Saturday, January 23, 2010

Understanding Ahmad Samani on Love

Bismillah.

Like Rumi and many other Sufis, Samani finds the the key to human existence in God's Love for human beings and human love for God. He frequently comments on the Qur'anic verse, "He loves them and they love Him." (Qur'an 5:54). Nothing other than human beings can love God with full love, since nothing else is made in God's own image.

God created every creature in keeping with the demand of power, but He created Adam and his children in keeping with the demand of love. He created other things in respect of being the Strong, but He created you in respect of being the Friend. - Ahmad Samani

Although the manifestation of Adam's greatness depends upon the outer dimension of his self known as 'clay' (gil), the true locus of his glory lies in the innermost dimension of his self known as 'heart' (dil), for the heart is where God looks and love for Him is born.

The place of Love is the heart, and the heart is pure gold, the pearl of the breast's ocean, the ruby of the innermost mystery's mine.
...The divine majesty polished it by gazing upon it, and the burnisher of the Unseen placed its mark upon it, making it bright and pure.
...The traces of the lights of the beauty of unqualified Love appear in the mirrors of pious hearts. Human love subsists through God's Love.
- Ahmad Samani

Love it needs to be remembered, can never be separated from pain and anguish. Lovers yearn for their beloved, and the more difficult the beloved is to reach, the greater the lovers suffer. The goal of love is union, and the divine attributes that bring about union are those of mercy and gentleness. But just as love demands union, so also it demands separation. There can be no love without testing and trial. True love proves itself by becoming more intense when the beloved is far away. Hence the lover must experience the effects of the names of wrath and severity, since it is these names that manifest God's distance. In this world and in Hell, the effect of these divine names is affliction, pain and suffering.

From the Throne down to the earth, no love whatsoever is sold except in the house of human grief and joy. Many sinless and pure angels were in the Court, but only this handful of dust was able to carry the the burden of this body-melting, heart-bruning verse. ["He loves them, and they love Him"]. - Ahmad Samani

Love is a divine quality that correlates with God Himself, who is both beautiful and and majestic, merciful and wrathful, gentle and severe, near and distant. The angels are cut off from God's love because they cannot taste true distance, while the beasts are far from Love because they cannot experience true nearness. Human beings are woven from nearness and distance. All conflicting attributes are brought together within them. Only they can truly love God, within whom all opposites coincide.

In the 18,000 worlds, no one drank down the cup that holds the covenant of "They love Him" except human beings. - Ahmad Samani

Human beings are the crown of God's creation, since they manifest the full range of the divine attributes. Without them the world would be a drab place indeed.

- W. Chittick quoting and explaining a partial of Ahmad Samani's writing in Rawh al-arwah. Samani died in 1140 CE.

FROM: The Heritage of Sufism
Publisher credit: Oneworld 


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