“God is love”
April 16, 2013 Comments Off on “God is love”
“God is love” – three words which open up an unending realm for the thinker who desires to probe the depths of the secret of life.
Bowl of Saki, April 16, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Every kind of power lies in this one thing which we call by the simple name: love. Charity, generosity, kindness, affection, endurance, tolerance, and patience — all these words are different aspects of one; they are different names of only one thing: love. Whether it is said, ‘God is love,’ or whatever name is given to it, all the names are the names of God; and yet every form of love, every name for love, has its own peculiar scope, has a peculiarity of its own. Love as kindness is one thing, love as tolerance is another, love as generosity is another, love as patience another; and yet from beginning to end it is just love.
Mystics of all ages have not been known for their miraculous powers or for the doctrines they have taught, but for the devotion they have shown through out their lives. The Sufi in the East says to himself, ‘Ishq Allah Ma’bud Allah, which means ‘God is Love, God is the Beloved’, in other words it is God who is love, lover, and beloved. When we hear the stories of the miraculous powers of mystics, of their great insight into the hidden laws of nature, of the qualities which they manifested through their beautiful personalities, we realize that these have all come from one the same source, whether one calls it devotion or whether one calls it love.
When we look at this subject from a mystic’s point of view, we see that love has two aspects. Love in itself, and the shadow of love fallen on the earth. The former is heavenly the latter is earthly. The former develops self-abnegation in a person; the latter makes him more selfish than he was before. Virtues such as tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion rise of themselves in the heart which is awakened to love.
How beautiful are the words of the Prophet: ‘The shrine of God is the heart of man.’ How true that is! Is God to be found in a mosque, or temple, or church, or in any place where people sing hymns and offer their prayers? Can He be found where there is no love? He is not to be found in the houses that men have built for worship. These are only schools for children, and their playgrounds. Children like playing with toys, and yet they are preparing themselves for something else. When man has come to know the real beauty of God, he will find that it dwells only in one place: in the heart of man. God is love, and He is found in the heart of man.
Love, whether it is human or divine is considered to be sacred, in the view of the mystics, philosophers, and thinkers. That it is possible to regard it thus is shown by the fact that in its root it is beyond both the human and the divine. As it is written in the Bible, ‘God is Love’, three words which open up an unending realm for the thinker who desires to probe the depth of the secret of love. In ordinary life, we make this word mean affection for our surroundings, for our relatives or our beloved, but when we think deeply about it, we see that from start to finish it represents the power underlying the power of all activities and all intelligences.