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January 17, 2021
Philosophy Tasawwuf

Love and Beauty

Come to terms with the One

You deny the Real yet live in reality

Come to terms with the duality,

In good faith let’s trust in Fate,

Essence of Eeman is to be safe,

Turn to the trust in Allahu ta‘ala

Tawakkaltu ala Allah

Ya Qadim ul Ehsan

Thou decreed all good in Thy foreknowledge!

O bestower of peace and tranquillity,

Remover of rancour, malice and enmity,

Thy words – “Heaven nor the Earth could contain Me

But the believing heart beheld Me”

maa wasi`anee samaee wa laa `ardee

wa lakin wasi`an qalbi `abdee al-mu’min.

Hear your heart when it beckons

Come to terms with the One!

“Brahman is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided, is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided.” – (attributed to Imam Abu Hamed Ghazali d.1111, may Allah sanctify his secret)

“In Allah Jameel wa Yuhibbul Jamal”

“Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.”
[Sahīh Muslim (911)]



The most Perfect One, reflecting on His perfection, above the beyond the boundaries of time – for the measure of time is in the succession of events, and one who is in the finitude of time is imperfect, for things perish and decay in time, thus perfection lies beyond time; furthermore, time is divisible into moments, and so how can the most perfect be broken into parts and be defined? Where it the case then we would be left with bits of perfection rather than wholesome perfection!

To us time manifests itself in space in the form of shapes, figures and objects and energy i.e. plain and simple matter, and the relation of its movements. Hence the basic unit of time is the day which is defined by the movement of the Earth on its axis in relation to the Sun. The years are counted by the revolutions of the Earth around the Sun; the hours are the subdivisions of the day!

Seeing His beauty, the most Perfect One fell in love with His own perfection – for one’s Essence (dhat) cannot be separated from His Attributes (sifat) and neither can actions (af’al) be separated from Attributes – so in one sense in the varying levels of manifestations dhat, sifat and af’al are one!

One may ask, “What, then, is beauty?”

One may answer, “That which closely resembles the perfect forms. These forms in their perfect states are imperishable, incorrigible and undeniable. Beauty, therefore, in its relative sense, is the resemblance of the concrete image with its primordial form. In its absolute sense, it is unknowable, unseeable and unthinkable as the primordial forms do now show up in the concrete objects in an identical way! Empirical data is derived from the material world, the world of experience. On the other hand, a priori knowledge is the latent intuitive faculty which allows us to judge the resemblance of concrete substances with their corresponding forms and to evaluate how far this match has been. The proportionality of this match is the beauty – the more closely it matches the form the more beautiful it is! A good example is one of the perfect circle, everyone knows what it ought to be, this is derived through a priori knowledge but experience no one has ever encountered the perfect circle.”

“What, then, is love?”

“Love is the attraction between each towards its own, the relation between Essence and Attributes, the relation between Attributes and Actions, the relation between primordial forms and material manifestations, one of between paternal sun and the maternal moon. That is, where there is a common shared form between the subject and the object, and this form is the beauty and the pull towards the beautiful is love itself.”

“Does that mean there are different types of love?”

“Yes and no, in the undifferentiated Essence there is one love as there is one form, however, in the gradation of manifestations there are many forms and it follows many loves. In the heavenly abodes there are many forms of sacred loves, and in the material world there are many types of profane loves – the loves of donkeys and rabbits may be carrots while the love of rodents and mice is said to be cheese!”

“What are the types of love?”

“Since we possess all the forms, and they are numerous, we long for all types of love, the classification into four groups: – Eros, Storge, Phileo and Agape are a good one. However, this classification does not adequately explain why this is so. A better way to classify may be to divide into the different aspects of the human being:

a) Physical – as the body is physical and physical entities do undeniably possess beauty and have its won needs. It satisfies its needs in terms of food, comfort, clothing, lust, recreation, sport, play and recreation – these are the loves on the physical level. All animals possessed of sensual bodies that feel the heat and cold and are able to move do seek after the love of this sort.

b) Egocentric – this is the love of pride and vanity, the lust after power, name and fame, wealth and possessions, friends and family – all animals possessing certain intelligence are after the pursuit of this type of love. Each tiger has its own territory; each lion has its land!

c) Love pertaining to the heart – the love of human qualities of caring and sharing, sympathy and empathy, friendship and hospitality, virtue and generosity, of kith and kin, of identity and belonging – these are the human values universally acclaimed throughout time and culture. This love is higher than the two mentioned above, those who attain this love is known as the good people in society.

d) Love of higher rational pursuit – the knowledge of art and science, law and justice, learning and logic, the development and betterment of the self – these are the loves of the wise who make sacrifices for higher causes and principles.

e) Love for the Absolute Truth and Beauty – this is the love of the elect and elite; amongst some of them are the seekers while few of them of who are sought after, they have surpassed everyone and have left behind search for the differentiated forms and pursue the quest the undifferentiated Essence. Who knows what they gain and who cares where they’ve been!

These are the types of love, each type has varying levels, degrees and intensity, each heart has its watering place!”

“The happiness of the drop is to die in the river.” (Attributed to Imam al-Ghazali)

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