Sûfîs differ as to whether they should follow or renounce wordly pursuits. Complete renunciation is only permitted at a very high stage, i. e. that of absolute unity and perfect trust in God.

Working for a livelihood began with Adam. He cultivated lands and taught cultivation to his children. The Prophet Shoaib was a merchant and possessed cattle. Moses served as His shep­herd. If work interfered with the principle of trust in God, the Prophets would not have worked for a livelihood. Mohammad warned his friends against the abuse of the principle of trust, and ever kept in store a year’s provision for his children. Work is a duty for him who has to support another; but he should work so as not to be cut off from God.

Each should look to his circumstances and inner attitude, in order to decide whether he should resort to work or cease from work. If ceasing separates him from God, work should be resorted to; if ceasing leads him to God, work should be left aside.

Work is as lawful as prayer and fast. The more you pray, the more you fast, the better; but to look for your salvation therefrom is dualism. You should adore for the glorification of God and the strengthening of your love, but you should rely on His Grace for your salvation. Similarly, work is better than renunciation; but it is not the work, but rather the Divine Grace, which is to be looked up to as Providence.

A Dervesh should avoid begging as far as pos­sible, as it is dangerous in many respects. He, however, may beg (a) to gratify his hunger . . . . (b) to pull down his personality, . . . . (c) knowing the world as the Divine steward. It is more in keeping with the ceremonious glorification of the Lord to ask of His steward than of Himself.— Letter 69.