than prose. Truth is beautiful, so when one speaks of it, one speaks beautifully. As the lover sings to his beloved, so did the Sufis to theirs. Love itself creates a taste for this language, so that even the prose writers of Sufism scatter verse throughout their works and create poetic prose. The overwhelming theme of this poetry is the Love relationship between the individual, the lover, and his Beloved, God.