Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sufi Love

In Sufism, love is an alchemical force of enlightenment; the lightning bolt which brings you back to life. 

I was dead, I became alive, I was tears, I became laughter
The sovereignty of love appeared, and I became everlasting sovereign.

  What is such a love, and why do certain people fall so deeply under its spell that it transforms their entire being?

  I have been fascinated by such questions for a long time and I found answers only by going into the soul places where mortal love and immortal love meet. 
Romeo and Juliet were mortal and even died for love, yet they attained a kind of immortality by being allowed to live on in verse.Love is a doorway to a greater reality.

The human form of love can be, and for the Sufi is, the ladder to Divine Love.In Sufism, the beauty of one’s beloved is considered to be a representation (symbol) of the Perfection of God. No wonder then that it has the power to evoke true love in the heart of a lover!

  Sufism decrees that by learning how to love through the love of a person, the sincere Sufi could – in principle – transform his or her love of a person into the love of Allah. 

Because love is the most brutal ego annihilation, Being IN love means surrendering your ego.  The word orgasm in French is called little death. Being in love with anyone is like dying to your old life and being reborn into a new dimension. 

The relationship is dangerous. It is dangerous because the more you love someone, the more and more you evaporate. And when you have come really close you are no more. It is dangerous because it is suicidal…but the suicide is beautiful. Because if you survive this suicide---you will walk towards God because you would have experienced the limitations of egoic living and tasted the ecstasy of surrender. 

Death in human love is a catalyst of an alchemical crucible which can -potentially- lead to transformation.

To love so that nothing of you remains, is the way to enlightenment.You no longer exist.Non-being is the way to being, and love is the most adequate method to disappear.Just as nature abhors a vacuum, God also abhors a vacuum. You become a vacuum, and God rushes into you.

To die in God is the only way to live really. Until you die, until you die voluntarily into love, you live an existence which is simply mediocre; you vegetate, you don't have any meaning. No poetry arises in your heart, no dance, no celebration; you simply grope in the darkness. You live at the minimum, you don't overflow with ecstasy.

In the Hindi Film Anwar (2007), the chosen murshid (guide) advises the young protagonist of the movie Anwar, that he has to fall in love in the earthly realm in order to evolve true love for God in his heart.   


        Poetry has that elusive quality of transcending words and lightly touching upon this secret garden of the human heart.In the book, Rumi, The Persian, The Sufi, Rumi quietly murmurs and speaks from his heart about his personal experience:

Do you know who is alive?

That one who is born in love.
I am not the moon, or the universe, or thunder
Or clouds
I am all love, all love, I am all soul by your
I am full of love, flaming as a burning tree;
A stranger to everyone except love, like oil and

While Divine Love might appear to some to be completely distinct from human love, for many Sufis such as Ahmad al-Ghazali (d. 520/1126), Ruzbihan (d. 606/1209), Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 638/1240), Rumi, and ‘Iraqi (d. 688/1289), there was a continuum from human love to Divine love.

The contemporary scholars Chittick and Wilson, in the introduction to their translation of ‘Iraqi’s Lama’at, discussed this relationship of human love and Divine love.

          Speaking of ‘Iraqi’s understanding of love, they stated, “There is no irreducible dichotomy between divine and human love…There is a gradation from the love of forms, which is “apparent love” (‘ishq-i majazi) to the love of God, which alone is ‘real love’ (‘ishq-i haqiqi).

Love is the ark appointed for the righteous,
Which annuls the danger and provides a way of escape.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition. RUMI

 That is the meaning when Jesus says, "God is love." I say to you: Love is God -- because it is the purification of love that will bring you to God.Love is the bridge. Love is the process of alchemical change in your consciousness.

Rumi's couplet is alluding to this state.

My head is bursting
with the joy of the unknown.
My heart is expanding a thousand fold.
Every cell,
taking wings,
flies about the world.
All seek separately
the many faces of my love.

        When you fall in love with a person you have seen a glimpse of the divine. It is not really the person that you have fallen in love with; They have been just a window, a beautiful window but still a window. You have seen something beyond, it may have been just a flash; that’s why it is so difficult to explain your love affair to anybody.
If somebody asks, ’Why have you fallen in love with this person?’ it is almost inexplicable. And if you try to explain it looks absurd, even to you. But the problem is that you have not fallen in love with this person at all: you have fallen in love with something beyond.

"This woman, who is your beloved, is, in fact, a ray of His light,
She is not a mere creature. She is a creator.  RUMI

       Wherever love happens it is always between you and God: sometimes you have glimpsed Him in a flower, sometimes in a star, sometimes in a song, sometimes in the giggle of a child. God comes in so many ways but all these are fragments of God.For Sufis believe that only when a person treads on the path of earthly ‘true romantic love’ and suffers the pain of separation from one’s beloved, can one get in touch with the separation from God Almighty that is suppressed in the heart of every Individual.

A true Lover doesn't follow any one religion,
be sure of that.
Since in the religion of Love,
there is no irreverence or faith.
When in Love,
body, mind, heart and soul don't even exist.
Become this,
fall in Love,
and you will not be separated again


We hear the same answer that Ibn Arabi heard in one of his intimate conversations when he asked Allah “How could one get close to You?”And Allah responded, “Through an attribute that I do not possess”, meaning ubudiyyat, which means servant-hood

    So on this Valentine's day,
Love people and allow others to love you. Don’t create barriers. Whenever love knocks at your door, remember it is God who has knocked. Reject love and you have rejected God. 

Welcome love and you have welcomed God. 

God comes as love, flowers as love.

Begin with love so one day you can know God because, without Love, we are not really alive! 

You think you are alive

because you breathe air?
Shame on you,
that you are alive in such a limited way.
Don't be without Love,
so you won't feel dead.
Die in Love
and stay alive forever. Rumi


  1. Beautiful article, it talks to the soul. They say follow your "heart" (i.e. irrational gut feelings) and Quran says don't follow your whims.

    How to do justice to both mind and soul. I have problem with sufism that it exclusively deals with heart and relegate mind to nothing

  2. What a Superb note on the true path to Divinity - Very exact in nature and as stated by another, this piece of work speaks to the soul.
    January 23rd, 2014.

  3. School of Ahmad Ghazzali and Iraqi do not agree with uboodia't being the only means to be close to God, as Ibn-e-Arabi. Relationship is of "friendship" primarily, servanthood has been the hall-mark of clerics, orthodox. Friendship and love has been the hall-mark of Sufis, and other mystics.

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