Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Body Melting, Heart Burning Verse of Love (Ahmed Sam'ani Part 2)

Chittick quotes Sam’ani: “Quran has set up opposites between the Creator and creature in many ways, constantly asserting divine greatness and human insignificance. Only in talk of love does the Quran speak of mutuality.”
Ahmad Sam’ani illustrates the above point in the following manner:

God gave news of the attribute of His Knowledge –Surely God knows everything 29:62.
He also gave news of the attribute of our ignorance –Surely he is very ignorant, a great wrongdoer 33:72
He gave news of the attribute of His power –Surely God is powerful over everything 2:109.
He also gave news of the attribute of our incapacity –God strikes a likeness: a servant possessed by his master, having no power over anything 16:75.
He gave news of the attribute of His exaltation –Surely the exaltation, all of it, belongs to God 4:139.
He also gave news of our abasement –And faces are humbled to the Living, the Self subsistent. 20:111”

However when he gave news of Love, just as He affirmed love for Himself, so also He affirmed love for us –He loves them, and they love Him 5:54

“Here there must be a secret that will increase the refreshment of the lovers’ spirits: Knowledge, power, life, holiness, subsistence, and unity are the attribute of His Essence, and His Essence is holy and incomparable.”
William Chittick further elaborates this point: “Angels are cut from love because they cannot taste wrath, severity, and distance, and the beasts are far from love because they cannot experience beauty, gentleness, and nearness. Human beings are woven from both nearness and distance, both gentleness and severity. All the contradictory divine attributes are brought together in him.”

And then so beautifully and and ecstatically Ahmad Sam’ani writes:

“From the Throne down to the earth, no love whatsoever is sold except in the house of human grief and joy. Many sinless and pure angels were in the Court, but only this handful of dust was able to carry the burden of this body-melting, heart-burning verse: He loves them, and they love Him

That Lord who was able to protect Joseph from committing an ugly act could have prevented Adam from tasting of the tree. But since the world has to be full of tumult and affliction, what could be done?
Adam was brought into paradise, made to slip, then brought out. “Adam, this is not a business that you could have handled yourself. On the day that the angels prostrated themselves, you were not alone. On the day of the binding of the Covenant, you were not alone. There was no stipulation that you should be alone in paradise. “The most evil of men is he who eats alone.”It is not the work of a noble youth to eat all alone. Come into this world, which is the workshop of seeking. The teacher, who is poverty, will write out for you the alphabet of love.”

The last paragraph is enlightening. All of humanity took upon itself the Covenant with Allah swt, then why should it not also enjoy nearness in paradise? Why should only Adam be in paradise? Thus, Shaykh Ahmad Sam’ani says “It is not the work of the noble youth to eat all alone …” Adam was “punished”, so that all of humanity could enjoy nearness.

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