June 5, 2008
My Epiphanies (V)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
***I apologize for terrible grammar-mental English paper causing my perception to be distorted. LOL***
**There are V for Vendetta references in honor of it being my V post.**
*****I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT KNOWN THAT I AM IN NO WAY ADVOCATING THAT GOD AND MANKIND ARE EQUAL IN FRIENDSHIP. THEY ARE NOT. GOD IS GREATER. A LOT GREATER, ACTUALLY. THANK YOU.*****
So couple days ago, I took a walk in the rain (Jane Austen-Foster-rebirth, AP LIT moment). I didn’t realize I walked around campus at least 4 full circuits (Sarah, around the fountain, past Shaiable, around the Chapel, around the football field, and back). I was thinking about all the stuff I have been reading about different religions (not just Islam and Christianity; Taoism, Judiasm, Buddhism…) and I was thinking about the element of love and redemption in all these different religions (I feel bad for the Jews). And then I began to think about love and redemption in the world….
Everyone messes up. It is safe enough to say that is fact. If anything, you trip when trying to learn how to walk for the first time. But we mess up even on a greater scale, known or unknown. We may consciously yell at our parents, or we might unconsciously think that we can pass our AP exams on our own, without God’s involvement. But still, at certain points in our live we get into desperation and we call onto something higher than ourselves for help. Some might think they are calling their father (no pun intended) when studying for a test, but it is a veiled attempt to call for God.
There is something that connects ALL of us; something that ties us together. Like links in a chain. I remember hearing the sufi saying that after great contemplation a sufi begins to realize… that all the religions in the world are actually… the same. They might be veiled from each other, but their cores are one. To say we are distinct from each other, or that we have damaged the other in history is arrogance. When we harm others, we harm ourselves. We are all part of divine events and to some point, trapped by them. What we are, were and going to be, is together. We are not individuals in this world. The only thing that makes us individual is our ruh, our soul, which is not limited in this world. But our bodies-we are 98% + alike.
There is something about love that makes it so distinct than other emotions because it seems that we yearn for it than anything else. Even naas-which means people-derives from that which needs intimacy. It is in our very nature to seek love and be loved. But not from people. From God. I have been reading up on different spiritualities of different religions and they all seem to say the same thing-get closer to the Divine, renounce the world and *relearn* one’s original nature-to love God. And life is a process of doing that. Love by it’s very nature can’t be perfected when created. It is perfected through trial.
Maybe I can’t get this epiphany out like my other ones (ha! I struggle with all of them). But I wish I could somehow verbalize what I have realized about love and it’s relationship with mankind. It seems that all of our other emotions sprout out in hopes to attain the original emotion-love. They may be misguided emotions, but their function is still there. The other emotions make love more apparent. And even Allah-Al Wadud, The Most Loving. We could not see this without His Kindness, His Mercy, His Compassion-and even that He is the First and Last-in His infinite capacity, He created us to make Himself known and even Christians say-to be loved. He doesn’t need to be loved; He is the Most Loving, but the idea that humans are considered the greatest creation is because we have distinct qualities like no other creation, and one being the capacity of loving like no other creature. Allah wanted nothing short of our greatest capabilities and humans are naturally drawn to love, so there is a natural harmony between God and man.
Love is what literally makes the world go round-Love Allah has for us, and love we have for Him to keep trying to get closer to Him. After thinking for a long time, I do think it is safe to say that love somehow connects to our purpose. How exactly, I am not too sure. But those seeking Ihsaan and are on the path of Tazkiyah would know how important it is to love God. For them, purpose is more than worship; it is to befriend and love God-and come to know Him.
Prophet Muhammad was known as habib Allah (the love of Allah) and in the Quran he is referred to in a loving way. And he was only able to do everything he did with God’s will and love for Him. So if he is our role model, then loving God would logically be part of our purpose. To be the best human beings we can be, we MUST love. And this is where Christians and Muslims (and even Jews!) agree-we must love God and everything He created as another means to show love for Him.
Sigh… I feel bad for condemning love all the times I did. I tried to numb that emotion out of me, thinking it was an evil, but I realize that I need that in order to be human. To love is be human; to screw up to learn love is even more human. And as St. Teresa of Avila had said (and Mrs. Ali wrote in my letter): “Our goodness derives not from our capacity to think, but to love.”
I know I am 18 years late, but,