According to Nahid Angha, co-founder of the International Association of Sufism, this spiritual path is based on knowledge of the inner self and total surrender to God. In this volume, she delineates twelve principles in this school of spiritual knowledge. They were passed on to her through the instruction of her father, Moulana Shah Maghsoud.
To arrive at the gateway of life, the Sufi cuts the strings of attachments and battles the forces of selfishness, greed, and jealousy within herself. This is the practice of abandonment. One of the chief treasures of Sufism is the constant emphasis upon correcting one's shortcomings and practicing praiseworthy qualities such as politeness, hospitality, and humility. Angha notes near the end of the chapter on abandonment: "Sufis say that the illumination of heart should remain the goal of a human being, and such illumination is accessible but hidden behind the veils of nature."
We were especially taken with the author's treatment of another Sufi principle patience. She begins with a quotation by Nirvan: "True lovers ponder not the bright array of others; they are measured with the scales of patience." A benefit of this faculty is "contentment with the destiny of Being." Patience enables the individual to do the inner work necessary to avoid base manners, to promote good manners, and to pave the way for future generations so they might reap the benefits of peace and well-being.
Other Sufi principles covered by Angha are repentance, virtue and abstinence, truthfulness, purity, love, remembrance, loyalty, isolation, and poverty. The author leaves us with the following quotation from Ba Yazid Bastami as a definition of the spiritual principle of annihilation: "O Dear Lord, how much longer must there be an 'I' and a 'You' between us? Take away this ego from me, so that there remains nothing of me, but all of You."