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Saturday, April 19, 2003  

Thanks for your question Brother Abdul Kareem! I hope this post would help us better understand the difference between love and love for God's sake, insya'Allah. Below are some of the Hadith of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, concerning Love, and its commentary by Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi, taken from his Riyad as-Saliheen: Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "There are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of Iman: To love Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) more than anyone else; to love a slave (of Allah) only for (the sake of) Allah; and to abhor returning to infidelity after Allah has saved him from it as he would abhor to be thrown into the fire (of Hell)". [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Commentary: 1. In this Hadith, the love of Allah signifies the sweetness of Iman. 2. The love of Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) is the cornerstone of the Faith. When it is said that this love should exceed one's love for everything else in the universe, it means that what is enjoined by Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) must be given preference over everything else, whether it is love for the wife, children, worldly interests, desires or whims. When there is a clash between the two, the former should be given preference over the latter. Mu`adh (bin Jabal) (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Allah, the Exalted, has said: `For those who love one another for the sake of My Glory, there will be seats of light (on the Day of Resurrection), and they will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs". [At-Tirmidhi]. Commentary: This Hadith tells us that Allah will grant an exalted position to such people who love one another for His sake. "They will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs'' does not mean that they will be granted a place higher than even the Prophets because the highest position will be granted to the Prophets, as these are the best of Allah's creation. These words simply draw our attention to the superiority and the exalted position those who love one another for Allah's sake will have on the Day of Resurrection. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah, the Exalted, will say: `Where are those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory? Today I shall shelter them in My Shade when there will be no shade except Mine". [Muslim]. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man was with the Prophet (PBUH) when another man passed by and the former said: "O Messenger of Allah! I love this man (for Allah's sake)". Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked, "Have you informed him?'' He said, "No". Messenger of Allah (PBUH) then said, "Tell him (that you love him)". So he went up to the man and said to him, "I love you for the sake of Allah;'' and the other replied, "May Allah, for Whose sake you love me, love you.'' [Abu Dawud]. Below are excerpts taken from Chapters 2 and 3 from the book, The Unveiling of Love by Syaikh Muzaffer Ozak, concerning True Affection and the Love of God. True Affection (an excerpt) What is absolutely certain is the truth that spiritual love is incomparably higher in degree than material love. Nevertheless there is a way from material love to spiritual love, from material affection to spiritual affection. Those unable to find this radiant way are left behind in mere matter; they cannot take the road and cannot reach the desired goal. We have tried to take the opportunity of explaining this above. When the qualities and attributes that cause and occasion material affection cease to exist, the affection itself disappears. But spiritual affection is everlasting and enduring. Look carefully at human history and take a lesson from it. You will see how in most cases material affection has passed away, sometimes forgotten and gathering dust in the faded pages of history books or else, at best, forming the subject matter of novels and stories. On the other hand, how many lovers and friends of Moses, Jesus, and the beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW, peace be upon them, ready and willing to sacrifice their all for them, are still found in the world today and will be found there till the end of time. In our own day, which many call the age of materialism, there are millions whose love of God, Exalted is He, His Messengers, and God's noble loved ones make them weep night and day with tears of reverent affection. Yet could you find anyone today weeping for Anthony and Cleopatra? At all events, love and affection, whether material or spiritual, are sacred. We have tried to explain above that spiritual affection is greatly superior to the material kind. For there is an important difference between them. Material affection can often have an ulterior motive. But spiritual affection is for God's sake, which is why this kind of affection is called love for God's sake. Those whose affection is for God, Exalted is He, must be ready and prepared for every kind of misfortune. In reality, what appears as a misfortune is a very great blessing. The friends of God, Exalted is He, will grieve and lament at those times when no misfortune has befallen them. Misfortune for them is pure joy. It should not be forgotten that the severest afflictions have been reserved for the Prophets, the saints who are the heirs of those Prophets, and those of similar rank in the presence of God. If someone claims to love God, Exalted is He, yet in the face of any misfortune complains of his Lord to other servants and bemoans that misfortune, he lies in making such a claim. Have you not read, have you not heard? The Prophet Job, on him be peace, for all the misfortunes that befell him, his property, and his children, made no complaint and never bemoaned his lot. As a reward for this, God, the Lord of Majesty and Perfection, graciously conferred upon him the rank of Penitent Servant. Besides enduring so many misfortunes for so long, he would seek refuge from God's Majesty with His Beauty. That is, he would shelter from God with God, drawing Divine Mercy upon himself with the prayer: "O Lord! A misfortune has befallen me. You are the Most Merciful of the merciful." Love of God (an excerpt) There are two categories of Lovers: (1) the lover suffering from metaphorical love and (2) the lover smitten with Real Love. One afflicted with Real Love is called a Lover in God. These are the lovers of Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He. This group consists of the angels, the Messengers of Almighty God, and the saints who are their heirs. The righteous of the community are also candidates for this group. Metaphorical love is where the man has an extreme affection for a woman and loses himself in his beloved. However, metaphorical love leads to Real Love. While calling "Layla, Layla!" Majnun was united with his Lord. As we have tried to explain just above, we should pity anyone stuck with Layla and not finding his Lord. For it means that his Layla veils his Lord and in a sense becomes his misfortune. The real name of the legendary Majnun was Qays. He was given the name -- or rather, the nickname -- Majnun because of his love and affection for Layla. Such was his love for Layla that on arriving in his beloved's village he would kiss the eyes and feet of the village dogs, saying to those who tried to deter him from this behavior: "Leave me alone! These eyes have seen Layla. These feet have trodden where Layla walked. Eyes that have seen her and feet that have trodden in her footsteps are sacred to me and worthy of being kissed." To those who said: "Layla is a swarthy, skinny, very ugly girl! Let us find you a prettier one, a gazelle-eyed, willowy Layla," he gave this reply: "If you saw my Layla through my eyes, you would not be making that kind of proposal." Majnun means "crazy." Qay's nickname was Majnun, or the madman of his Layla. But it was quite correct, in fact, for a genuine lover to love his beloved in this way. For the passion of love manifests itself in accordance with each person's makeup and constitution. In those who are human in form, but merely animal in character, love assumes the appearance of lust. Those impassioned with such bestial instincts will abandon the loved one as soon as they have achieved their desire; for the desired object has been attained, and lustful passions stilled. This is not love, but lust and greed, and appetite. The likes of these can often kill without a qualm the very ones whose lovers they were supposed to be. The many homicide cases that appear in the headlines as crimes of passion bear witness to the common occurrence in all parts of the world of addicts to lust masquerading as love. Love within the institution of the family, between husband and wife, is not the product and result of sensual desires. It is something divine and holy, far transcending animal instincts. Consequently, we must never confuse the sacred love within the family institution with the false and ephemeral liaisons we have described above as prompted by the urging of animal instincts. And Allah knows best!



posted by SuFiSTiC | 4/19/2003 07:16:00 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."
(Bukhari)
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
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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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