I Pray All Is Well With Everyone, Tonight…And Your Hearts And Minds Are Full Of Love, Joy, And Compassion…For Yourselves…And Everyone Else…All Over The World! And To Wholly Love And Respect Ourselves – No Matter What – Is To Love The “Mighty I AM Presence” That Dwells Within Us. And When We Sincerely Love And Respect That Spirit Of The Living God Within Ourselves…Then Loving Everyone Else Or Any Of God’s Creation…Becomes Effortless! Amen
Give Thanks And Praises For Love And Life…
And Y’all Be Love…
“Human perfection resides in this, that the love of God should conquer a man’s heart and possess it wholly, and even if it does not possess it wholly it should predominate in the heart over the love of all other things. Nevertheless, rightly to understand the love of God is so difficult a matter that one sect of theologians have altogether denied that man can love a Being who is not of his own species, and they have defined the love of God as consisting merely in obedience. Those who hold such views do not know what real religion is.
…The first cause is this, that man loves himself and the perfection of his own nature. This leads him directly to the love of God, for man’s very existence and man’s attributes are nothing else but the gift of God, but for whose grace and kindness man would never have emerged from behind the curtain of non-existence into the visible world. Man’s preservation and eventual attainment to perfection are also, entirely dependent upon the grace of God. It would indeed be a wonder, if one should take refuge from the heat of the sun under the shadow of a tree and not be grateful to the tree, without which there would be no shadow at all.
Precisely in the same way, were it not for God, man would have no existence nor attributes at all; wherefore, then, should he not love God, unless he be ignorant of Him? Doubtless fools cannot love Him, for the lover of Him springs directly from the knowledge of Him, and whence should a fool have knowledge?
The second cause of this love is that man loves his benefactor, and in truth his only Benefactor is God, for whatever kindness he receives from any fellow-creature is due to the immediate instigation of God. Whatever motive may have prompted the kindness he receives from another, whether the desire to gain religious merit or a good name, God is the Agent who set that motive to work.
The third cause is the love that is aroused by contemplation of the attributes of God, His power and wisdom, of which human power and wisdom are but the feeblest reflections. This love is akin to that we feel to the great and good men of the past, such as the Imam Malik and the Imam Shafi, though we never expect to receive any personal benefits from them and is therefore a more disinterested kind of love.
God said to the Prophet David, “That servant is dearest to Me who does not seek Me from fear of punishment or hope of reward, but to pay the debt due to My Deity.” And in the Psalms, it is written, “Who is a greater transgressor than he who worships Me from fear of hell or hope of heaven? If I had created neither, should I not then have deserved to be worshipped?”
The fourth cause of this love is the affinity between man and God, which is referred to in the saying of the Prophet, “Verily God created man in His own likeness.” Furthermore, God has said, “My servant seeks proximity to Me, that I may make him My friend, and when I have made him My friend I become his ear, his eye, his tongue.” Again, God said to Moses, “I was sick, and thou didst not visit Me?” Moses replied, “O God! Thou art Lord of heaven and earth, how couldest Thou be sick?” God said, “A certain servant of Mine was sick; hadst thou visited him, thou wouldst have visited Me.”
…Many claim to love God, but each should examine himself as to the genuineness of the love which he professes. The first test is this: he should not dislike the thought of death, for no friend shrinks from going to see a friend. The Prophet said, “Whoever wishes to see God, God wishes to see him.” It is true a sincere lover of God may shrink from the thought of death coming before he has finished his preparation for the next world, but if he is sincere, he will be diligent in making such preparation.
The second test of sincerity is that a man should be willing to sacrifice his will to God’s, should cleave to what brings him nearer to God, and should shun what places him at a distance from God. The fact of a man’s sinning is no proof that he does not love God at all, but it proves that he does not love Him with his whole heart. The saint Fudhail said to a certain man, “If anyone asks you whether you love God, keep silent; for if you say, ‘I do not love Him,’ you are an infidel; and if you say, ‘I do,’ your deeds contradict you.”
The third test is that the remembrance of God should always remain fresh in a man’s heart without effort, for what a man loves he constantly remembers, and if his love is perfect, he never forgets it. It is possible, however, that, while the love of God does not take the first place in a man’s heart, the love of the love of God may, for love is one thing, and the love of love, another.
The fourth test is that he will love the Koran, which is the Word of God, and Muhammad, who is the Prophet of God; if his love is really strong, he will love all men, for all are God’s servants, nay, his love will embrace the whole creation, for he who loves anyone loves the works he composes and his handwriting.
The fifth test is, he will be covetous of retirement and privacy for purposes of devotion; he will long for the approach of night, so that he may hold intercourse with his Friend without let or hindrance. If he prefers conversation by day and sleep at night to such retirement, then, his love is imperfect. God said to David, “Be not too intimate with men; for two kinds of persons are excluded from My presence: those who are earnest in seeking reward and slack when they obtain it, and those who prefer their own thoughts to the remembrance of Me. The sign of My displeasure is that I leave such to themselves.” In truth, if the love of God really takes possession of the heart, all other love is excluded.
…A sixth test is that worship becomes easy. A certain saint said, “During one space of thirty years I performed my night-devotions with great difficulty, but during a second space of thirty years they became a delight.” When love to God is complete, no joy is equal to the joy of worship.
The seventh test is that lovers of God will love those who obey Him and hate the infidels and the disobedient, as the Koran says: “They are strenuous against the unbelievers and merciful to each other.” The Prophet once asked God and said, “O Lord! who are Thy lovers?” and the answer came, “Those who cleave to Me as a child to its mother, take refuge in the remembrance of Me as a bird seeks the shelter of its nest, and are as angry at the sight of sin, as an angry lion who fears nothing.””
The Alchemy Of Happiness, By Al Ghazzali; translated by Claud Field, 1909