Like other Sufis, Rumi saw the universe as a theophany of God's myriad names. Some of these revealed God's wrath or severity, while others expressed those qualities of mercy which were intrinsic to the divine nature. The mystic was engaged in a ceaseless struggle (jihad) to distinguish the compassion, love and beauty of God in all things and to strip away everything else. The Masnawi challenged the Muslim to find the transcendent dimension in human life and to see through appearances to the hidden reality within. It is the ego which blinds us to the inner mystery of all things, but once we have got beyond that we are not isolated, separate beings but one with the Ground of all existence. Again, Rumi emphasized that God could only be a subjective experience.

Karen Armstrong, A History of God