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 Mahabba - [Love]

'People have spoken much on love and speculated on its etymology. Love [hubb] is a name for the purest kind of love and affection because in the Arabic language to say of someone's pure white teeth is, 'haba al-asnan. Hubab are the bubbles that form on the water's surface during a strong rainstorm, so 'LOVE' [MAHABBA] is the bubbling up of the heart when it thirsts and is desperate to meet the Beloved.

'Habab al-ma' is the topmost water level. Love is named 'Mahabba' because it is the foremost concern of the heart. Love is a noble state that GOD has bestowed as a quality belonging to the creation, and He has made known His love for the seeker. So GOD Glorious and Majestic is characterised as loving the seeker and the seeker is characterised as loving GOD.

As for the seeker's love of GOD, it is a state experienced in his/her heart, too subtle for words. This state brings him/her to GOD and attempts to gain His pleasure having little patience in separation from Him, feeling an urgent longing for Him, finding no comfort in anything other than Him, and experiencing intimacy in the heart by making continual remembrance of Him. '{1}

"Haroon alRasheed was an Abbasid Caliph from 786 until 809, he gave the instructions, "Bring this Layla, so I might see why Majnun out of love for her has cast such passion into the world and why from the East to the West lovers have made the story of his love their mirror." They succeeded in bringing Layla to him. She was in a private chamber; at night Haroon alRasheed would light candles, gaze at her for a while, and then reflect for a while.  But he could not see what was so special about her. He said to himself, "If I get her to speak, perhaps her special quality will become more apparent in her face, by means of her speaking."  He turned to Layla and asked, "Layla, is that you?"  She replied, "Yes, I am Layla.  But you are not Majnun.  Those eyes that are in Majnun's head are not in yours. How can you see Layla with eyes with which you see other than her and which you have not cleansed by tears? Look at me with the vision of Majnun!  Those who look at the beloved with the vision of the lover are those whom, "He (GOD) loves...". "GOD will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him" [Qur'an 5:54]. {2}

Rabi'a al Adawiya, an 8th Century Sufi saint who believed that GOD's love is at the core of the universe and that we need to feel that love in all we do.

  "My GOD and my Lord: Eyes are at rest,
  the stars are setting,
  hushed are the movements of birds in their nests,
  of monsters in the deep.
  And you are the Just who knows no change,
  the Equity that does not swerve,
  the Everlasting that never passes away.
  The doors of kings are locked and guarded by their henchmen,
  but Your door is open to those who call upon You.
  My Lord, each lover is now alone with his beloved
  And I am alone with You."
 'Rabi'a al Adawiya'

Walking through the streets she was seen carrying a bucket of water in one hand and a burning candle in the other. When asked why, she said: "I want to set fire to heaven with this flame and put out the fire of hell with this water so that people will cease to worship GOD for fear of hell or for temptation of heaven. One must love GOD as GOD is Love." HE, Glorious and Majestic said, "I was a hidden treasure, and I wanted to be known. So I created the Creation in order to be known." Hence to know His creation is to know Him; to love His creation is to love Him.

Jalaluddin Rumi wrote:-  'I have seen the Noble King with a face of Glory: He Who is the companion and healer of all beings; He who is the Soul and the Universe that births Souls; He who bestows Wisdom on Wisdom, Purity on Purity; He who is the prayer-mat of the Soul of Saints! Each atom of my body cries out separately: "Glory be to GOD! If you are seeking, seek us with Joy, for we live in the Kingdom of Joy. Do not give your heart to anything else But to the Love of those who are clear Joy. Do not stray into the neighbourhood of despair For there are hopes: they are real, they exist! Do not go in the direction of darkness - I tell you, Suns exist! Love's Creed is separate from all religions. The Creed and Denomination of Lovers is GOD.'

 

Prophet's prayer  :-

"O GOD, 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."
 

1} 'Principles of Sufism' by Al Qushayri -translated by B.R.V.Schlegell
2} 
Love of Layla and Majnun. Discourse by Shams-i Tabrizi (the Shaykh of JalaludDin Rumi)

 

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