O son, it was, needless to say, lovely that I chanced upon this chapter from Mawlana Shaykh Nazim's book at Kinokuniya yesterday. And Alhamdulillah today I found the same entire chapter posted on a blog of a fellow Naqshi from Down Under (Aaisha of 'The Haqq'). May Allah bless her for it and may a thousand more souls be touched from reading these brilliant words of Mawlana. Ameen.
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 slavedriver 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 gymnastics. 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 a bitter fruit and is rejected. If our worship causes Love of God 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 God is awakening in our hearts, then we must follow him closely. The Love of God 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 God. 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 leader: “We have met many emperors, kings and tribal chiefs, but never have we seen one whose subjects or courtiers treated 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 Muhammad’s prophethood.
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? Those who evoked such love. The Prophet himself described them: “Those who see them are reminded of God”. 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 God. 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 rakaats 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 summarised perfectly what I am trying to say: “An atom’s weight of love is worth more than seventy years’ worship without love”.
FROM: Mercy Oceans - Rising Sun by Shaykh Nazim Adil Haqqani
Pic credit: Radiyya of Haqqani Fellowship