..By ecstatic utterances we mean two types of speech evolved by some of the Sufis. The first comprises long pretentious claims of excessive love (‘ishq) of Allah and of union (wisal) which renders outward deeds superfluous until some have asserted oneness (ittihad) with Allah, the removal of the veil (hijab), seeing (mushahadah) Him with the eye (ru ‘yah), and mouth to mouth conversation. They thus say that they were told such and such and that they have said such and such and imitate thereby al-Husayn ibn-Mansur al-Hallaj (The great mystic theologian: he was gibbeted on Dhu-al-Qa’dah 24,3091 March 26, 922, and finally was decapitated and burnt. See ibn-Khallikan, Vol. l, pp. 261-3.) who was gibbeted for letting slip from his lips certain words of this type, and cite as an example his saying, “I AM THE TRUTH” (Ana’l-Haqq).
Similarly, it has been related that abu-Yazid al-Bastami once said, “Praise be to me! Praise be to me!” This is, in truth, a type of speech which, to the common folk, is of great harm, so much so that several farmers have relinquished their farms and proclaimed similar claims. Such speech, moreover, is attractive to human nature for it offers relief from work as well as self-justification through the attainment of certain stations (maqamat) and the experience of certain states (ahwal). Consequently, the ignorant do not fail to claim these things for themselves nor to swallow up such confused and embellished words. And no matter how much their claims are disapproved they do not hesitate to say that such disapproval has been the outcome of knowledge and disputation, the one is a veil and the other is the work of the self, while their words are not understood except from within through revelation by the light of the Truth. These and similar other words have spread like fire in the land and their harm to the common folk has become great. To destroy the person who comes out with such words is, according to the religion of Allah, better than sparing ten lives.
As to abu-Yazid al-Bistami what has been ascribed to him of such words cannot be true. Even if he were heard saying them, most probably he must have been repeating to himself words about Allah; for example he might have been heard quoting the words of Allah, “Verily, I am Allah: there is no Allah but Me: therefore worship Me.” These words should not have been taken in any other way besides that of a quotation..