Allah says in the Holy Quran:
Meaning: And those who believe truly, love Allah intensely. (Al-Bakra-165)
Man loves his several relatives and things, for example, he loves Allah and the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, he loves his parents, wife, children, sisters and brothers, friends, home, land, property, city, the tribe, kith and kin, business etc. The love which is so intense and crazy that it dominates all the other loves is called Ishq (an ardent love). Ishq turns all other loves into ashes and overpowers them. As the Holy Prophet says "your faith is not complete until I am not endear to you more than your lives, wives, children, house and business and everything else" (Bukhari and Muslim). Allah considers this passionate love for Him an attribute of the true believers and it is in the very nature of the human soul.
The Zaat (Essence) of Allah was secret and hidden, then an intense passion to be recognized aroused in the Zaat (Essence), this desire was revealed with such severity that the respected sufies (mystics) interpreted it, as Ishq. In the same passion of intense love, Allah created "Noor-e-Ahmadi" (Light of the Prophet) from His own Noor (Light). Then souls of the entire creation were created from the Noor-e-Ahmadi, as, it is the sacred saying of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam that "I am from the Light of Allah and the entire creation is from mine".
Sultan-ul-Arifeen, Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo States:
- Get to know, when Allah, the One, intended to manifest Himself in multiplicity, getting out of the chamber of solitude of Oneness, he graced the worlds with the warmth of His Love by purifying the Manifestations of His Perfect and illuminous Beauty, with which both the realms started burning like a moth over His Flaming Beauty, on this Allah concealed himself with the veil of 'meem' and appeared as the sacred self of Ahmad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. (Risala Roohi Sharif)
This statement implies that when Ishq (Allah) adorned His court, first of all, He revealed Noor-e-Mohammadi from His own Zaat (Essence), then He created the souls of the whole creation and this is the Haqeeqat-e-Mohammadiya (the Reality of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam), for whose revelation this universe is created. As Iqbal says:
Meaning: Oh Beloved Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, the Creator of both the worlds is proud of your existence. Surely, you are the reason behind the creation of this Universe.
Several Hadiths and traditions of the Holy Prophet re-inforce this reality.
Allah told the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam:
Meaning: I would never have created the universe if your (Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam) birth was not intended.
The Holy Prophet himself said:
Meaning: I was the prophet even at the time when Adam Alayh Salam was in the process of creation i.e. between mud and water.
He also said: (I am from Allah's Noor (Light) and the entire creation is from Mine). It is to say, he Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam is the very first in creation and the last in descent. Therefore, He is (the First) as well as (the Last).
Hazrat Ibn-e-Arabi beautifully illustrated his being the First and the Last by the following example:
- A trader wraps a carpet over his treasure and layers it with several cloths, when he will open the carpet, the cloth which he would have put first, will come out last.
In his writing Shajrah-tul-Kaun, Ibn-e-Aarbi says, "same is the situation of the descent of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam that his sacred soul came into being first of all but he was descended latest of all. That is why, he is called The First and The Last".
Meaning: In the eye of Divine Love and passion, he is the First and the Last. He is the Quran and Furqan and he himself is Yaseen and Ta'ha.
This is the same status where He Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam is the Totality.
Meaning: Everything is within him Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, from him, was from him and will be from him Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. (Insan-e-Kamil, written by Abdul Karim Aljeli)
Meaning: You are the Lauh (Divine Tablet) and the Qalam (Supreme Pen) and you are the real Quran. The crystal colored dome (meaning the sky) is just a bubble as compared to your Divine Self.
Since, everything is created from the Noor (Light) of Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam it is just like a small particle as compared to his great self.
The Noor-e-Mohammadiya Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam (Light of the Holy Prophet) descended in human form in the world at its fixed time. It was his human existence. Allah says about it:
Meaning: Allah chose one from His creatures. He appears to be one of them but in reality, he is not.
His manifestation took place with perfection in this world of matter. Here, humanism was applied on him.
Meaning: You (Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam) just tell them, I am also a human being like you. (surah Kahaf-110).
His reality of Noor (Light) was perfectly there but his humanism became a veil for some beholders. They could not see his Reality behind his human appearance.
Meaning: And you Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam watch, they look at you but see nothing. (surah Al-Araf-198).
The lustrous and elegant Beauty of the manifestation of the Noor of Allah was molded in the incarnation of humanism of Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. Maulana Rome Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
Meaning: Mustafa Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam is the mirror to the Face of Allah, The Essence and all the attributes of Allah are reflected in him.
Conclusion of the above discussion is that the origin of the Universe is Ishq (intense Love) and the creation of man is for the sake of Ishq. When the souls were created from the Noor (light) of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, the exclusive essence of the Divine Love was inherited by the human souls from the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. The passion of Divine Love must arouse in the heart of the seeker for Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah). In fact, the relation of the soul and Allah is that of Ishq. Without Ishq neither the soul is awaken nor can it find "the Vision" of Allah. Ishq is present in the form of a seed within the human being. Although, it is dormant but as soon as it starts to awake in the soul by the Zikr (invocation) and Tasawur (contemplation) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (the Personal Name of Allah) and by Mushq Murqoom-e-Wajudia (the practice of inscribing the Name of Allah on body) and by the attention of the Murshid (The spiritual guide), the pain, the craving and the attraction for Allah starts increasing. Fuqara kamileen (The perfect mystics) stated that intense love is essential for the Vision of Allah, the faith is imperfect without the Divine love.
