To ask our Lord to open up our hearts to His Divine Love is the most important
request we can make of Him in our prayers, as nothing can take the place of love.
The Holy Prophet, who is called the Beloved of Allah, whom Allah created with the
yeast of love, and whom Allah loved so much that He dedicated the creation to him,
even this beloved Prophet asked Allah for Divine Love – why? Because who tastes of
that love ask for more. Whose heart is like a rock will not ask Allah for this love, but
those who have had the slightest taste of that love know that it is the key to all spiritual
progress, to mercy, beauty, wisdom, to all favours that Allah may bestow upon His
servants. Therefore, the Holy Prophet taught all mankind what is precious in this life.
And then his prayer continued: “And grant me the love of those who love you”. The
first level, “Love of God”, is the Station of the Prophets, and you can’t step from the
bottom of the stairway to the top in on step. Allah Almighty is the Transcendent Being
– you can’t even begin to fathom anything about Him Almighty – but it is easy to love
those who represent His Love among mankind, for it is much easier for us to begin to
understand and love human beings like ourselves. You will find nothing in their hearts
but the Love of Allah; therefore, loving them is a means to approach the Divine Love.
Lastly, the Holy Prophet asks for the love of those actions which lead to the love of
Allah, actions which carry blessings with them, which soften our hearts and weaken
our greed and selfishness. These are the actions encouraged by our Lord through
the example of His Prophets, actions ordered and recommended in His Holy Books.
And, although in the beginning our inner state may not correspond to these saintly
actions, by engaging our limbs in what pleases our Lord, He will strengthen our hearts
These are the three levels of love for which the Holy Prophet prayed, and the wisdom
reflected in this prayer is proof enough of the veracity of Muhammad, peace be upon
him. While Believers must always ask for that love, Satan is ever at war with such a
notion, for he knows that once love has entered the heart of one of his slaves, that
slave is lost to him, for he will not be able to snare him anymore with this world’s
pleasures. He who has tasted that love may not even notice those pleasures, or may
regard them as only a drop in an ocean.
Once, as Moses, upon whom be peace, was headed toward Mount Sinai, he passed
the cave of a hermit. The hermit emerged and called after Moses; “Oh Moses, please
ask our Lord to bestow upon me just an atom’s weight of His Divine Love”. Moses
agreed to do this, and then continued on his way. Later, when Moses was addressing
his Lord, he petitioned on behalf of that hermit. The Lord replied, “I will grant that
servant of My Divine Love, but not in the amount he requested. I will only grant him
the tiniest fraction of an atom’s weight of that love”.
When Moses returned from the mountain, he quickly went to see what was happening
to the hermit, to see what effect such a tiny dose of Divine Love might have had on
him. When he arrived he was startled to see that where the cave had been a part of
the mountain was blown away, and in place of that cave there was a deep chasm in
the Earth. “Oh servant of my Lord”, he cried out, “what has happened, where are
you?” Then Moses looked down the chasm and saw the hermit sitting down there as if
in another world, completely overwhelmed by that love.
Why did that hermit ask for a portion of Divine Love? Because he was worshipping
but feeling nothing; he felt emptiness in his heart that could only be filled by that love.
Without love, worship is tasteless and useless; therefore, we must be sure to build our
worship upon a strong foundation of love and to bake love into the bricks of the
building of our devotional practice. This is more than an analogy, for even physical
buildings are either alive with the love of their builders, or dead from their hard –
heartedness. Therefore, old buildings often emanate a good feeling because of the
love and goodness of those who built them. This is especially true of old mosques
and churches, for their original congregations built them for the sake of their Lord’s
love and in an attitude of sincere piety. There is often a very strong feeling of the
Divine Presence in old mosques, but have you ever felt such an atmosphere in the
new showpiece of sterile architecture mosques? No, it is impossible; you may feel
only an inner contraction inside of such concrete hills. They have left the love out of
the mortar; the most important ingredient is missing.
