On this posting, I propose to deal with a topic which has a vital bearing on life. People have been talking about it since the dawn of history. Some have extolled it, some have preached it, and some have practised it.
Is there anyone in the world, who has not loved in his life? If there be any, let him come forward. Somebody has loved his parents. Somebody has loved his children. Somebody has loved his wife. Somebody has loved his relatives and friend. But, how many of us, can validly claim to have loved God?
If we have love, leisure and light, what more do we want? In fact, we have got everything. The trio – love, Leisure and light, should be considered as a Divine gift, enough and adequate to make our life noble, sublime, chaste and serene.
Our life constitutes a book and love is, in fact the introduction to the book of life. Without the introduction,the book of life may not have been so interesting, stimulating and inspiring. Without the introduction, the book of life would have been prosaic,dull and uninteresting. It is the introduction which has made it what it is.
Let the fools shriek and shout, but the wise man is of a different mould. He neither shrieks nor shouts and neither murmurs nor moans, but, he acts in a befitting manner and studies the introduction to the book of life, calmly, placidly, quietly and dispassionately. He loves ardently and feverishly.
Love and enthusiasm are the two vital forces which can, undoubtedly, change destiny.
The Sufi Mystics have known the secret. Love to them is of great consequence. It is Open Sesame. Faith is another important factor, which can overcome insurmountable difficulties.
The mystics have given preference to different things. Some have openly said that there is no virtue superior to Love. There are others however who hold that faith is the mother of all virtues. Some favour patience, some justice, some piety and some contentment. One thing was common among them all. They did not like that which they considered as evil, and they loved that which they considered as good, true, beautiful and noble. Thus, by loving those things and focusing their attention on the aforesaid things, they themselves imbibed those very qualities.
A mystic sitting in his monastery, sometimes alone, and sometimes surrounded by his devoted disciples, offers a unique spectacle in an age of feverish hustle,where there is a race of armament, and where the clean edges of ideas and ideals and of noble aims and objects are often blurred and made blunt,so as to fit in with material gains.
It is a matter of great satisfaction that, in every age, there have been people, diffusing Sufi mystic culture and seeking nothing, asking for nothing and demanding nothing. They wished to be allowed to pursue Truth, adorn Knowledge and diffuse Love to all, regardless of popular applause or material reward. The thought of wordy reward played no part in prompting them to do what they had decided to do. The reward came unasked for.
The road bearing the signpost of Truth, Knowledge and Love led them, and still leads the seekers, to a higher realm of thought and action.
They saved them from circumstances and took them to ecstasy.
On the gambling table of the world, the Sufi mystics are willing and prepared to lose everything, but not their faith, their principle and their treasure of love.
Faith without love is incomplete. Thus, The Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon them) observes:
” You will not enter paradise until you have faith; and you will not complete your faith, till you love one another.”
The first commandment is enunciated thus by Lord Jesus Christ:
” And thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength.”
This is the first commandment.And as regards the second Commandment, he says:
” And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than this.”
This means and implies that to love is an obligation and not to love is a sin. Love is a positive as opposed to hatred, which is negative. Where there is love, there can be no hatred.
According to Lord Buddha:
” That which is mot needed is a loving heart”
” Hatred never cease by hatreds in this world. By Love alone they cease. This is an ancient Law”
Love is the means to attain perfection. Saint Paul says that:
” Love is the bond of perfection.”
To what extent an individual is bound with God, determines the proximity and the degree of perfection that he may have attained.
According to some, Grace is of more consequence, as it supports the bond with God. According to others, it is Love, which plays such a role.
St. John thus proclaims:
” Who remains in Love, dwells in God, and God in him”
To Plato, Aristotle and the stoics, love is a power, which unites, unifies and makes one.
The Idea of unity in love means and implies that love brings men nearer to one another. Those who love come closer to each other. Love implies some degree of similarity in thought and outlook. It begins to give a new orientation to life as a whole. Love removes and eliminates the narrow circle of egocentric self-consciousness. Soon, it so happens that the words ‘I’, and ‘Thou’ are moulded into ‘We’.
If there is any effectual, efficacious and essential means to union with God, it is love, and love alone.
Patristic, scholastic, speculative and mystical doctrines treat love in the same way.
There is another point in issue. There are two schools of thought. The one school of thought is that, which takes love as the means of salvation. The other school of thought goes to the extreme and holds that without love, the question of salvation does not rise
To call love as the life of the soul is not going too far. From this, it follows that the more perfect the love the better the life. How can life be perfect when love is not perfect? Perfection of life depends upon the perfection of love. The two are interdependent. To a Sufi Mystic, perfection of life is not possible without perfection of love.
To separate love from obedience is to misinterpret the very essence of love. Love, likewise, cannot be separated from self surrender, toleration and the elimination of self.
The Rule of Love is the fulfilment of God’s will
It is, then necessary that we should realize ourselves. Self-realization is better than self-immolation.
Love enables us to do away with all the sense of separateness by living continuously in the realization of the oneness.
To Maulana Jalal Ud-Din Rumi, an eminent Sufi Mystic poet, and a saint, who was a disciple of Shama Tabriz:
“Love is a physician for all our ills and maladies”
He calls love as:
” The medicine for all our pride and prejudice”
Maulana Jami, the famous Sufi Mystic poet, says thus:
“Thou hast become a slave of love,
renounce thy antecedents, O Jami,
for in this path, to be such a person or to be son of such a person, has no meaning.”
This is a series of postings to come on the subject of Sufi Mysticism. The postings will give in-depth knowledge in the complete world & ultimate sphere of Sufi spirituality. The postings are enlisted in Categories : “Sufi’s Spirituality” (Tasawwuf ) & in “Tasawwuf (Path of Mysticism).