Divine love – The Purest of all Emotions
Divine love is the purpose of creation. The Urdu word for love is‘ (محبت)which is derived from word‘ ’حبُ‘. The meaning of which is a clay pit that is used to store a large amount of water. For which the water acts as a barrier preventing the eye to see the bottom of pit. Love is that pure emotion that is between the lover (man) and the Beloved (Allah). The only worthy beloved is Allah Almighty and the lover is Divine seeker. Often people indulge themselves in the love of mortal things other than Allah. As He says in Quran:
یُحِبُّوْنَھُمْ کَحُبِّ اللّٰہِ (سورۃ البقرہ۔ 165)
Meaning: But those who believe love Allah the most (far more intensely than anyone else). (al-Baqarah, 2 : 165)
The one who loves the world, it lures and engrosses him in its false attractions. He then gets engulfed in this vicious circle such that he never finds a way out of it. On the other hand, the one who adopts love of Allah, never looks towards the world.
Shaikh Abu Bakr al-Shibli says:
Love is called ‘love’ because it erases everything from the inward of the lover other than the love of his or her beloved. The inward that is void of love is worthless. It is also worth noting that no one can induce love for something within oneself or renounce it on his own. Divine love is purely a blessing of Allah and He blesses whoever He wills.
Divine Love – Precious than Anything
Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo says:
Divine love equal to a single grain of poppy seed is better than the knowledge of jurisprudence, devotion of seventy years and piety. This is because Divine love opens the way to Divine secrets. Whereas knowledge makes one arrogant and proud which takes one away from Divine love and His blessings. (Ain ul-Faqr)
The depth and vastness of oceans is like mirage in comparison to Divine love. As it is what provides energy to man’s soul. The one who loves Allah, stays away from all kinds of sins and wrongdoings. He always remains under Divine benevolence and blessings. Divine love is in fact Allah’s blessing upon someone and is a sign that Allah loves that person. As Divine love intensifies in one’s inward, it makes it easy for him to follow Allah’s commands.
Shaikh Bayazid Bastami says:
“Love is that the lover makes huge sacrifices for his beloved but considers that he has done nothing to please his beloved. On the other hand, if the beloved does a little kindness, the lover considers it very much.
When Hussain ibn Mansoor Hallaj was hanged to death, his last words were:
“The Divine love of man of unveiling is that he stays steadfast on the Oneness of Allah, even if that means he sacrifices his own life (the lover has to embrace the death irrespective of how he dies)” (Kash ul-Mahjoob)
The Divine lover gradually annihilates himself completely in the ocean of his beloved (Allah). Sultan Bahoo (ra) says:
غرق بہ دریائے محبت را چہ آرائی خطاب
چوں حباب از خود تہی شد گشت آب
Explanation: What can someone call the Divine lover who perishes his being in the ocean of Divine love. Because when the bubble bursts it turns into water. (Kaleed ul-Tawheed Kalan)
Love of Allah Erases Every Other Love and Desire
Abu Qasim al-Qushayri says:
“Love is that the lover completely annihilates himself and becomes mortal with the Beloved.”
This means the lover, completely negates his own being and only believes in the being and attributes of the Beloved – in Divine love, the seeker negates his being and only Allah remains. Mortality with the Beloved can only be gained by annihilating one’s own attributes. If the lover doesn’t let go his own attributes, then that would mean his love is immature. A true lover regards the Divine Beauty of his Beloved as the purpose of his life. And therefore, negates his own being because until he claims his own attributes, he remains in veil from his Beloved.” (Kash ul-Mahjoob)
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) quotes his conversation with Allah as below. Allah said to him:
“O Ghaus al-Azam! Love is a veil between the lover and the Beloved. Thus, when the lover annihilates in love of his beloved (i.e. completely gives up all his wills and desires for the sake of the Beloved) he achieves union with the Beloved (Allah).”
This means until and unless the lover and beloved don’t become one, there remains duality which is a veil. Sultan Bahoo says:
باجھ وصال اللہ دے باھوؒ، سب کہانیاں قصّے ھوُ
Explanation: Without Divine union, every other station and achievement is worthless.
