Fatema (Sister of Abu Ali Roodbaari)
Fatema the sister of Abu Ali Roodbaari died at 322 (HQ) or 800 (CE) one of the most renowned women of Sufism. She was known for her Zohd (Asceticism). She was the mother of Ahmad Bin Ataa Roodbaari.
Abu Ali Roodbari said one day I spoke about being Spartan (Undaunted, Resolute, Hardy…) and then went to my sister and she made me aware of the following description:
“It has been secretly conveyed to me to steer you towards the nearness of the Lord. Spartan (Javan-Mard or Fotowa) person is merciful & loving with people, endures their faults & harm all the while promoting their superiority at the expense of his own shortcomings.”
Bravo! I said at this definition of Spartan.

Note: Javan-Mard is a Farsi word often used to describe a brave Sufi. The Arabic equivalent word is Fotowa (Noble & Chivalrous). In both languages it means young man but a brave & chivalrous one.
Today being bravely spartan undaunted at the face of calamities with a touch of the chivalry is completely lost from Sufism—and it has been so—since the advent of Mogul invasion of Iran. The tired old man with saddened eyes and long loose robe is the symbol of Sufi men. In reality this atrabilious image is the image of the Persian survivors of Mogul massacres not the original Sufis. I must say that Iranian culture even up to this day has been marred by the depression of that invasion.
However all this being said, one has to realize that Sufis prior to the invasion were chivalrous and spartan. These men were anything but bent old men with weeping eyes.
Our luminary Sister Fatema, may Allah sanctify her Serr (Divine Observatory), gave a no nonsense and actionable knowledge with regards to being Spartan in Sufism.
Today bearded Muslim youth dream of wearing explosives and throwing themselves under the tanks to stop the infidels. This dream means nothing and its action may only be aimless & misguided bloodshed, if the man sees not his Self inferior to his fellowman of any race, creed or religion and if—for briefest of all moments—Ostentatiousness engulfs his mind or cravings of physical/spiritual superiority his heart lusts after, a veil shall be between him and the Beloved Allah of this Din (religion) and all is evil & all is lost.
Read carefully what the Sheikeh Fatema told her brother “steer you towards the nearness to the Lord” not steer him towards senseless bravery of suicide and murder no matter what the justifications.
Hearken unto Fatema Yaa Muslim! If you can not tame the stallions of your self-worship and self-sycophancy, drop all weapons & claims and focus upon your most precious & vast possession the orchards of your heart until such time serving people sincerely and all are superior to you thus your needs amount to nil. Lo! The gardener of this orchard is none other than the brave & spartan, who is resolute in serving and protecting the people.

© 2004-2002,  Dara O. Shayda