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    “O Allah! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,
    and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.
    But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”

    -Rabia al Adawiya

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    “I want to put out the fires of Hell, and burn down the rewards of Paradise. They block the way to Allah. I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of Allah.”

    Rabi’a al Adawiya

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    Hakuin, , Hell, ,   

    The Gates of Paradise 

    A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”

    “Who are you?” inquired Hakuin. “I am a Samurai,” the warrior replied.

    “You, a soldier!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar.” Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head.”

    As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!” At these words the Samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.

    “Here open the gates of paradise,” said Hakuin.

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