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In the Name of God بسم الله
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The notion of love has it's roots in the trait of kindness. Only a kind person can understand and exhibit love. Now, kind here is not someone who gets delighted after seeing a baby or a dog and starts adoring it. Neither it is someone who starts crying everytime after watching something bad happening to someone. So, what is kindness? A kind person is the one who is bent upon helping anyone with whatever problem one has. He is thirsty of such people who need help. An extremely kind person doesn't want anyone to ask him to help. He feels ashamed if such a thing happens. So, kindness is the pure trait of helping different beings in their works with utter selflessness. Only faith can depict such traits. As Ayatullah Shaheed Murtadha Mutahhari writes in his book, "It is religious faith alone which, above all, respects Truth, honors justice, encourages kindness". So, kindness is a spiritual trait. As this trait becomes more and more apparent within the realm of spirit; it indicates towards a strong, inevitable and beautiful reality. This is called love. It seems, overtly, as if kindness causes love. But no, it is actually love that is the cause of this kind behavior. Love is a feeling while kindness is a trait. Love, though is an extreme force, not easy to control but it has levels. It seems as if it ascends from relative realities to absolute reality. Actually, it breaks down from absolute reality to relative bounds. At the lowest level of this hierarchy is human to human love. This has no essence of itself. It's core lies in faith only. This is just a symbol. Despite being very limited and quite less, it exists. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said, "Allah has divided kindness into 100 parts. Out of which 1 part is induced in all humanity." So, the love amongst the humans is basically, 100th part of the entire phenomenon. Amazing. This love can be seen everywhere and everyone has experienced it. May Allah let every person have a taste of love. Love of a mother for her child, a father for his child, among siblings, friends, family relatives, husband and wife etc. It doesn't even matter how they are related or is their even any relationship or not. Love is independent of any relationship, distance or any material dimension. It can be resembled in different ways but love doesn't depend upon it's symbol. At this point, a human mind starts to tremble. Because this feeling is incomprehensible and unpercievable. He tries to break and kill all the false perceptions that might be their. Love, as I said, has no physical dimension. Though, a human mind lagging the ability to understand it, might mistake it (and it happens very often). False notions are created which shame the truth and pure character of love. Carnal desires related to lust and greed always wander in a human mind. But problem occurs when these satanic thoughts are confused or assumed wrongly as love. From this point, this spiritual notion gets materialized and humiliated. This happens to such an extent that as a result it stops the progress of the spirit of a human being. It makes a person blind towards the reality of love — which is progressive — and stops the journey of soul towards it's ultimate destiny. Human love is just a medium to reach the divine and absolute reality of love but greed makes a person feel as if human love itself is divine and he has found our god in the form of that person or being we love in this material world. So, the final result of this false notion is infidelity. Here is the difference between both. The fake love vs real love. One is destructive to an extent that it directs you to hell and the other might help you reach heaven without any punishment. Heaven and hell? Where did that come from? Yes, as I said, Love is truth. Truth is love. And it is divine and absolute. If a human being on the path of love and kindness doesn't recognize Allah or as a result of love, his faith doesn't reach closer to certainty, then he is trapped in a false notion. Above the level of love is worship which is the last. Love is a consequence of the manifestation of divinity (Maarefat e Ilaahi). As I said love doesn't combines, it breaks down. When we practice taqwa, adhere to our faith, earn knowledge, struggle, stay patient and thus our counted amongst the guided ones; we see the beauty of Allah through the eyes of our heart. It amazes us and turns us crazy. Maula Ali (عليه السلام) says when Asked by his companion Dhalib al Yemani, "Yaa Amir ul Momineen (عليه السلام), Have you seen your Lord?" Maula says, "Would I worship that which I do not see? When Asked, "How do you see him"; Amir up Momineen (عليه السلام) says, "Eyes do not see him with direct witnessing. But hearts percieve him through the realities of authentic belief". Seeing the beauty of Allah though he is unseen. This is Maarefah of Allah. This maarefah from worship and a constant search of being, causes love. But love pays back. Love increases the power of worship and makes it more extreme. It beautifies the already beautiful worship of Allah. It makes a person forget this world. It makes him turn away from this world. Such a human being who is drowned in this extreme love of his beloved (Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) ) is dying to meet his Lord as is also clear from the munajaat of Maula Ali (عليه السلام). Love of Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and AhlulBayt (عليه السلام) for Allah and it's depiction in history is the only way we can fascinate ourselves with the beauty of this feeling. Such a person, loves everything associated with Allah. He can sacrifice himself for the sake of Allah. Not only himself, his entire existence without any hesitation. It is written about Maula Ali (عليه السلام) that when some muslims came to the Holy Prophet (عليه السلام) to complain about Ali (عليه السلام), the Prophet (عليه السلام) said, "Don't complain about Ali, he is crazy (Majnoon) in love of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)." Now, removing all conseptualization let me make it clear through the intercession of AhlulBayt (عليه السلام). Love is, when a man sleeps for the sake of Allah on the bed of The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) even after knowing that he is surrounded by swords. Love is, when Fatima (SA) spends days in hunger and nights in prayer of the Almighty but never complains to anyone about her pains. Love is, when this woman (Fatima (SA)) stands like a mountain between his husband — Wali of Allah — and the oppressors who were burning her house to defend Haq. Love is, when a woman(Fatima (SA) again) being a child accompanies her father and supports him when he is attacked, laughed off and taken lightly by the meccans for the message he conveys and as a result is called as Umm Abiha. Love is, when a man (Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) ) who has committed