There is nothing in all creation that the Creator, Allah Almighty, hates. Indeed it is
impossible to be hated by Allah and to be in existence: one absolutely precludes the
other. All creation appeared through His Divine Love. He loved them and they
appeared; therefore, everything in existence carries its share of Divine Love in it.
When I say “everything”, I mean everything, from atoms and their parts – the very
building blocks of the Universe – up to mankind. Yes, everything, even the smallest
particles of matter, carries that Divine Gift. As you know, the electrons of atoms
revolve around the nuclei, and at enormous velocity. Someone told me that the
famous scientist Albert Einstein once declared: “I have come to understand so much,
but what I have never been able to fathom is what power gives electrons the energy to
orbit nucleii at such a speed. From where does such power come to them?”
We believe, and furthermore, have been granted certainty in our belief, that
everything in existence has life, is living. For the sake of everyday reckoning we
classify certain things, such as rocks, as inanimate objects, and recognize life only in
plants, animals and human beings. But we believe that beyond these outward
distinctions everything has life. Therefore, atoms, and their electrons that turn around
the nuclei with such speed as to baffle even the renowned Mr. Einstein, are, in reality,
alive. They are alive with the Divine Love Power that their Lord has granted them.
That’s what makes them spin at the speed of light.
Science may make penetrating and wonderful discoveries. Scientists’ knowledge may
advance and climb to unimagined heights in the realm of the observable and what
may be proven through experiments. But even such a great realm, the realm of
observation and experimentation, is finite, has its limits, and only within these limits
can it draw authoritative conclusions. Therefore, scientists who recognize their
limitations and are not blinded by pride may admit, that some occurrences are not
explicable by science.
It is for those who have access to a realm of knowledge beyond science to say with
certainty, that it is Allah Almighty, the Lord of the Universe, who through His Holy
Name “Al-Wadud” (The All-Loving) gives His Divine Love to everything in the
Universe. Those electrons, drunken with Divine Love, spin at such velocity around
the nuclei. That is how the influence of Divine Love is manifested by them. Science
can neither proves nor denies this explanation, as this phenomenon is beyond their
realm, and they cannot as much as offer a theory. But our hearts may be content with
this explanation, as each and every one of us may try it himself within himself; for we
all have the Power of that Divine Love in our hearts ready to be contacted.
There is no one word in Western languages that gives the full meaning of “Al-wadud”,
and even explanations don’t do it justice, even though the West claims its knowledge
to be superior and looks down disdainfully on every religious experience. And this
Holy Name, the meaning of which cannot even adequately be expressed in advanced
western languages, is the most suitable “Dhikr,” the most suitable of all the Divine
Names to repeat and meditate upon for people who see themselves as superior
beings and as being above normal standards.
“Love”, it is certainly not a concept that western culture is unfamiliar with, and
undoubtedly most people lay claim to loving and being loved to knowing the meaning
of love, and to it being an important aspect of their lives, indeed the most important.
But the love we refer to in connection with the Divine Name “Al-Wadud” is not the
physical transitory love that is rapidly becoming the only meaning of love applicable to
modern man: the love that one may find in the zoo. If you can’t imagine a love other
than what is on the level of animals, then you belong in the zoo.
There is a real love, never changing, never dying love, and then there is temporary
animal love. Both are in man through the wisdom of the Creator, but the permanent
love is the love given to man through the Divine Name “Al-Wadud”. To realize that
love is the challenge and fulfillment of human existence – to come in contact with
those Love Oceans, for He has given His Divine Love most abundantly to His most
honoured representatives in creation, mankind.
You may love a young lady for her youth, and when that youth departs you love her
no more. That is false love. Sometimes we may have both kinds of love
simultaneously, but usually the physical overpowers the spiritual, so that it is never
allowed to appear. But to reach the ultimate goal of human life we are in need of
permanent love, and it is only the Lord of the Universe who can grant it.
