What is the criterion for man to love himself in Islam? How can a person love his self by separating his soul?

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What is the criterion for man to love himself in Islam? How can a person love his self by separating his soul?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The heart was created to love. Therefore, man loves all nice and perfect things in which he is interested. He loves life, the world, high ethics and his friends as well as flowers and stars. While he loves the people that lived centuries ago and that served humanity greatly though he did not see them personally, he also loves a person who helps him.

Then, what is the reason why this enthusiastic feeling that is so vast as to embrace everything was given to man?

"The inner heart is the mirror of the Eternally Besought One and pertains only to Him." (Nursi, Badiuzzaman Said, Sözler (Words), p. 598. İstanbul, 1980)

As it is expressed in the statement above, the real purpose of the creation of the heart, which is a place of love, is to love Allah. For, man was created as the vicegerent on earth by his Creator. Allah created the vast universe in order to realize this wisdom and displayed the unique manifestations of His perfection and beauty in the exhibitions of this realm. Thus, He wanted to see the manifestations of His perfection and beauty with His own eyes and in the appreciation and orientation of conscious beings. This issue is expressed as follows in a sacred hadith:

"I created the creatures so that they would be a mirror to me and I would watch my beauty in that mirror." (Nursi, Badiuzzaman Said, İşâratü'l–İ'caz, p. 17. İstanbul, 1959)

Allah Almighty, who loves His beauty and perfection and who created this huge universe in order to make His conscious guests love Him, expects them to love Him.  Human beings, who have attained the honor of being Allah's guests, have the duty to observe the magnificence and beauty in the divine manifestations seen in the exhibitions of the universe and to announce their admiration to the whole universe.

Spirits, who are in love with beauty and perfection in terms of their nature, are inclined to be affiliated with the eternal and permanent Owner of those unique beauties with endless love. This fact is expressed in the statement that the heart was created for eternal love.

Love exists in the essence of Islam. One of the most beautiful feelings Allah Almighty placed in human spirit is love. Man knows, loves and should love himself as an art of Allah. It is the indication of using the material and spiritual instruments given to him by Allah in the way of Allah. The same thing is valid in the love of the world.

When we look at the world in terms of its connection with Allah's love, we see that the world has three faces as Badiuzzaman Said Nursi puts it.

- Its First Face looks to Allah Almighty’s Names and is a mirror to them. This face of the world is worthy of love because it is a stage of Allah’s endless manifestations of beauty and a means of loving Him.

- Its Second Face looks to the hereafter and is the field for the hereafter. The bliss of the otherworldly life is gained in this world. This face also deserves to be loved.

- Its Third Face looks to man’s ephemeral desires. It is temporary and deceptive. To love the world with this face alienates man from Allah and his purpose of creation, dragging him to a disaster. The ephemeral world will not remain with us; it will soon escape and leave. However, when we love the first two faces, our love of Allah will increase. (see Nursi, Badiuzzaman Said, Sözler (Words) Otuz İkinci Söz)

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