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Saturday, March 19, 2005  

True Affection As for the affection desired by God, Exalted is He, it is the affection that never ceases for any cause or reason and that sustains itself without consideration of reward and benefit. This affection is called hubb fi-Allah, love for the sake of God. One who loves for God's sake goes on loving even when beauty turns to ugliness, youth turns to age, health changes to sickness, and life is transformed into death. For this love is love for the sake of God. The beloved who is loved for God's sake is always loved. He is a sovereign of affection enthroned in the heart. This kind of love and affection is a trust from God, Exalted is He, to His servants. He loves His servant and causes him to love; He makes His servant feel affection. While He Himself loves His servant, however, He hides and conceals His love for that servant from His other servants, and does not always make those other servants love the servant He loves. He may sometimes make His beloved loved and respected. But he may sometimes have His servants beaten. When the servant who is being beaten exclaims "Allah! Allah!," He says: "My servant is remembering Me and seeking refuge with Me." Among His special servants, indeed, did He not have Zakariah, on him be peace, cut up with a saw? Did He not have John, on him be peace, cut to bits? Did He not have Noah, peace be upon him, scourged? Did He not have Abraham, on him be peace, cast into the fire? Did He not have Joseph, on him be peace, thrown into the well, and have him sold as a slave in the market? Did He not make them indeed to crucify Jesus, on him be peace? Did He not subject Mary, on her be peace, to slander and calumny? Did He not have Moses, on him be peace, seperated from his mother and thrown into the river Nile? Did He not have them smash the tooth of the blessed Prophet Muhammad? Did He not make a thirsting martyr of Imam Hussein, along with his seventy-two friends? Did He not make martyrs of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq by poison, 'Umar al-Faruq and 'Uthman by the dagger, and 'Ali the Impetuous Lion by a poisoned sword, after a hundred thousand afflictions? Did He not take unto Himself and grant union to Imam Hasan through poison, and many other lovers and friends by the chain, cutting off the pure and innocent heads of some, putting some to fire and some to drowning? Indeed, it is sometimes thus that affection appears and manifests itself. Show Beauty's candle, let the moths burn therein, Happy the lover's fate, for sure, in such a flame to burn. The mosque and school to pious hypocrites we leave, For worshipping the Truth, ruins are all we need. The sweetheart, velvet-eyed gazelle, has raided my self esteem; Make tight the chain of love, let not the crazy flee. The Wine I'll not forswear, from a rival's hand let me not sup; Offer me with Thy mighty hand cup upon overflowing cup. Through all the torture and the pain, Shemsi forsakes Thee not; That he should tire of loving Thee - such thoughts must be forgot. Affection toward God, Exalted is He, is possible for the servant through obedience to the object of his love, through wanting nothing more than to be His slave, and lovingly carrying out His commands and performing the duties of His service. In other words, it is possible by letting oneself fall like a drop into the ocean. It means knowing you are from God, recognizing that you are with God, that you will be with Him eternally, never forgetting that you are His servant, grateful in word and deed for all the material and spiritual blessings that He has graciously conferred upon you, and aware of your impotence and nothingness. 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 dissapears. 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, 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 makes 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 scacred. We have tried to explain above that spiritual affection is greatly superior to the material kind. For this 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, 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 bemoan 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 the Devine Mercy upon himself with the prayer: "O Lord! A misfortune has befallen me.You are the Most Merciful of the merciful." One who is sincere in his love for his beloved will be obedient to his loved one. The mark of the sincerely affectionate is not to offend his loved one. The sign of affection is not to complain of the loved one to anybody, to put up with the loved one's whims, and lovingly to carry out the request of the beloved. This is indeed what the Prophet Job, on him be peace, did. He complain of his Lord to no one. Seeking refuge with his Lord's Beauty from His Majesty, he sheltered from his Lord with his Lord. What other door is there to shelter in? To shelter with God from God is not to Complain of God, Exalted is He. It is rather to demonstrate and prove to men the true place of refuge. The sincerely affectionate one who claims to love God will never disobey Him and will recoil from offending Him. The lover lovingly obeys his loved one. The true sign of the sincerely affection is his following his beloved, obeying his loved one, and carefully avoiding things unwanted and disliked by his loved one. Those who fulfill these conditions have displayed, proclaimed, and proved their affection. This is genuine affection. Anyone who cannot tolerate his loved one's whims, cannot bear the love one's cruelties, and shows laziness and slackness in the service of the beloved, can definitely and absolutely never be a sincerely affectionate lover. The venerable Shibli, may his soul be sanctified, was once overtaken by a mystical state and was locked up in a lunatic asylum. Imagining that they loved him, many people went to the asylum to visit him. "Who are you?" asked Shibli. "We are some of those who love you," they replied. Shibli began gathering stones from the ground and throwing them at his visitors, whereupon they started to scatter, saying "Alas! The venerable Sheikh has really gone mad." But he called out to them: "Did I hear you saying that you loved me? You could not even bear my throwing a stone at you, and you began to run away. What became of that sincere love that you had for me? If you had really loved me, you would have put up with this little quirk of mine and would have endured patiently any troubles I might cause you." So saying, he has thought us a great lesson in affection and enlightened us all on the subject of true affection. Those expert in affection drink the wine of love from the goblet of affection; for them this world, which is really very wide, becomes a narrow place. They love God, Exalted is He, with complete and perfect affection, they really dread and recoil from His majesty and grandeur, they are dazed and amazed by His creative power. They consider His orders a great favor to themselves and a crown of success on their heads. Those who drink the wine of love from His mighty hand and from the cup of affection make merry with Him in the sea of intimate friendship. Through their prayers and supplications, they enjoy His company. This is such contentment, pleasure, and delight that for them night and day, black and white, the world and all therein, rank and title, status and dignity, cease to exist and they are annihilated in God. As for those who are annihilated in God, it is an absolute certainty that they will exist forever. - Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak, The Unveiling of Love

posted by SuFiSTiC | 3/19/2005 05:29:00 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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