In the name of Allah (God) the Gracious, the Merciful.
Love is the most sublime human feeling and God has privileged humans with it, distinguishing them from all other beings … and with this love man transcends above all other beings.
Christianity has privileged God with a name that no other religion has given Him, which is “Love”. The disciple of Christ, John, said in his first letter: “God is Love”.
And Islam, which came to people as guidance through the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said about God:
“The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the Forgiving …” He is in the Islamic concept closer to his believers than the “jugular vein”.
This Love that we are talking about is not merely a religious idea that we put forward, but a mental conviction rooted in our culture and in our conscience, and without this love we do not know how the human being would drift in this life.
For me as a man who specialises in Islamic Doctrine and Law, I see that life is equal to love and that love is equal to life.
In my talk today, I will address two models from our spiritual heritage:
The first is a faithful woman, a hermit; she is Rabia Al-Adawiyya, who had reached in her love of the Divine a sublime level never seen in the records of faithful and mystics; some of her sayings reveal the love that she carried:
I have two ways of loving You:
A selfish one
And another way that is worthy of You.
In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone.
In that other love, You lift the veil
And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.
There is no praise for me for this or that
But all praise is Yours for both.
The second model is Jalal ad-Din al-Rumi who can be compared to St. Francis in Christianity.
Jalal ad-Din is the father of Dervishes; he said in one of his quartets:
When my chest caught the fire of love
Its flame burned all that was in my heart
I disdained the delicate mind, school and books
And I worked on acquiring the skill of poetry and learned its composition
And his words on Love:
If you do not find me within you … you will never find me,
For I am with you since the beginning of time.
If you are looking for God, that is a problem,
God is in you and you do not know it.
Your visual appearance, that you think is you, is limited
But your true self does not have a limit.
What seems contradictory… is incomprehensible harmony
You are the universe with its ecstatic movement…
In the third millennium in which we live, this millennium disturbed in a thousand different ways by the absence of love, we draw inspiration from the spirit of love, passion and mercy of those lovers, to talk to God quietly and with peace of mind in order to strive for the highest level of perfection in love, so that we would not see in the other but a brother/sister and a lover. And, before I end my speech, I want to remind you of the earth and nature and love of the earth and nature, they are our first and last home…
Sheikh Iyad Abdallah
Imam, Orator and Teacher
Sunni Denomination – Lebanon