Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discourses by Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jailani - On Love


O son, below are excerpts from 'Jila' al-Khatir' which contains discourses of the great Sufi Master Sheikh Abdul Qadir al-Jailani (1077 - 1166 CE). You will find his words to be very stern but trust me they are good for you. In fact, this is one of my most treasured books and I had bought all the copies left at a book store to give away to close friends, Alhamdulillah, so you know how important it is that you read and take heed from this Sultan al-Awliya (the sultan of saints), Al-Ghawth al-Azam (the supreme helper). There are 40 topics altogether and this one is on the subject of love.

* The lover has no eyes with which he looks at other than his Beloved.

* Do not lie, you do not have two hearts but it is a single heart that once filled with something there will be no room for another. Allah has said, 'Allah has not made for any man two hearts within his body.' (Quran 33:4); a heart that loves the Creator and a heart that loves creatures.

* The lover becomes beloved once he has purified his heart of anything other than Allah that he would not wish to leave Him for the sake of anyone else. The attainment of the heart to this spiritual station comes about by performing the obligatory worshipping duties, patiently refraining from prohibited and dubious things, obtaining the permissible and licit things without passion, lustful desire and involvement, resorting to curative pious restraint, practising total renunciation, which is the abandonment of everything other than Allah, refusing to comply with the lower self, passion and Satan and purifying the heart totally of any creature so that praise and dispraise, receiving rewards and having them witheld, gold and clay will be all on equal footing. The first stage of this spiritual station is declaring La ilaha illaAllah, Muhammad Rasulullah, and its last stage is seeing gold as worthless as clay.

* Do not be in illusion. Do not claim ownership of that which does not belong to you and that which you do not have. Your lower self is in total control of you and creatures and this world are in your heart greater than Allah. You are outside the limit of the people of Allah and you are not counted among them. If you wish to attain to that I have referred, occupy yourself with purifying your heart from everything. When you are in need for a bite to eat, when you lose a trivial thing or when one of your worldly affairs fails, it is the end of the world for you! You turn away from your Lord, release your anger by battering your wife and children and insult your religion and the Prophet s.a.w. If you were sensible, one of the people of wakefulness and watchfulness, you would be silent in the presence of Allah and you would see all his actions as blessings and caring for you.

* When someone loves Allah, he loses his will because the lover can have no will above the will of his Beloved. This is known for every lover who has experienced the taste of love. The lover is extinct in the presence of the Beloved, like the servant in the presence of his master. The wise servant does not disagree with his master nor object to him at all. Woe unto you! You are neither a lover nor a beloved and you have neither experienced the taste of love nor the taste of belovedness. The lover is restless and wary while the beloved is calm. The lover is in hardship while the beloved is in tenderness.

* You lay claim to love yet you leave your Beloved to go to sleep! Allah has said in one of His utterances, 'He is lying the person who claims to love Me yet goes to sleep once the night has set.' Among the people of Allah are those who sleep only out of necessity. Such a person does not fall into deep sleep but he merely dozes off. He sleeps while in prostration. The Prophet s.a.w is reported to have said, 'When the servant falls asleep while in prostration, Allah commends him to the angels saying, 'See how his spirit is with Me and his body is practising obedience to Me in My Presence.' The person who is overwhelmed by sleep while performing his prayer is considered to be still praying because his intention was to perform prayer when he was overwhelmed by sleep. The True One 'Azza wa Jall does not look at the body but the intention and the essence.

* Woe unto you! You claim that you love Allah yet you do not obey Him! The love of Allah comes about only after observing the commandments, refraining from the prohibitions, being satisfied with whatever one gets and being content with the divine decree. Then you love Him for His blessings, after that you love Him for nothing in return and then you yearn for Him. The lover remembers the True One with his tongue, with his limbs and organs, with his heart and with his innermost being. When he attains extinction in His remembrance, He will commend him to his creatures and distinguish him from them with incomprehensible spiritual states and sayings. He becomes a truth within a truth. He becomes extinct, while only the First, the Last and the Outward, the Inward remains. O you who claim to love Him yet complain to creatures about Him, you are a liar in your claim of love! One who loves Him in the state of affluence yet complains about Him in the state of poverty is a liar. When poverty comes to a raw heart that has not been strengthen by faith and certitude, that person without doubt will end up in the company of disbelief.

* Woe unto you! You claim to love Allah yet in fact you love other than Him! Your claim will be a cause for your destruction. How can you lay claim to love when no sign of it can be seen about you? Love is like a fire in the house with no door or key. Its flames come out of from the top. The lover keeps his love indoors and conceals it until it shows on him. He has a special language and special speech. He does not wish for anything in addition to his Beloved which is one of the greatest signs of his truthfulness. O liar, O jester, keep silent for you are not one of them! You are neither a lover nor a beloved. The lover is at the door and the beloved in inside the door. The lover is in agitation, movement and disturbance while the beloved is in tranquility, resting on the lap of the Subtly Kind One, sleeping there. The lover is in tiredness while the beloved is at rest, the lover is a learner while the beloved is a learned scholar, the lover is imprisoned while the beloved is free, the lover has gone crazy while the beloved is sane. When a child sees a snake he screams and run away while the snake-charmer keeps silent at the scene of a snake. When someone sees a lion he screams and flees in terror while the lion trainer plays with the lions and sleeps with them. Everyone who enters is surprised. Allah said, 'And fear Allah and (then) Allah will teach you (Quran 2:282).

* The lover is Allah fearing. He is taught politeness while he is still at the door. His limbs and organs and his heart are taught good manners. Once he has become good-mannered, he will enter through the door of nearness. The Law refines the behavior at the door, while Knowledge refines the behavior inside the door. Once the person has acquired good manners through the Law, Knowledge will take care of him, give him authority, make him a commander, enrich him and enable him to judge properly. The Law is a common door, while Knowledge is a special door. When someone has behaved with ultimate politeness and obedience at the common door, he will be befriended and brought near inside the special door. He will become one of the group of loved ones. You should not utter a word until you have stayed there long enough, adhering to reflection and deep thinking, fullfilled servitude and looked at the deficiencies and shortcomings of yourself. When a person looks at his faults , he will accomplish perfection but when a person looks at his perfection he will reap deficiency. Reverse your actions in order to be right.

Read the biography of Sultan al-Awliya here.

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