The year was 801 CE. The woman who had been born a Fourth in 717 was now whole. The weak was strong. The lost was restored. The slave was free. The unloved was loved. Singlehandedly, through the introduction of Love, she had transformed what was merely asceticism into the power of Sufism. The Way had been laid out. It was time for her to go, be united with her Beloved.
And so she did.
Margaret Smith, Rabi’a the Mystic and her Fellow-Saints in Islam (Cambridge, 1928)
Farid al-Din Attar, Muslim Saints and Mystics: Episodes from the Tadhkirat al Auliya, trans. A J Arberry (London, 1966)
Priya Hemenway, The Little Book of Eastern Wisdom (New York, 2003)