Therefore, when we say “Ya-Wadud” we are opening ourselves up to that Divine
Love, asking our Lord to awaken that love that knows no limitation that is eternal and
extends to all creation. I have been ordered to teach and advise people to call on our
Lord, saying” “Ya-Wadud”, as this will enable the sincere to attain real love of their
Lord Almighty and to love everything around themselves. We must learn to love
everything for the sake of the love the Creator has for all His creation. And we are in
utmost need to pray for such love, as although it is the essence of all success in the
way of spiritual purification, it has become almost extinct in our times. Therefore,
suffering, disturbances, struggle, crisis and chaos are continually on the rise.
What passes for human love nowadays is in deed a very far cry from real human
love. Mostly, people cling to it for two or three months then throw it away. You are
saying: “Oh my goddess” and she is saying, “Oh my god,” but look in again on them
two or three months later and see what is left of that “true devotion” and “deep
emotion”. That is the greatest cause of wretchedness in our times. For this reason I
don’t refer to this century as a civilized one. Rather, the twentieth century is
witnessing the destruction of civilization, and every minute violence and misery are
His Divine Love in the very yeast of our being. You must know that, although that love
may be temporarily covered, it is running through our hearts as a river runs to an
ocean. Along the course of that river love may manifest only as temporary human
love, and that love current may even seem to disappear completely, like a river that
flows under a mountain, only to re-emerge on the other side. But there can be no
doubt that our Lord has placed in every heart a current that flows irresistible to His
Love Oceans in the Divine Presence. Therefore, don’t imagine them to be cut off
from Divine Love – it must be with them, whether that is now apparent to you and to
themselves, or not.
As our heart-current flows toward that ocean, the main difference we notice is that our
love is not tied to physical beauty. Everyone loves nature, greenery, rushing waters,
youthful forms, beautiful people – but what about the others? The Lord gave of His
Love to people in general, not only to the young and beautiful. And the One who
implanted His Love in our hearts says: “Oh My servant, as I have given you from My
Divine Love, so have I give it to all creation, so spread your love to everyone that you
may be in harmony with My Will.”
In reality, everything that contains His Love is green and beautiful, but to perceive the
beauty in all creation you must transcend outward forms and penetrate to the realm of
Spiritual Reality Oceans. First of all, it is important to pass from forms to meanings,
from fleeting shapes to eternal spiritual realities, as forms are limited and limiting,
whereas spiritual realities are Oceans, Endless Oceans of Contentment. To arrive at
those Oceans will bring you inner peace.
Therefore, I am trying to love everyone. It is easy to say to a person, “I love you” as
long as that person has never harmed you, but according to our Grandsheikh such is
not the measure of real love. He used to quote a famous Daghistani Sufi poet who
said: “I don’t accept the love that you claim to hold for me to be real until I have tested
you. What is my test? If I put you through a meat grinder and you came out the other
end as minced meat - but were still alive - and if then I returned you to your original
form, would you still love me?”
What this poet meant was “If I cause you so much suffering, and harm you as no one
has ever harmed you before, will you still love me despite all that I have done? That is
true love. But if I am with you for forty years, and because of one hurtful word I may
utter towards you in a moment of stress, you leave me and declare me to be your
enemy, denying the love of forty years and saying, “ I don’t love you anymore”, that is
not the love we are referring to.
Therefore, as I have said, there are levels of love along the way, differing in quality
according to their nearness to the goal, the Absolute Love Oceans of our Lord. When
one has reached that goal he may take any amount of harm from others and still
love. He may say: “I love you for the sake of my Lord, not for any other reason. That
love will never change or diminish, as no matter what you do your Lord’s love is with
you. You may behave like a wild animal, you may wound me, but yet, for you to even
exist, my Lord’s love must be with you, and therefore I am loving you, too.”
