Divine Love (Week 2)

March 14th, 2014

“”He Loves them, and they love Him”(5:54)


Love is a powerful thing.  Love is an integral part of the Islamic faith, and to some Sufis, it is the fundamental aspect of nature in that Divine love is the cause of human existence.  To many, Love is the force behind our descent from God, and also the force driving man’s return to him.


William Chittick has this to say on the matter:


“Most discussions of divine love look at the universe as love’s fruit, and the human return to God as its final goal.”(Divine Love, 8)


Professor Asani explores how some Sufis take this to mean that the lover and the beloved are, in fact, one and the same.  He cites a poem by Al-Hallaj, which says:


“I am He whom I love,

and He whom I love is I,

We are two spirits dwelling in one body.

If you see me,

You see Him,

And if you see Him,

You see us both.”(Infidel of Love, 75)


In light of this, I saw fit to write my own poem on Divine love.  I took my inspiration from two poems by the Persian poets, Rumi and Jami, reproduced below:


“God and Love are as body and soul,

God is the mine, Love is the diamond,

They have been together,

Since the beginning….

In every beat of every heart”

(poem n. 3064, Jami)


“The minute I heard my first love story,

I started looking for you, not knowing

How blind I was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,

They’re in each other all along.”

(Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks)


With these two poems in mind, and the idea of man’s love as being a mirror image of God’s love, I wrote this poem:


Long have I loved,

Long have I chased shadows,

Long have I listened

To a half-lost rhythm

My Beloved awaits me

My Beloved grants me shade

My Beloved opens His heart

To drum me a lullaby

Love without a beloved is a stream without a source.

A man without love is a ship without a sail….

In this poem, I try to reproduce a type of religion expression, which is not a part of the common American conception of Islam (writing poetry).  In this, I attempt to reflect the deep love that is such an integral part of Islam.  The esoteric intimations of Islam are especially beautiful in the context of such poems, though they are only one of many forms of expression.  Both of these authors come from a similar cultural context (medieval Persia).

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