The art of Yearning for God

My Notes and Reflections on Sehre Ramazan Lectures by Br. Khaleel Jaffer.

Surah : Al Baqarah 2 – Ayah 165.

‘ and of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah ….’

They love them – idols, wealth, self, false believes etc as they ought to have loved Allah.

The only natural obsession or yearning is for Allah.

Yearning for Allah in Arabic translates to ‘ shauk illAllah’

Now there is a subtle difference between ‘ shauk’ and ‘uns’ both are yearning, but with a difference.

One who has ‘shauk’ is referred as ‘ Mushtaq’ his yearning is for Allah who appears to be far and he yearns His nearness.

One who has ‘uns’ feels Allah to be very close to him,
‘Al unsbillah’ and such a person is referred to as ‘ Anees’

In ‘shauk’ the yearning for Allah is externalised whereas in ‘uns’ it is internalised yearning.

A gnostic (A’rif) is one whose body or person is with people but his heart is with Allah. He has no need of people, no need of this world and it’s entanglements, he is solely focused on achieving Nearness and Pleasure of Allah. His security is only in the Love of Allah, and he prays with his whole being.

When he is in ‘ruku’ he is fully focused and present in the ‘ruku’ and does not think of ‘sujood’ he prays with intensity and purpose. All his acts are performed out if Love for Allah.

Moulana Abuzar ul Gifari’s night prayers were so intense that at times, he used to be in ‘ruku’ for greater part of the night. When someone pointed out to him about his prolonged ‘ruku’ he said how I wish the night would have been longer. The night vigils of our beloved Nabi (S.A) are well known, and Allah in his Rehmat addressed him lovingly as Ta Ha ‘ ma anzalna alaiqa … ‘ we have not send down the Quran unto you ( O Muhammad) to cause you distress.(Surah 20 Ayat 2)

Dawood Nabi used to make a living by selling palm baskets and seeking in return barley bread. Isa Nabi used to sleep on a stone pillow. Nabiullahs and Awaliya Kirams through out the ages have lived a spartan life. Moulana Ali (S.A.) in one of his sermons says that the Love of Allah is like a fire, when it kindles in the heart of a believer, it burns everything, and what remains is only the Love of Allah.

In Nahjul Balagha Sermon 160 Moulana Ali (S.A.) says if you wish, I will give you example of Musa Nabi.
He calls out – ‘ My Lord – I am a beggar in need of what you will give me’

Musa Nabi who is the leader of his men, who has vanquished the might of Pharaoh, has achieved all that his heart has desired, what it is that he still wants ?

Allah knows what Musa Nabi is thirsting for. After self mortification for 40 days in the wilderness, when Musa Nabi finally arrives, Allah in jest asks.

Sura Ta Ha (20: 83) Why have you come running to me O Musa ?

Sura Ta Ha (20: 84) I have come running to you my Lord that You may be pleased.

This than is the true yearning. Nothing in the world matters, except Love of Allah.

At this stage an important point has to be considered. Islam does not favour or encourage one to become a hermit or a monk, to forsake the world, but the sirat of Nabiullahs and Awliya Kirams in many instances show that they enjoined upon themselves spartan lifestyle, although some were rulers of the world and leaders of their followers.

This paradox begs an answer and had to be reconciled.

Some of the symptoms a true A’rif experiences, when the yearning for the Love of Allah takes hold of him, as that he looses sleep, appetite, and although he lives amongst people he detaches himself.

The above symptoms are similar and experienced by one who falls in love with the opposite sex. But the yearning for Allah, when it takes hold of someone, is more intense, everlasting and the joys and experiences are beyond words.

Here it has to be remembered that any act of yearning performed after rationalising and deducing is not right. Outward appearances of wearing coarse clothing, simple diet etc: will not hold water, it is not true yearning.

Any act of yearning performed out of pure Love by the nudging of the heart is commendable. If one who is in true Love of Allah and as a consequence looses sleep, lives a spartan and secluded life, such a one is not to be blamed, because his only concern is the Love and Nearness of Allah, and for him nothing else matters.

In his case as if, ‘Taqbir’ ( the one that we recite in Janaza namaz) has been said for him and all his worldly desires.

To be continued ……

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