love in Islam

In Islam, the concept of love is one of the most important concepts. This fact manifests itself in Islamic philosophy, theology, mysticism and ethics; indeed, in some aspects, it plays the crucial role. For example, in defining the Islamic point of view on the relation between God and Universe in general, and between God and Mankind in particular, love has the most significant and profound place. Love is so central in Islam that it is seep as “the firmest handhold of faith” and “faith (Iman) is nothing but love for the sake of God and hate for the sake of God”.

Ibn Abbas reported that Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said: “The strongest faith is to be sincere for the sake of Allah, to hate for the sake of Allah (Tabarra), to love for the sake of Allah (Tawalla), and to discard for the sake of Allah.”

There is a tendency among some people to think that there should be no hate at all. These people assume that excellence and nobility of character and “being sociable” consist of having all men one’s friends. Certainly Islam recommends Muslims to love people and optimize compassionate and sincere relationship with them, even if they do not believe in Islam or in God. However, it is not feasible for a person who has principles in his life and has devoted his life to realize sacred values to be indifferent to evil and oppressive deeds of wrongdoers and make friendship with everybody. Such a person certainly will have some enemies, whether he likes it or not. There are always good people in the society and bad people. Good and bad are two opposite poles. Attraction towards the good is not possible without repulsion from the bad.

True Happiness only in the spiritual world

Once there was a kingĀ  who had presented his daughter, the princess, with a beautiful diamond necklace. The necklace was stolen and his people in the kingdom searched everywhere but could not find it. Some said a bird might have stolen it. The king then asked them all to search for it and put a reward for $50,000 for anyone who found it.

One day a clerk was walking home along a river next to an industrial area. This river was completely polluted, filthy and smelly. As he was walking, the clerk saw a shimmering in the river and when he looked, he saw the diamond necklace. He decided to try and catch it so that he could get the $50,000 reward. He put his hand in the filthy, dirty river and grabbed at the necklace, but some how missed it and didn’t catch it. He took his hand out and looked again and the necklace was still there. He tried again, this time he walked in the river and dirtied his pants in the filthy river and put his whole arm in to catch the necklace. But strangely, he still missed the necklace! He came out and started walking away, feeling depressed.

Then again he saw the necklace, right there. This time he was determined to get it, no matter what. He decided to plunge into the river, although it was a disgusting thing to do as the river was polluted, and his whole body would become filthy. He plunged in, and searched everywhere for the necklace and yet he failed. This time he was really bewildered and came out feeling very depressed that he could not get the necklace that would get him $50,000.

Just then a saint who was walking by, saw him, and asked him what was the matter. The clerk didn’t want to share the secret with the saint, thinking the saint might take the necklace for himself, so he refused to tell the saint anything. But the saint could see this man was troubled and being compassionate, again asked the clerk to tell him the problem and promised that he would not tell anyone about it. The clerk mustered some courage and decided to put some faith in the saint. He told the saint about the necklace and how he tried and tried to catch it, but kept failing. The saint then told him that perhaps he should try looking upward, toward the branches of the tree, instead of in the filthy river. The clerk looked up and true enough, the necklace was dangling on the branch of a tree. He had been trying to capture a mere reflection of the real necklace all this time.

Moral of the story: Material happiness is just like the filthy, polluted river; because it is a mere reflection of the TRUE happiness in the spiritual world.

We can never achieve the happiness we are looking for no matter how hard we endeavor in material life. Instead we should look upwards, toward God, who is the source of real happiness, and stop chasing after the reflection of this happiness in the material world. This spiritual happiness is the only thing that can satisfy us completely.