Divine Love

Allah is near but we have not appreciated the joy of divine proximity. 'Oh Muhammad, and when my servants ask you about me indeed I am close. I answer the supplication of the one who supplicates.'

When Imam Al Sajjad, alayhi assalam, used to gaze up at the night sky, he would address his Lord, saying, "Oh my Lord, the stars of your sky have set and the eyes of your creation have closed to rest. Kings have locked their gates, but your gate is always open to those who ask". Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, in the Holy Quran reminds us of how close He is to his servants. He says, 'Wa idha salaka ibadi anni fainni kharibun ujeebu daawat addaaee idha da'aan'. "O Muhammad, and when my servants ask you about me, indeed I am close, I answer the supplication of the one who supplicates". (2:186)

My dear brothers and sisters, Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, is near. But we have not appreciated the joy of Divine proximity. Muslim philosophers maintain that the goal of God's creative activity is not, as some might think, for there simply to be a world out there, but rather for Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, and His loved ones to come together as we were before creation. This is the underlying message of the phrase 'Inna lillah wa inn ilaihi raji'oon' . 'We belong to God and to Him we shall return'.(2:156)

The famous Persian poet Rumi explains this game of love when he says all of us used to be fish swimming in the ocean of Tawhid, unaware of our distinction from the water, then Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, threw us upon dry land, the realm of separation, longing, pain and suffering. Only by tasting separation can we remember the joy of water and desire to return to it.

Once we return, we will swim in the ocean of Tawhid again with full awareness of the joy of consummated love. In a famous tradition, Allah , Subhana wa Ta'ala, reveals to Musa , alayhi assalam, saying, "Ya Musa , alayhi assalam,, Kazaba Man Zama anahu Yuhibbuni Fa'iza Jannah ul Lail naama anni, alaisa kullo muhibbin Yuhibbu khalwata habibe". "O Musa , alayhi assalam, the one who claims to love me speaks a lie, for when night sets, he sleeps and forgets me. Is it not that every lover wishes to be alone with his beloved?".

My dear brothers and sisters, let us take advantage of the night and whisper to our beloved. Because the night is when the lovers meet and it is imperative that we make Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, the object of our love. Wa salla Allahu ala Muhammad wa aalihi Al-Tahireen.