Ishq-e-Haqeeqi (the Divine Love) like a leader helps a seeker to access the Court of Allah. Ishq takes man ahead by adopting the spiritual path of his inner self. Only, it makes the man intimate to the Divine Self of Allah within his own being. Only, it burns the flame of urge in the soul to meet the Beloved Allah. Only it keeps the souls restless and anxious day and night for Deedar (Vision) and Visal (Union). Only it intensifies the fire of separation and leads to the Vision of the Haq (Divine Reality).
- The most respected lord Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam of the Universe, states about the lovers: "It is a hard luck for the lovers of Allah, if they have to live in Paradise without the vision of His Beauty, but if the eagers find the Hell along with His Visal (Union), it is their great fortune and luck." (Asrar-e-Qadri)
Allah's relation with the lovers is entirely different from all others. He deals with the so called religious scholars differently while the lovers are dealt differently. Ishq leads to Mushahida (the observation of Divinity) and possesses the essence of true mystic knowledge but the intellect has superficial knowledge only.
- Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh has explained it in this way "it should be clarified that the path of Ishq is not written in the books of laws of religion or community. It means Rub-ul-Arbab (The Lord of Lords). When the Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam returned blessed from the Meraj (Ascension to Allah), first of all the lovers of Allah asked the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam "did you see Allah"? He replied (whoever saw me, in fact, he saw Allah). Afterwards the Ulama (scholars) asked, "did you see Allah"? Since, the verse is revealed in his favour which means "and the Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam does not say anything on his own will" (Surah Al-Najam-3), he replied (by the will of Allah) (meditate upon His signs but not about His Entity). (Mohabbat-ul-Asrar)
- Mehboob-e-Subhani Qutab-e-Rabbani Syedna Ghaus-ul-Azam Razi Allah Anhu states in his periodical "Asrar-e-Elahiya" (Risala Al-Ghausia) that: "I saw Allah then I asked, oh Rub what is meant by Ishq (love)? He replied, "Oh Ghaus-ul-Azam! love me, love for me and I am love myself and get your heart and actions free from everything other than me. When you have recognized the outward love, it is essential for you to surpass the stages of (inward) love because Ishq is also a veil between the lover and the beloved. Hence, it is necessary for you to go beyond everything else other than Allah because everything other than Allah is a veil between the lover and the beloved".
- Hazrat Rabia Basri says:
- According to Maulana Rome:
- Khawaja Hafiz states: "The person who does not possess the Divine Love, surely, all his prayers are in vain, deceitful and full of hypocrisy." (Deewan-e-Hafiz)
- Baba Bulleh Shah says in his poem "Ne mein hun sunya" : "The religious scholars and theologians cannot even think about the spiritual elevation at which the lover of Allah reaches by crossing all the levels of knowledge and intellect".
- Mian Mohammad Bukhsh says:
- Allama Iqbal, like other Arifeens (knowers of Allah), also thinks that the Faith is incomplete without the intense love:
- According to Iqbal, Ishq is the key to the path of Faqr, and only Ishq takes to the destination of Visal-e-Elahi (Union of Allah). The path of Faqr is the path of Ishq. Without Ishq the height of Faqr Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah) cannot be approached at. Allama does not consider him Muslim who does not Possess Ishq-e-Elahi.
- Ishq is the foundation and soul of Tauheed (belief in Oneness of Allah), and without Ishq Tauheed is like an empty sheath without a sword.
Meaning: To prostrate the Beloved madly, is the real prayer of the lovers and the sadness of their painful hearts is their recitation of the Holy Quran.
Meaning: Ishq (intense love) is such a flame when burns, it enflames everything except the Beloved.
Meaning: Those, who do not possess the Divine Love, their life is useless and worthless. Without Ishq (of Allah), there is no difference between a man and a dog.
Meaning: Dogs are better than the people who do not possess Ishq-e-Elahi (the Divine Love), because they watch their master's house patiently even when the master does not feed them and try to kick them out, still, they continue serving their master.
Meaning: The first and the foremost guide and mentor of heart, wisdom and insight is Ishq. Without Ishq of Allah, the interpretations, one derives from the religion will be completely an idol temple of one's own thoughts and ideas.
Meaning: If the Muslim is not an ardent lover of Allah, he should not be considered a Muslim, rather he is an infidel.
Meaning: One glance of Ishq can break even the rocks. The love of Haq (Allah) itself becomes a complete incarnation of Haq at its ultimate stage.
Meaning: what is Ishq? Ishq is to foster the Oneness of Allah in the heart and then encounter every difficulty coming in the way of truth, so that, the Oneness becomes mature in the true sense in one's heart and mind.