Here some words from the masters of the malamatiya themselves.
Abu Yazid (al-Bistami) said: Whoever does not regard their attestation of the truth (shahidihi) as pure compulsion (idtirar), their spiritual moments as pure deception (ightirar), their interior states as a pitfall of which they are heedless (istidraj), their speech as pure falsehood (iftira’), and their devotions as pure self-satisfaction (ijtiza’) such a person has missed the mark.
Hamdun al-Qassar said: They are a folk that outwardly have no signs that distinguish them from people, nor do they inwardly make claims with God- May He be exalted. That which lies between them and God in their inner most soul (sirr) is percieved neither by their inner hearts (af’ida) nor their outer hearts (qulub).
He also said to a companion: It is better for you to be known as Abdullah al-Hajjam (Abdullah the cupper/bath attendent) than as Abdullah al-Arif (the gnostic) or Abdullah az-Zahid (the ascetic).
Abu Abd ar-Rahman Sulami said:The malamtis are those over whose secrets (asrar) God keeps watch, drawing over their innermost consciousness the curtain of formal appearances; so that outwardly they perform all activities peformed by their fellows, keeping company with them in the marketplaces and earning a means of livelihood while in their true essence and (spiritual) conduct they associate with God alone.