Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
It is related that two religious fundamentalists once came to visit our late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (may Allah bless his exalted soul and raise his rank to those of His nearest beloveds.) They had bristly whiskers and Master invited them to stay for lunch. One of them sought to provoke the Master by asking how he could become a Sufi
Dr. Nurbakhsh said, “Cut off your beard.”
“But,” protested the man, “what about him?” pointing to Mr. Niktab, the Sheikh of Sheikhs, who had a long white beard.
“Ah!” The Master said, “But his is not a beard of religion. His is a beard of love.”
Grow a beard made of love, O darvish
and claim the name of lover,
or do not pretend to the circle of the Friend.
Note: With gratitude and special thanks to Terry Graham for the original telling of this true story on the Nimatullahi Sufi Order website.