himself to sacrifice, after sacrificing his whole family, with his body bathed in blood puts himself into the last prostration (sujood) to his lord. Love is, when a woman (Zainab (SA) ) despite all what she saw, despite the chains around her body, despite the thirst killing her throat and the humility she beared as a consequence of her veil being taken away; despite no one, except her ill nephew, standing for her, speaks so loud and so clear that the throne of the tyrant of that time and everytime and his system from top to bottom trembles and breaks into pieces. Love is, when this woman is asked in a disrespectful tone, "Did you see what Allah did to you?" She says, "I saw nothing but the beauty of Allah ((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى))". I cannot go ahead of this. So, it becomes clear that love is only for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It resembles kindness and sacrifice. It actually needs sacrifice to flourish in every heart. It needs sacrifice as it's own resemblance. It needs sacrifice for the success of human spirit. Not only from an individualistic stand point because sacrifice has an impact on masses. So, here comes the importance of the greatest effect of love on a soul which is the spirit of sacrifice. Like Ibrahim (عليه السلام) did of his son. Like Lady Hajra (عليه السلام) did of her calm life with her husband and accepted to stay in a desert relying only on her beloved (Allah). So, sacrifice is the greatest symbol of love. And what is the greatest example of sacrifice? Karbala. Can you imagine a person who says to his companions that you will be martyred, your heads will be slaughtered and raised on lances? Who says: 'Leave me alone to die as my enemies need me and not you.' ? But however he may insist, his companions don't move. They are seeing themselves cut into pieces but our eager to go to the battle ground. Who cannot be stunned by such conviction? Who are these people? Who are we in front of such people? We follow our rubbish lame desires. Are we blind or is the history of such people not clear enough? What if we start to follow Weheb al Kalbi (رضي الله عنه), who got martyred and slaughtered while he just got married. What if the woman become like her wife, who saw her smart, young and wonderful husband getting slaughtered in front of her? What will go wrong if mother's take pride in sacrificing their children for the sake of Allah, wherever and whenever possible instead of pampering them and teaching them to become coward? Have you ever seen a sacrifice of a 6 months child? Can anyone imagine herself in place of Bibi Umm Rabab (رضي الله عنه)? Have you seen a mother who prays to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and prostrates in front of Allah out of thankfulness when she hears the news that both of her dear sons got martyred? She doesn't even cry on them. She barely asks about their dead bloodied bodies. Allahu Akber! What can one say? Just doing this conversation and penning down this glorification of love is making me tremble. Karbala's example is unique just like our religion and the holy figures that stand as divine guides for us. Though Karbala carries the legacy of simple human beings like us. But can you see how love changes everything? Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) created friends of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) out of human beings. His Caravan of sacrifice led the greatest example of divine love humanity will ever see. What can we take for us from here besides humility as lovers and shame as worshippers. Humility about our weak hearts who don't nourish the feeling of love to such an extent. Shame that our prostrations, if even as much as the stars in the sky, cannot equate to the millionth of the prostrations of the Martyrs of Karbala on the plains of Karbala. But their is a glimmer of hope. It's true that love of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is far beyond from the realm of imagination and we cannot sustain it so easily. But their is hope. Hope that comes from AhlulBayt (عليه السلام). Hope that takes an afflicted, painful heart full of regret in the camp of Yazid, from his calm abode to Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) within a night. Hope that makes us quit our food and drinks on the 10th of Ashura (those who genuinely do) and makes us cry and vail for Imam Hussain (عليه السلام). As this hope remains, it is developed through love. Love for Ahl ul Bayt (عليه السلام). Love for Imam Hussain (عليه السلام). If we make efforts, it is not difficult. When Hurr ibn Yazid al Riyahi (رضي الله عنه) changed his fate in one night by developing all these traits, realising all these instincts; why can't we? He developed love for Imam Hussain (عليه السلام). This is intercession. When Imam (عليه السلام) becomes your beloved, your destiny, he will divert your path towards the divine love of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). The notion of mourning the martyrdom and misery of Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) opens the door of love, devotion and self sacrifice within the soul of a human being. It's so deep that it can revive a dead soul. Imam Khomeini has said, "Keep the event of Karbala and the holy name of Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) alive. For by it's survival, Islam will survive." So, don't miss these mourning events. Marsiya and Nauha recited for our beloved Imam (عليه السلام). You will automatically notice that Allah has changed you. You will experience that change at the end of Muharram. As if some new hidden realities have been shown to you. Even if you read down entire books of Hadith and Qur'an and pray day and night, the effect on your soul will not be as swift as contemplating on the tragedy of Karbala and the life of Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام). Qur'anic verses are beautified by the character of Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). Qur'an is a book and it's visual reality is the life of Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام). If you have love for Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام), you'll fall in love with Qur'an automatically. Falling in love with both of them will let you gain Maarefat of The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his Maarefat to the love of Allah. When this divine love will be in your heart, it will break down into infinite denominations and will fall as kindness upon every creature of Allah. In this way, you'll find yourself in love with everything. As Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) says, "O Allah, What did he find who lost you? What did he lose who found you?" [Dua Arafah]. Start your journey of love and immerse yourself in this ocean of love. Though this is nothing in comparison to what an explanation of love should be and my words are not enough to express it. Even if I write what all encompasses my mind, I won't be able to convey it completely.
