Rabia of Basra (713 – 801) was a Muslim saint and Sufi mystic. Very little is known about her, except that she lived in Basra during the second half of the 8th century A.D., was born into poverty, and later went into the desert to pray where she became an ascetic, living a life of semi-seclusion. Many stories of her life are recounted by Farid ud-Din Attar, a later Sufi saint and poet. She is widely considered to be the most important of the early renunciants, one mode of piety that would eventually become labeled as Sufism. Much of the poetry that is attributed to her is of unknown origin.
Quotes by Rabia of Basra…
I am fully qualified to work as a doorkeeper,
and for this reason:
What is inside me, I don’t let out:
What is outside me, I don’t let in.
If someone comes in, he goes right out again —
He has nothing to do with me at all.
I am a Doorkeeper of the Heart, not a lump of wet clay.
I was born when all I once feared, I could love.