دوئی مذہبِ عشاق معنوی کفر است
خدا یکے و پیغمبر یکے و پیر یک
Explanation: For true Divine lovers, duality (being separated from Beloved) is infidelity. Allah, His Prophet (pbuh) and the perfect Fakir, they are all One entity. (Sirr e Dilbaran)
Divine Love and Duality
Sultan Bahoo says:
O’ Dear! When the Divine Beloved occupies the heart of the lover with His mesmerising Beauty and splendid Attributes, the existence of the lover annihilates completely. Then, the Beloved blesses him with His own eternal and immortal Existence and adorns him with His personal Attributes so that he becomes capable for the ultimate union of the Divine Beloved. Then there remains no duality among the Beloved and the lover and they become the same. Here the words “You” and “Me” do not remain applicable on him as there remains only One Entity in his being. (Sultan ul Waham)
Bulleh Shah says:
رانجھا رانجھا کردی نی میں آپے رانجھا ہوئی
آکھونی مینوں دھیدو رانجھا ہیر نہ آکھے کوئی
Explanation: I am so much engrossed in the love of my beloved ‘Ranjha’ (refers to Allah here) that I have lost my being. Now only address me as ‘Ranjha’ and not my name ‘Heer’.
The emotion of love overcomes all other emotions in a Divine lover. And he always remains restless for Divine union. How can he feel at ease without seeing the Divine beauty? The emotions to behold the beauty of the beloved (Allah) creates a storm within him. Sultan Bahoo (ra) explains this feeling in his poetry as below:
محبت است کی دل را نمیدہد آرام
وگرنہ کیست کہ آسودگی نمی خواہد
Explanation: It is (Divine) love that makes one restless. Otherwise who doesn’t want a peaceful life? (Noor ul Huda Kalan)
Therefore, when the lover attains union with the beloved (Allah) he becomes a reflection of Divine Essence. Then, there remains no veil. Until and unless duality vanishes between the lover and beloved, love remains immature. That’s why Allah said to Ghaus al-Azam that emotion of love between lover and beloved is a veil.
Man has affection with many things in life. When love of something becomes so intense that it overpowers all other loves, then that’s called ‘Ishq’ or Divine love. Allah has declared this an attribute of believers:
وَ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْٓا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰہ (سورۃ البقرہ ۔165)
Meaning: But those who believe love Allah the most (far more intensely than anyone else). (al-Baqarah: 165)
It is ardent Divine love that makes one indifferent to love of everything else. Maulana Rumi says:
عشق آں شعلہ است کہ چوں بر افروخت
ہر چہ جز معشوق باشد باقی جملہ سوخت
Explanation: Ishq (ardent Divine love) is like a flame. When it flares up, it burns everything other than the beloved (Allah).
Today’s youth regard the sensual love of this world as Ishq (ardent Divine love). It is a point to ponder, how transitory and source of restlessness would be love with people just like the world itself. Every relation and love of this world is mortal and will come to an end one day. My beloved spiritual guide, Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman has beautifully explained this fact in these words:
“Ishq can never be with a human being. Whoever claims that, is a liar. This is because Allah Himself is Ishq and one can only have Ishq with Ishq.” (Sultan ul Ashiqeen)
Ishq (ardent Divine love) is a selfless emotion which increases over time. Not like the worldly love or relations that fade away with time.”
Love of Allah is key to closeness of Allah
Ardent Divine love is the key to success on the path of Faqr and leads a seeker to the destination – gnosis and union with Divine Essence. A person’s journey towards Allah only begins once the emotion of Divine love arises within him. A heart void of ardent love cannot succeed on the path of Faqr.
Khawaja Hafiz says:
“The one who has no Divine love in his heart, all his devotions are worthless and merely pretence.” (Divan e Hafiz)
Allama Mohammad Iqbal says about Divine love:
عشق سکون و ثبات، عشق حیات و ممات
علم ہے پیدا سوال، عشق ہے پنہاں جواب
Explanation: According to Iqbal, it is ardent Divine love that grooms a person inwardly. Divine love removes everything from one’s inward other than Allah and makes him worthy of presence in the Divine Court.
Mian Mohammad Bakhsh says:
جنہاں عشق خرید نہ کیتا عیویں آبھگتے
عشقے باجھ محمد بخشا کیا آدم کیا کتے
Explanation: The one who didn’t adopt the path of Divine love wasted his life. He says without Divine love there remains no difference between a man and dog.
Metaphorical Love Leads to Divine Love
Metaphorical love is the medium to Divine love and is must to succeed on this path. It means the love of Perfect Spiritual Guide. It is Perfect Spiritual Guide who can bestow the blessing of Divine love. For this, he first blesses the disciple with recognition of Divine Essence. Then he blesses him with presence of Mohammadan Assembly. For this to work, the disciple must have complete faith in his spiritual guide.
For a seeker of Allah to succeed on attaining Divine gnosis, it is must to first pledge allegiance to a Perfect Spiritual Guide. And then begin the journey under his guidance. The present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman is Perfect Spiritual Guide and highly accomplished Fakir. There is no better and true medium for attaining Divine gnosis for a seeker than Sultan ul Ashiqeen. May Allah grant us the perseverance to adopt and remain steadfast on the path of Faqr. Ameen