The interpretation of a sacred text is true
if it stirs you to hope, activity, and awe;
and if it makes you slacken your service,
know the real truth to be this:
it's a distortion of the sense of the saying,
not a true interpretation.
This saying has come down
to inspire you to serve—
that God may take the hands
of those who have lost hope.
Ask the meaning of the Qur'an from the Qur'an alone,
and from the one who has set fire
to his idle fancy and burned it away,
and has become a sacrifice to the Qur'an,
bowing low in humbleness,
so that the Qur'an has become the essence of his spirit.
If an essential oil that has utterly devoted itself to the rose,
you can smell either than oil or the rose, as you please.
(trans Kabir Helminsky and Camille Helminsky)
Source: The Rumi Collection