Results of love

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What are the uses and results of love for foods, selfhood, spouse, parents, children, friends, virtuous people, beautiful things like spring and the world, if that love must be according to the manner God commands?

It would cover a comprehensive book to explain all of the uses and results of such a love. Therefore, I will restrict myself to pointing out briefly, first its immediate consequences in the world and then its permanent results in the Hereafter.

As is explained above, any love in the name of the carnal self like that of the worldly, heedless people, causes many pains, troubles and afflictions in the world. For example, compassion turns into a painful affliction because of the incapacity to do something. Love becomes a consuming feeling because of separation. Pleasure becomes like a poisonous drink because of being subject to transience. Since this kind of love is not in the name of Almighty God, it will be of no use in the Hereafter and, what is more, if it has driven the lover into some illicit dealings, it will bring severe torments.

Any love in the name of God and in the manner the Qur’an commands yields good results in both the world and the Hereafter. To briefly mention its worldly results:

Your love of delicious foods and fruits in the name of God makes of them a favor and grace unmixed with pain, and an ease that yields pure thankfulness.

Your love for your carnal self leads you to pity and to educate it and to prevent it from harmful desires and fancies. When you succeed in that, your carnal self cannot take you wherever it wishes and enslave you to its desires. On the contrary, you will mount it and guide it to truth, not drive it to passions.

Since your love for your wife is based on her good conduct and her being a mine of compassion and a gift of the Divine Mercy, she will in return love and respect you seriously. As you both grow old, this mutual love and respect will increase and add more to your happiness. As for carnal love arising from physical beauty, it does not last long and when it disappears, the mutual good relations also disappear.

Since your love for your parents is for the sake of Almighty God, it is an act of worship and increases as they grow old. With a most elevated feeling and a most manly endeavour you pray for them to live long so that you may get more and more reward because of them and pay them your most sincere respects and thereby receive a pure spiritual pleasure. Otherwise if at a time when they need you because of old age you find their existence unbearable and in a most detestable feeling desire their death, it will be barbarism and a painful spiritual ailment.

If you love your children because they are Almighty God’s lovable gifts that He has put in your trust to bring up in an agree-able way, it is the kind of love which brings happiness and a blessing. You will neither suffer much because of the calamities striking them nor wail in despair if they die. Since their Creator is both the All-Wise and the All-Compassionate, you will conclude: “Since it was better for them to die than live, Almighty God took them away from me.” Thinking that your patience will draw God’s mercy upon you and that He will bring you together in an abode of eternal happiness, you will be saved from the pains of separation.

Since your love for your friends is for the sake of God, neither separation nor death will prevent you from continuing your friendly or even brotherly relations. You will benefit from the mutual love and spiritual connection between you. The pleasure of reunion for the sake of God is lasting. While a second of union for the sake of God gives the pleasure of a year of union, a year of being together for worldly purposes means a second of union and ends in pains of separation.

Since your love for virtuous people like the Prophets and saints shows you the intermediate world of the grave, which appears to the heedless to be a dark, frightening solitude, as a mansion illuminated by the existence of those blessed ones, you will not feel terrified of going to that world. Rather, you will feel an inclination and eagerness to go there and the pleasure you receive from your life will not be spoilt. If, by contrast, you love them as the ‘civilized’ love the famous members of mankind, you will be grieved at their death and the thought of their decay and oblivion in the ‘vast grave’ of the past will add to your pains. Thinking that you will also enter the grave, which causes the best members of humanity to rot away, you will utter sighs of grief and suffer fears of death. But when your love is in the name of Almighty God, you will see the grave as a place of perfect rest after being undressed of the cover of the body and look to it in warm anticipation.

Since your love of beautiful things is in the name of their Maker and in a fashion reminding you of their Creator, this love of yours, besides being a pleasant reflection, will turn your view, which adores beauties, toward the sources of much more elevated and sacred and thousands times subtler beauties. For you will turn from those beautiful works toward the beauty of Divine acts, then to the beauty of Divine Names, and then to the beauty of Divine Attributes and the matchless beauty of the Majestic One. Love such as this is both pure pleasure and an act of worship and a reflection.

If you love youth because it is a fine blessing of Almighty God, you will spend it in worship and not waste it in dissipation.

If you love youth because it is a fine blessing of Almighty God, you will spend it in worship and not waste it in dissipation. When you do that, the worship you perform in your youth will yield permanent fruits. Your youth will disappear but those fruits will remain and you will be secure from the evil consequences of a youth spent in rebellion and dissipation. When you grow old, you will concentrate even more on worship of God and deserve more from the Divine Mercy. Unlike the heedless, you will not, in the remaining years of a long life, weep and utter sighs of remorse over five or ten years’ youthful pleasures. You will not be like one of the heedless who said: “If only my youth would come back to me once, I would tell it what old age has caused to befall me!”

Since your love for the exhibitions of ornaments like spring is because of their being the works of Divine Art, the pleasure of looking on them does not disappear when they are removed. For you may always recall the meanings which, say, spring has left in your mind like a gilded letter. Like the scenes of moving pictures, your imagination and time enable you to continue to feel the pleasure of seeing them and refresh in your mind the beauties and meanings of the spring past. In that case, your love does not become painful and temporary; it continues to give pleasure and enjoyment.

As for your love of the world, since it is in the name of Almighty God, all the creatures in the world become like amiable friends to you. Since you see it as a tillage of the Hereafter, you can find in everything in it a capital you can exploit for the good of your afterlife. Neither calamities frighten you nor the transience of your life troubles you. You will stay in that guest-house peacefully until your appointed hour. If, by contrast, you love it in the manner of the heedless, you will, as I have told you hundreds of times, suffocate in a troublesome, calamitous, transient and fruitless love.

 

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