Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Editor, WordForPeace.com
The pet poetic topic for the Sufi mystics that they contemplate and talk about is: Love. They speak so well of being in love. But in their view, love has two distinct forms. One is merely worldly, material and external form of love and the other is eternal, spiritual and the divine. But even the former should not go in vain. Through this, Sufis contend, one can prepare himself/herself for the latter—divine love.
Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janan—Delhi’s distinguished Sufi mystic of the Naqshbandi order—believed in the divinity of love. But he had developed an entirely different flair for the worship of the Divine and had conceived a beautiful form of love of His beauty. In fact, he gradually travelled from human love to the divine. This is mirrored in his large corpus of beautiful Urdu and Persian poetry as well as in his malfuzat (oral transmissions) and maktubat (written letters) on his Sufi thought and practice.
Jan-e-Janan was not only venerated as a prominent Sufi philosopher and Urdu-Persian poet of the 18th century, but also because he was first Islamic proponent of theological inclusivity between the Qur’an and Vedas. Inspired by the spiritual synergy between the essential Islamic and Hindu faith traditions, Mirza believed the Vedic texts as revealed by Allah and thus considered the Hindus or Sanatanis as People of the Book, which the Qur’an call Ahl-e-Kitab.
No wonder then, he is particularly noted in Indian history as one the four pillars of Urdu poetry and Islamic mysticism, as an influential German scholar on Sufism, Annemarie Schimmel has enumerated in her book, Muhammad is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety.
Many other western scholars of Sufism who have delved deeply into his thoughts have arrived at the same conclusion. Some of them have even got immense inspiration emanating from the concept of unconditional love in Sufism.
Recently, I had a great conversation with another contemporary German researcher and lover of Rumi—globally renowned master of the same Sufi order or tariqah. The lasting impression I have received in the course of conversation is that the saintly souls like that of Jan-e-Janan embraced all in love and witnessed God as the infinite source of love. Therefore, they light up humanity even today much after their demise.
But those who act only in fear of God, tend to be divisive and sometimes aggressive. That’s because fear creates aggression. Love reduces it. To see that God is oft-loving, not judging is the first step to become a soul like Rumi or Mirza.
Maybe those deep in the ego need some fear at the first stage, but never too much. Only love leads to freedom. “I think those with fear are just moving towards the wrong direction. Fear can/will be removed when one is caring and selfless”, said the German seeker and researcher on Sufism.
Indeed, love is the greatest strength of a Sufi. It is the only power that survives even in trying times. When we resist against love, this can only be temporary, but sooner or later, we lose strength for hatred. What remains is love, because it’s effortless, pure stillness of mind. That’s why a lover always has time on her/his side.