It was the darkest hour of the night, when all nocturnal sounds surrender to the calmness of the night, blending in space that has no confines or limitations. A time when one can share to their heart’s content and witness their secrets reverberate through the universe. It was in that moment that something within me shifted; I transcended to an escalated state of awakening. I found myself wandering on the planes of mysticism, exploring its heights and pitfalls, coming close to the fire that encapsulates both love and estrangement.
I couldn’t help but wonder what gave mysticism the power that can lure its followers away from material wealth and possession, so much so that they are willing to erase their own existence, to fit in the eternal whole. As I dug deeper into the subject, I also got increasingly impatient as hours melted into one another, inching dangerously close to an anxiety attack. But before apprehension could take over, I arrived at the door that held my answer.
It was love. It was love that made them forget their own selves and submit so completely.
A man of wisdom, Ali bin Usman Hajveri, said that love is both heaven and hell, and that it is the same love that makes mystics high-spirited beings. But that doesn’t make them distant from the rest. They still keep themselves relevant in the sea of ‘normal’ and go about resolving mind boggling riddles of human life. He emphasised that the miracle of love transforms from within and eventually sets you free.
Before going forward, I want to emphasise on the incompetency of words to aptly communicate the various aspects of a concept like mysticism. Words are a means of communication but they fall awfully short when it comes to conveying feelings, like the agony one experiences in love. It is beyond the frailing grasp of tenses and conjugation. It’s incomprehensible when one tries to explains how things can stand without affirmation or negation. For love to be felt in all its glory, one has to stand above the chain of cause and effect, barriers of languages filled with stereotypes and preconceived notions of the society.
Love is the elixir of life.
It does not enter where it’s not meant to be, and it can not be stopped from where it is meant to flow. As Yasmin Mugahid rightly said, a man’s heart has several compartments, and each compartment desires and requires its own unique kind of love; and the inner most part of a heart, which is called Lub, is only created for the love of Allah (swt). This is clearly mentioned in the Kalma ‘la ila ha il’lallah’, where the word ‘ila’ means anything that is the centre of your existence. As Mugahid further explains, it is something that you live and die for. This love, which is the core of life, keeps the surrounding compartments healthy and content. It’s the most powerful motivator, one that nurtures your hidden capabilities to their utmost manifestation, and brings the world in the palm of your hands (even when you couldn’t care less about it).
The secret to its power lies in a simple act – the loss of fear. As soon as this love solidifies and progresses, it takes away all your fears, except that of losing your lover. It emboldens one to its allusions and beguiles the conscious mind with its whispers. All of your desires and pleasures perish, but one. It makes you a slave and takes away the takrar (brabbles), until you realise that submission is indeed a sign of mature and deep love. It is also symbolised with negation – negating all impurities, and becoming as pure and raw as possible.
Often, people are under the false impression of what love is, and confuse its existence with addiction and infatuation. There is no connection between the two. Being attracted to a person, engaging with them to have good time, and becoming habitual of it can be anything but love. Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s a temperamental need, maybe it’s a psychological issue that needs medical help, but it is not love. One can try to label it as such but it would only be an attempt to fool the world and self.
In our society, where love is neither properly taught or understood, there has been a significant increase in psychological problems, most of which can be addressed by sincere affection. Love is the only tool that our vulnerabilities need. Finding the right kind can help us protect our lives from destruction.
Love is not about occupation. ‘Neither it’s jealous nor boastful; not it is proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged’ (Paul). We have been raised with an absurd idea of finding the ‘other half’, which indicates the completion of your being by some other being, whose only distinct characteristic is their gender; as if the Creator has created you handicapped, and you as an individual can not experience the delights of life on your own.
It ought to be understood that there is no such thing as perfection, be it love or person. It’s a journey of transformation, and imperfection is the very characteristic of transformation. And the beauty of love is, that it is blind to the flaws of the beloved. It doesn’t bother a lover to giveaway his life for the sake of the dearest, as is reflected in the dying of a silk worm for the sake of silk, and in the wandering of moths over candles’ flame without the fear of burning to death. Being in love doesn’t imply persuasion but giving your self wholeheartedly, with no demands in return.