First Fruit: The place of love in the realm of beings; the targets where love and fear should be directed at. What is the fear of Allah? How is it achieved?

FIRST FRUIT

O my self-worshipping soul! O my world-worshipping friend! Love is the cause of the universe’s existence, and what binds it; and it is both the light of the universe and its life. Since man is the most comprehensive fruit of the universe, a love that will conquer the universe has been included in his heart, the seed of that fruit. Thus, only one possessing infinite perfection may be worthy of such an infinite love.

O soul and O friend! Two faculties, through which one may experience fear and love, have been included in man’s nature. This love and fear are bound to be turned towards either creatures or Creator. However, fear of creatures is a grievous affliction, while love for them is a calamitous tribulation. For you will fear people who will neither pity you nor accept your pleas for mercy. So fear is a grievous calamity. As for love, the one you love will either not recognize you or will depart without bidding you farewell. Like your youth and property. Or else he will despise you because of your love. Have you not noticed that in ninety-nine out of a hundred cases of metaphorical love, the lover complains about the beloved. For to love and idolize worldly beloveds with the inner heart, which is the mirror of the Eternally Besought One, oppresses the beloved, and he finds it disagreeable and rejects it. Because man’s nature rejects and casts away things that are contrary to it and unworthy of it. (Physical loves are outside our discussion.)

That is to say, the things you love either will not recognize you, or they will scorn you, or they will not accompany you. They will part from you in spite of you. Since this is so, direct your fear and love to the One by Whom your fear will become pleasurable abasement, and your love, shadowless happiness. Yes, to fear the Glorious Creator means finding a way to His compassionate mercy, and taking refuge in it. Fear is a whip; it drives you into the embrace of His mercy. It is well-known that a mother gently scares her infant, for example, and draws it to her breast. The fear is most pleasurable for the child, because it drives him to her tender embrace. Whereas the tenderness of all mothers is but a flash of Divine mercy. That means there is a supreme pleasure in fear of Allah. If there is such pleasure in fear of Allah, it is clear what infinite pleasure there is to be found in love of Allah. Moreover, one who fears Allah is saved from the calamitous and distressing fear of others. Also, because it is for Allah’s sake, the love he has for creatures is not tinged with sorrow and separation.

Indeed, man loves firstly himself, then his relations, then his nation, then living creatures, then the universe, and the world. He is connected with all these spheres. He may receive pleasure at their pleasure and pain at their pain. However, since nothing is stable in this world of upheavals and revolutions swift as the wind, man’s wretched heart is constantly wounded. The things his hands cling onto tear at them as they depart, even severing them. He remains in perpetual distress, or else plunges into heedless drunkenness. Since it is thus, my soul, if you have sense, gather together all those loves and give them to their true owner; be saved from those calamities. These infinite loves are particular to One possessing infinite perfection and beauty. When you give it to its true owner, you will be able to love everything without distress in His name and as His mirrors. That means this love should not be spent directly on the universe. Otherwise, while being a delicious bounty, it becomes a grievous affliction.

There is another aspect besides, O soul! and it is the most important. You spend all your love on yourself. You make your own soul your object of worship and beloved. You sacrifice everything for your soul. Simply, you ascribe to it a sort of dominicality. Whereas the cause of love is either perfection, because perfection is loved for itself, or it is benefit, or it is pleasure, or it is goodness, or causes like these. Now, O soul! In several of the Words we have proved decisively that your essential nature is kneaded out of fault, deficiency, poverty, and impotence, and like the relative degree of darkness and obscurity shows the brightness of light, with regard to opposites, you act as a mirror through them to the perfection, beauty, power, and mercy of the Beauteous Creator. That means O soul, that it is not love you should have for your soul, but enmity, or you should pity it, or after it is at peace, have compassion on it. If you love your soul because it is the source of pleasure and benefit and you are captivated by their delights, do not prefer the pleasure and benefit of the soul, which is a mere jot, to infinite pleasure and benefits. Do not resemble a fire-fly. For it drowns all your friends and the things you love in the darkness of desolation and suffices with a tiny glimmer in itself. You should love a Pre-Eternal Beloved on Whose gracious favours are dependent all the pleasures and benefits of your soul together with all the benefits and bounties and creatures of the universe with which you are connected and from which you profit and through whose happiness you are happy, so then you may take pleasure at both your own and their happiness, and receive an infinite pleasure from the love of the Absolutely Perfect One.

Anyway, your intense love for yourself and your soul is love for the Divine Essence which you misuse and spend on your own self. In which case, rend the egotism in your soul and show Him. All your loves dispersed through the universe are love given to you to spend on His Names and attributes. You have used it wrongly and you are suffering the penalty. For the penalty for an illicit, mis-spent love is merciless torment. For sure, one particle of the love of a Pre-Eternal Beloved Who, through the Names of Most Merciful and Compassionate, has prepared a dwelling like Paradise adorned with houris for you in which all your bodily desires will be gratified, and through others of His Names has readied for you in that Paradise everlasting favours that will satisfy all the longings of your spirit, heart, mind, and other subtle inner faculties, and in all of Whose Names are contained many treasuries of grace and munificence - one particle of His love may take the place of the whole universe. But the universe cannot take the place of even a particular manifestation of His love. In which case, heed this Pre-Eternal Decree which that Pre-Eternal Beloved caused His own Beloved to announce, and follow it:

If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you. (Qur’an, 3:31.)

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Second Fruit: The reason for worship; the way of offering the worship of all creatures to Allah on his own account.

 

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