Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rabia the pure lover of God


O son, I think I know what Rabia would say if I were to lament to her on how much love has been lost due to my foolishness and ignorance. But a weak woman like myself can't avoid but succumb to her lower nafs sometimes.

Now who could be more sincere than Rabia in admitting 'a selfish love' and distinguishing it with a true love - loving Him for His sake. When Sufyan al-Thawri asked Rabia (d. 801) what was the reality of her faith, she replied, "I have not worshipped him from fear of His fire nor for love of His garden, so that I should be like a lowly hireling; rather I have worshipped Him for love of Him and longing for Him."

She had written as quoted in al-Ghazali's Ihya Ulumuddin:
"I love You with two loves:
a selfish love and a love of which You are worthy.
That love which is a selfish love
is my remembrance of You and nothing else.
But as for the love of which You are worthy
Ah, then You've torn the veils for me so I see You.
There is no praise for me in either love,
but praise is Yours in this love and in that."

Certainly all praise belongs to Him. And we seek His forgiveness for not praising Him enough. But then again how can we praise or love Him when: La ilaha illAllahu yabqa Rabbana wayafna kullu ahada; There is no God but He who is baqa (ever present) and everything else is fana (annihilated)?!

O son, let's pray so that Allah grant us gnosis as He had granted His lover, Rabia.

Reference: The Heritage of Sufism

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