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Friday, April 18, 2003  

Love and Self-interest If one loves someone because it gives pleasure, one should not be regarded as loving that person at all. The love is, in reality, though this is not perceived, directed towards the pleasure. The source of the pleasure is the secondary object of attention, and it is perceived only because the perception of the pleasure is not well enough developed for the real feeling to be identified and described. -Hujjatul Islam Imam al-Ghazali The Idiot Self If you cannot find in a man an appropriate example of dedication, study the lives of the Sufis. Man should also say to himself: 'O my soul! You think yourself clever and are upset at being called idiotic. But what else are you in reality? You make clothes for winter, but no provision for another life. You are like a man in winter who says: " I shall not wear warm clothes, but place trust in God's kindness to protect me form the cold." He does not realize that, in addition to creating cold, God placed before man the means to protect himself from it.' -Hujjatul Islam Imam al-Ghazali Affection I was a hidden treasure. Then I wanted to make Myself known, so I created creation Hadith Qudsi Affection is the basis for the creation of the entire universe, all beings and creatures. Everything has affection as its base and foundation. Affection is the marrow and essence of all worlds, visible or invisible, known or unknown. Affection is the secret of creation. The truth is brought out and established quite plainly in the Sacred Tradition cited above. It is with affection, therefore that I humbly wish to begin. Affection means love and mutual loving in Turkish, it is called muhabbet, derived from the Arabic root hubb. The word comes to mean the soul's inclination toward something, material or spiritual, in which it takes pleasure and delight; its various manifestations fall into three main sections: 1. A person is so fond of what he loves, and has such an affection for it, that his need for the object of his love comes to be as natural and necessary to him as air, water and food. He cannot do without it, cannot live without it. Just as a human being cannot survive without breathing air, drinking water, and eating food, that individual cannot live without seeing the object of his affection, being together with it, and smelling its perfume. His life depends upon the object of his affection, and to its affection he owes continuing survival. In reality, it is for oneself that one has affection, it is oneself that one loves. Thus, it is because one sees one's own attributes and characteristics in the person for whom one has affection that one comes to love and have affection for that person. From one point of view, this affection is essentially an affection for one's own attributes and characteristics. For instance, two people seize every opportunity to meet and get acquainted. They like the look of each other, so they become friends. As their temperaments and characters are dissimilar, however, they split up after a little while, feel an aversion for each other, and may even turn into enemies. This is because their outward appereances do not correspond to what they are like inside, and their dispositions and attitudes are incompatible. 2. A person seeks and asks after the one he is fond of only when he needs something. If he does not need anything, in particular, he leaves meetings entirely to chance. This kind of affection can only be compared to the way you look for a washroom when you need to relieve yourself; having attended to the physiological necessity, you go on your way and do not look for the place again until another such need arises. Affection like this is obviously unacceptable in reason and logic. For it is not so much affection as interest that is the chief factor here, the object being to satisfy need and obtain benefit under the guise of affection. This cannot, therefore, be called affection for a friend; it can perhaps be explained as affection for the sake of personal profit and advantage. It often happens this way in our practical everyday life. Somebody who hopes to get a job done, or a need attended to, approaches another with a show of friendship. If the person approached is disposed to kindness, though laughing up his sleeve at this display of artificial friendship, he will do what the sham friend wants him to do and see him off. The pretender, not realizing his own foolishness, supposes the person who just did his job for him to be a fool in spite of the kindness shown to him, he thinks that he has cheated the other, whereas he really deceives himself. If the person approached is not a kindly disposed individual, he does not want to let himself be exploited, so he will make up some lie to refuse the false friend's request. Or else he may promise to do what he can, laughing under his breath at making it sound credible, and then fail to keep his word. 3. As for the third and final type of affection, it is to avoid the lover as if fleeing from an infectious and contagious disease. When the lover wishes to approach the object of his liking, the loved one runs from him as if escaping and infectious and contagious disease and tries to get as far away from him as possible. Whether openly or in secret, these three types of affection involve worldly benefits, beauty, rank and status, youth, health, life, and wealth. Although affection may appear to be for a friend, it is really affection for the benefits obtained. Let us take for example the first type of material affection: An affection of this apparently ideal kind is the culmination and perfection of material affection. As we have said, it is no more possible for one who loves with this kind of affection to live without the object of his love than it is for him to live without air, water, and food. As for the one loved with this sort of affection, it is that person's beauty, youth, or life that attracts the love and affection. For in affection of this kind there is no question of worldly advantage, rank and status, or wealth. These are peculiarly confined to the second type of affection. Very well, then, but now I ask: Will you be able to love that person, whom you cannot do without and cannot live without, with the same affection when he or she has aged and grown physically ugly? Youth, beauty, even life itself, are things that no one can keep forever. Will you be able to feel the same affection when the one you love in health and good spirits has fallen ill? When your dear one has died, will you be able to go on loving as in life? There is only one answer that can be given to these questions: No! In other words, material love and affection are based only on particular advantages; when the advantage disappears, the love and affection also vanish. And so? And so the essential thing is to discover true affection. -Syaikh Muzaffer Ozak, The Unveiling of Love You can get this book at Wardah Books

posted by SuFiSTiC | 4/18/2003 07:11:00 AM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
Md Mubaraq
Md Firdaus

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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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