Poets have a great way of uniting and separating words to express the concepts of life in the most unique and colourful ways that help one feel, reflect, repent and yearn for what ideas lie in the poetry. The greatest of poets are ultimately lovers too. They love life, the One that created life, and the ones that live through lives. Poetry becomes something similar to the documentation of humanity or at the very least, one’s humanness.
In Islam, love is not exclusive to spirituality. Especially noteworthy are concepts of Ihsan and Iman in our faith. The overlapping sufi concepts of love and the journey towards spirituality is beautifully displayed in Rumi’s works that are being recited, quoted by and inspiring everyday people like us.
Virtues and good character defined by our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. can also be seen as defining characteristics born out of love. The gentleness of spirit and tenderness in which he deals with the people from all walks of society is the embodiment of love. It is inevitable that a chosen messenger of Allah would possess qualities of love as Allah s.w.t is Al-Wadud, The Loving One.
The capacity of our love is limitless, all praise be to Allah. Us, puny humans, could love and give love even when hurt or frightened. But love becomes limited when we limit love simply into ideas and thoughts and feelings. Relationships do not work because there is a lack of practicality in how we view love and execute it.
With all the current chaos and conflicts in this world which are seemingly endless, it is our trust in Allah’s will, in designated fate and pre-determined destiny that gives us hope to continue trying and thriving in this world. It does however make one wonder, what one can do within one’s humanistic capacity.
The simple memory of seeing my father consoling my nephew to sleep in a very quiet and gentle manner invoked many thoughts and emotions. It is this love that is not physical yet there it is, obviously present and naked to everyone who pays attention. It led to a string of thoughts about the notions of love: what it can do, how far it can reach, when is it too little or too much, the value of perceived love.
Be it community building, maintaining familial ties or governance of the people, love should be one of the core concerns. It is through this that we hope the practical approach to love will come with mercy, compassion and kindness. We cannot practice love by being rigid and adhering to man-made rules, the same way we cannot assume Islam as a rigid monolithic faith adhering to some man-made rules.
However, we can manage our acts of love by ensuring that we are first aware of our actions and possible repercussions towards everyone around us, now and in the future. We should then adjust our actions or habits according to the adab taught to us either through the act of imitating the proper ways of the prophets, teachers and scholars or by being empathetic towards others and adopting the idea of reciprocity. We should make gentleness and patience our most basic standard when it comes to interactions with everyone. And from there we shall progress, progress and progress. InsyaAllah.Written by: Sofia Ayu – Guest Contributor