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I was recently initiated into a Sufi organization. Sometime later, after being diagnosed with walking pneumonia, I voiced my dissatisfaction to a fellow mureed about my failure to quit smoking. Because smoking is an issue which slows spiritual progress he advised me to ask our Shaykh for help. The next time I met with the Shaykh I asked if he could help me with my smoking addiction. He kindly nodded his head. Within seconds I felt my lungs clear, and I could breathe freely again. I have not craved a cigarette since.

On another occasion, while writing a letter at home one night, I felt a distinct tingling in my "heart center." I wrote off the sensation as a byproduct of my new found energy since being initiated. The next day a senior mureed phoned and expressed his regret that I did not receive a message to attend an unscheduled zikr at the Mosque the night before. I knew immediately the message he was referring to was the tingling I had felt in my "heart center." I was stunned. From then on I have driven straight to the Mosque whenever I have felt that tingling, and always I arrive just in time for an unscheduled zikr or meeting.

I cite these "miracles" to communicate a brief point. Since I have been initiated, a thought has taken root in my Being — where there is not belief there is doubt, where there is not doubt there is apathy. Doubt leaves an opening for belief, however slight. When we doubt we are waiting to be convinced. Without belief, without doubt, we are truly lost.