Only the highest and most select of mankind are ever on such a level, and we are
trying to reach that point – but it is so difficult. You must know that this is a test for
you and an opportunity to gain spiritual ranks. Now you are in a situation where you
must be patient with people who may not be upholding the same level of decorum that
you are accustomed to. Here is an opportunity for you to advance, as Holy people
have advised us: rather than avoiding all ill-mannered and badly educated people, we
should mingle with them and establish contact with them, that they may benefit and
that you may test yourself and gain thereby.
They are servants of the Almighty’s Will, and we are His servants too. Our Lord is
their Lord and their Lord is our Lord. We must be patient and we will gain, little by
little. Cherry trees first yield bitter fruit, but you must wait – little by little, little by little,
the tree starts to yield sweet and tasteful cherries.
heart full of love must come to the same level: their hearts must open to Divine Love.
The Masters are not going to abandon us, and we are not going to turn from them, as
our hearts have been bound with the strongest of bonds; the bond of Divine Love,
that strongest of relationships of love that exists between the Creator and His
creatures. That relationship is the ultimate goal of existence, and we pray that we
may grow stronger always.
Those with whom we sit and whose hearts are receptive to Divine Love will attain that
love. This is a promise from the Masters, and therefore our meeting indicates that
your time is approaching, the time when you will be able to break the bonds that make
you slaves to your egos. Soon you will be free to approach your spiritual goals, and
that is why everyone here feels himself affected and moved to tears.
If the love that was with me were only transitory love you wouldn’t even bother sitting
with me for a moment. But the love that is with me is real, permanent and Divine, and I
have extended a ray of it to your hearts to awaken permanent love in you.
My daughters and sons in attendance here today have never met me before, but our
first meeting has been enough to establish real love from my heat to theirs. This is a
love they will never forget, a love that is blossoming in their hearts.
I ask my Lord for permission to spread His permanent love to the hearts of all people
– and the time is approaching when we hope that permission will be granted.
Love is eternal, and the transitory nature of all things pertaining to this world is a sign
of truth, a sign that shows s by means of contrast. Real spiritual love: love of Allah
and love of mankind for the sake of Allah is the only truth, the only thing in this world
that is permanently and constantly sweet. Physical separation from someone you
love, in accordance with the rule that pertains to the physical, may create a longing
that will cause love to increase, may augment the bliss of reunion. But on the spiritual
level that love is constant, is never interrupted by distance or by time. Your beloved
may be on the moon and you may be in bliss at the thought of reunion, but if love is
unrequited, that is not sweet separation but a bitter pill. The extinction of love is pitch
darkness. You may regard the sunset as beautiful, but how would you feel if it were
Love is the water of life. Allah created Adam from clay and water. If it were not for
water the clay would hold no shape. Divine Love is what binds our souls together.
That is why people become so miserable when they feel unloved. It is a feeling that
something essential is missing from one’s life, that life itself is incomplete, and in the
face of this ache people set out in search of love with the desperation of a man dying
Love is an attribute of God Almighty which binds His servants to Him eternally. If Allah
were to hate mankind it would be so easy for Him to bring about an abrupt and terrible
end to our follies – but He loves us and therefore shows us so much tolerance.
If you are a parent, consider your love for your children. If your son grew up to be a
criminal, would you not love him still? Would you not maintain that despite his bad
actions (which you would perhaps readily condemn) he was still basically at heart a
good boy? Would you not find excuses for his bad behavior and have faith that he
would turn away again from those bad actions?
Love is lovely to the Lord and to His servants. If you do anything with love it should be
accepted by your Lord, and He should make it tasteful for you. If you love your work it
will be easy for you to do, if not, it will only be a burden. The Lord says: “I am not in
need of your worship; I am only seeking the love with which it is offered. “Oh servants
of the Lord, Oh believers, you must not overlook this point. Don’t be like slaves
rowing in the galley of a ship – if you pray, you must pray with love not by force, as if a
slave driver were standing over you with a whip! Allah never appreciates such forced
devotions. Now we are trying to perform all the practices but forgetting to ask for
Divine Love, so we are becoming like mechanical robots, or like people performing
Allah has asked us to engage our bodies in His worship and in service to His creation
through charity and good deeds, but what must be the fruit of those actions? If the
fruit is not love it is bitter fruit and is rejected. If our worship causes Love of Allah to
grow in our hearts, then we must keep to that practice and continue on our way: and if
we are keeping the company of a spiritual teacher, and find that through keeping his
company love of Allah is awakening in our hearts, then we must follow him closely.
