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Love

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in As a Teacher

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1. Love is one of the most subtle blessings that the Most Merciful One has bestowed upon humanity. It exists in everyone as a seed. This seed germinates under favorable circumstances and, growing like a tree, blossoms into a flower, and finally ripens, like a fruit, to unite the beginning with the end.
2. As a feeling, love penetrates into our inner being through our eyes, ears, and heart. It then swells like water behind a dam, grows like an avalanche, or engulfs our very being like a flame. It starts to subside only when it results in union. The flame goes out, the reservoir empties, and the avalanche melts away.
3. Love is a natural and essential aspect of our being. But when it is transformed into "true love"—love of the Creator—it acquires its true nature and color, and later becomes "pure" pleasure at the threshold of union.
4. One's heart is a receptive port for Divine manifestations. Your love of the Creator and yearning to return to Him is the clearest sign of your being loved by God.
5. Love is the most direct and safest way to human perfection. It is difficult to attain the rank of human perfection through ways that do not contain love. Other than the way of "acknowledging one's innate impotence, poverty, and reliance on God's Power and Riches, and one's zeal in His way and thanksgiving," no other way to truth is equal to that of love.
6. Love is a mount that, bestowed upon us by God, carries us toward the Paradise we have lost. No one who has ridden this mount has ever been stranded on this road, although we sometimes find people on this celestial mount walking on the road side due to some boastful words they utter because of their intoxication from joy. However, this is a matter between them and God.
7. Neither the "flames" of the world nor the fire of Hell can "burn" those who already have been "burnt to ashes" by love. Those who burn with the fear of Hellfire while in this world will not go to Hell. The final abode of those who feel secure against Hellfire will most probably be Hell. Those who burn here in the flames of love and suffer Hell on earth by struggling against their carnal selves and the world will most certainly not be subjected again to the same suffering in the Hereafter.
8. Love makes us forget our own existence, and annihilates our existence in the existence of our beloved. It therefore requires the lover always to want the beloved, and thus to dedicate himself or herself, without expecting any return, completely to the desires of the beloved. This is, according to my way of thinking, the essence of humanity.
9. In the way of love, even a slight imagined inclination of the lover to someone or something other than the beloved means the end of love. Such an inclination is forbidden. Love continues as long as the lover sees the beloved in everything around him or her, and regards every beauty and perfection as the manifestation of the beloved. If this is not the case, love dies.
10. Lovers cannot imagine any opposition, no matter how small, to the beloved. They cannot endure to see the beloved veiled by something that causes Him to be forgotten. Moreover, lovers regard as futile any speech not about the beloved, and any act not related to Him as ingratitude and disloyalty.
11. Love means the heart's attachment and the willpower's inclination toward the beloved. It also means the feelings' being purified of anything or anyone else other than the beloved, and all the lover's senses and faculties being turned to and set on the beloved only. Every act of the lover reflects the beloved: his or her heart always beats with yearning for the beloved; his or her tongue always murmurs the beloved's name, and his or her eyes open and close with the beloved's image.
12. Seeing the beloved's traces in the blowing wind, the falling rain, the murmuring stream, the humming forest, the dawning morning and the darkening night, the lover comes alive. Seeing the beloved's beauty reflected in everything around him or her, the lover becomes exuberant. Feeling the beloved's breath in every breeze, the lover becomes joyful. Feeling the beloved's occasional reproaches, the lover moans in sorrow.
13. Lovers who awaken to the dawn of the beloved's signs find themselves engulfed by a flood of flames. They burn therein, never desiring to escape this pleasant "hell." They are like volcanoes ready to erupt, and their groans are like lava that burns everything it touches.
14. One should not confuse true love with the feeling felt for members of the opposite sex. Such love, although sometimes transformed into true love, is deficient, temporary, and without inherent value.
15. It is impossible to express love with words, for love is an emotional state that can be understood only by the lover.
16. Lovers are intoxicated with their love, admiration, and appreciation of the beloved. Only the trumpet announcing the Day of Judgment will bring lovers to their senses.
17. Only true love will end the pain caused by being ephemeral, and extinguish the "flames" in which the afflicted "burn." True love will cure all apparently incurable pain and disease, and answer the cries of the modern world.
18. If we do not plant the seeds of love in the hearts of young people, whom we try to revive through science, knowledge, and modern culture, they will never attain perfection and free themselves completely from their carnal desires. [Criteria or Lights of the Way, Izmir 1990, Vol.3, pp.57-66]