As Rumi once explained, intelligence comes in two forms. There is the secondhand intelligence of a child’s memorizing facts delivered through books and teachers—the sort of intelligence that will get you a job as a civil engineer or help you distinguish between the Five Pillars of Islam and the seven sacraments of Roman Catholicism. Wordsworth called this “our meddling intellect.” But there is another kind of intelligence, a “second knowing,” which springs from direct, personal experience of God—“a fountainhead / from within you, moving out.” This kind of knowing lies beyond the limits of everyday language and ordinary thought. So Sufis attempt to express it in other ways—in music and dance and in the elliptical language of mystical poetry, whose very words urge the reader to look beyond them to The Beyond.
Stephen Prothero, God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World.