The Love of Allah is not easy to attain, for we cannot imagine Him; therefore, He
Almighty has made the Prophets apostles of His Love. Allah’s Beloved, the Seal of
Prophets, Muhammad, upon whom be peace, was such a pure medium for the
transmission of that love that the hearts of his companions were overwhelmed with his
love, and were transported to the love of Allah. He was the representative of Allah,
who is the Absolute Truth; therefore, the Prophet declared: “Who has seen me has
seen the Absolute Truth”.
When a delegation of non-Muslims came to visit Medina, they were amazed at the love
and respect shown to the Prophet by his companions. When they returned home they
said to their leaders: “We have met many emperors, kings and tribal chiefs, but never
have we seen one whose subjects or courtiers treat him with such sincere love and
devotion. How can this be?” They were not able to comprehend the secret of this
love, as their egos caused them to deny Mohammed’s prophet hood. The love of the
companions towards the Prophet was such that they used to say to him: “I am ready to
sacrifice for you even my mother and father”, which, for the Arabs, is much stronger
than saying: “I would sacrifice myself for you”. And in reality many of them underwent
nearly unbearable hardships for the sake of their belief in the mission of the Holy
Prophet: exile, disinheritance, boycott, torture and death.
Who represented the Holy Prophet after his life on Earth? They are those who evoked
such love. The Prophet himself described them: “Those who see them are reminded
of Allah”. He who thirsts for Divine Love must seek out such people, but in our time
they are mostly hidden, and Islam has come to mean for many people only a set of
rules of conduct and forms of worship – an empty shell. Who can derive taste from
such a thing? Shall mosques be only gymnasiums? And now the “gym teachers” are
opposing Sufi Paths, which are the ways of the heart, ways that lead to the Love of
Our Lord has given us an instrument that measures not your blood pressure but our
“love pressure” and our goal is to make it high! Yes, seek to improve with every new
day, for the Holy Prophet said: Whoever does not improve with each day is losing
ground. “What does this mean? It doesn’t mean that if we pray forty rakats of prayer
today, we should pray forty-one tomorrow and forty-two the next day. No, that is not
required, what is intended is that you fill your worship with ever more love of your
Lord, so that He will observe: “My servant has sent Me more love today than
yesterday. “One of our Grandsheikhs summarized perfectly what I am trying to say:
“An atom’s weight of love is worth more than seventy years’ worship without love”.
Today we speak about love for Allah and His Prophet. Our Grandsheikh was telling
this hadith, that one day the Prophet was giving a sermon when one Bedouin came to
the door of the mosque and shouted: “Oh Prophet, when is the Last Day coming?”
There was no answer, so he called out again and still again. The Prophet was waiting
for Allah to provide him with an answer, as only He knows when the Last Day is. Then
the Angel Jibril came to him saying: “Ask him what he did in preparation for the Last
day”. The man replied: “Muhammed, I love you and I love your Lord, nothing else,
only this”. Then Jibril told Muhammed: “Answer him that he will be with you and your
Lord like two fingers together. Everyone who loves another must be with him on the
Last day.” On hearing this, Abu Bakr asked: “Oh Prophet, is not action a necessary
condition, is only love enough?” He answered: “No, Ya Aba Bakr, actions are not a
condition, what is important is love. Everyone will be with his beloved friend.”
|THE TANTALIZING TASTE
|A saying of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, in which he prayed to
“Oh Allah, I ask You to grant me the love of You
and the love of those whom You love,
and grant me, Oh my Lord,the love of those
actions which lead me to the love of You”.