I know many of us (believers) have been through this, and I personally experienced my boat sinking and I know it is tough getting it back up. But if you won't understand why you have to get back up then you're definitely going to drown. My point of bringing this topic up is not to scare you away by telling you about the torment of hellfire or the agony in the grave, surely I'll do that by the end of our short exchange, but before everything else I want you to know what benefits and positive change prayers can bring to your life! BENEFITS OF PRAYING There are actually a lot; me and you could go on and on about how practicing Islam can benefit you and the people around you, but this once, let me just mention a few of those that I experienced first-hand. Health Prayer can be a source of exercise for most people. It keeps check on your physical fitness. All the obligatory acts in prayers benefit greatly to ones health. For example, going to ruku and sajda and tash'had saves one from back pain and knee-joints pain. Prayer also wards off many illnesses. Down to Earth When you go down in sujood, it gives you a feeling of how small and insignificant you are in front of all the blessings and creations of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. He made so much, and still blesses you and showers upon you from good. Prayer kills your ego and brings you closer to Allah and the reality. Focusing on how you're alone in this world, and how only Allah is your supporter and benefactor even in the time of adversity. Strengthens the heart and the belief Prayer gives you the strength that you are lacking when facing adversity. It becomes a driving force when met with a lot of short-comings. It strengthens ones resolve to keep moving forward and facing new challenges while knowing that Allah never burdens a soul more than what it can bear. Closeness to Allah When we recite the verses sent down to us Humans by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, we naturally feel close to Him. His words are the reflection upon our own-selves. When we make dua to Him and kneel down to Him, it shows that we are ready to give in our desires for pleasing Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى. And that: He is the only "one" we can turn to in the time of adversity... There's nobody else, is there? Countenance and Spiritual Pleasantness Did you know that prayers make your face and spirit brighter? Who wouldn't want their face glowing with happiness and zeal. This not only allows others to look at you in good light but also brings a smile to their faces (especially your family). And it takes off a lot of tension from their shoulders (for some reason). Keeps you away from sins and keeps sins away form you Now this is note-worthy, because both sound just about the same. So where lies the difference? The difference is that there in you will come a sense of responsibility and a sense of accountability once you start praying. You will become more aware of your performance near Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى, and you'd want to please him more and more. Who wouldn't want beautiful reward from Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى?And alternatively, Allah will keep you away from sins with his authority over you if he finds your actions pleasing. And no doubt, he is the most merciful and the most benevolent. Along with oft-forgiving. Gets rid of laziness and grooms punctuality Most of the time we are extremely lazy when it comes to our responsibilities and obligations. But once we start being punctual in prayers habitually, we (Insha'Allah) will become more aware of the limited time we have and the utilization of it. Prayer somewhat grooms the instinct of time within you. When you start praying five times a day, you'll begin to realize if you're spending the remaining time the right way. You will have thoughts like: Am I fulfilling my religious obligations correctly? Is Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى going to be pleased enough with the current me? Have I been listening to every words my parents say? Have I done the job that I must in time? Sense of Accountability I know I am kinda repeating myself here, but I couldn't just skip this point. Because this one is very significant when it comes to prayers. In our daily life, if we skip a prayer, do you know how many things go wrong then? How many times we attempt sins and bad acts? Have you ever reflected upon them?Prayer gives you a chance of reflection. And in the future it keeps you intact and in-check that you don't fall astray to bad acts from Satan. Keeps you pure and clean Before going to prayer, you remember, that you have to be Tahir (pure from any impurity). Thus this single remembrance can keep you more than enough clean and pure. Also, performing ablution three-to-five or more so times a day, protects you from Satan and his devilish whispers. Takes away nightmares and bad dreams I am sure many of us had nightmares or dreams that were bad, something you wish you'd never seen. But if you sleep after doing a wudu, and with faith that Allah and His angels will protect you from such dreams (that come from Satan), you'll be protected. WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY ABOUT PRAYERS? I hope this thread will open your eyes to the importance of prayers and will bring you closer to Allah. If I made a mistake somewhere in the text, then it is solely from me. Forgive me, as I am only human. P.s. Thanks to my brothers and sisters here, they gave me confidence enough to post my material here. lol. I have some serious confidence issues. :P Anyways, thanks to everybody for reading and supporting! Jazak Allah Khair. Hope it will be helpful to at least a single soul!
So...I was watching this movie Paranormal Activity. I take a lot of interest in the supernatural. What occurred to me suddenly was that what is the difference between demons and evil ghosts in Islam? Yes I believe in the supernatural.
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