Ishq

In sum, Wilayat – or Wilayah – is the apex of the human social hierarchy and pyramid, and it is the most advanced and evolved psychological and physical condition that can possibly be experienced by a human being. In turn, Wilayah is a psychological and physical condition of an exclusive community of about four thousand people at any given time in human history, and these people come from all different racial and religious backgrounds as well as from both genders. These people are then brought together and united by a common experience. This common experience which brings these people together and unites them is known as ‘love’ or Ishq.

In essence, there are four categories or types of ‘love’ or Ishq. First, there is the love or Ishq for one’s spiritual guide (Ishq-e-Murshid). This type of love cultivates and develops the second category or type of love, namely, the love for the various messengers and prophets who embodied and preached the message of love through the course of human history (Ishq-e-Rasul). Third, there is the ‘metaphorical love’ that a Wali – which is a person who belongs to this exclusive community of people sharing this common experience of Ishq – experiences for another person, and this ‘metaphorical love’ (Ishq-e-Majazi) is often translated into the love that a man and woman have for one another. Finally, through the ‘metaphorical love’ between man and woman, one experiences the fourth and final category or type of love, which is the love for the creator and sustainer of the entire universe (Ishq-e-Haqiqi).

This fourth and final category or type of love (Ishq-e-Haqiqi) is enduring and permanent, and it captivates the mind and body of the Wali for an entire lifetime. After all, the root Arabic word for ‘love’ – Ishq – literally translates into “attachment” or “to place roots into something.” Thus, Ishq is the physical attachment of a supernatural power to the body of an individual. And in turn, this attachment of a supernatural power to the bodies of the individuals belonging to this exclusive community or group has no clear intellectual or scientific explanation or rationale.

Thus, all religions are tailored towards an appreciation and understanding for the mysterious supernatural power known as ‘love,’ or Ishq. And in the end, those who experience ‘love’ or Ishq and later abandon this enduring and permanent experience are never forgiven. Religion is the last resort and the only credible means at our disposal for the understanding of love or Ishq. In reality, philosophy amounts to mere speculation, and science fails to give any sort of explanation or rationale for this mysterious and supernatural power. As Rumi wrote:

Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.

A lover may be drawn to this love or that love,

But finally, he is drawn to the Sovereign of Love.

However much we describe and explain love,

When we fall in love we are ashamed of our words.

Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear,

But love unexplained is clearer.

When the pen came to the subject of love, it broke.

When the discourse reached the topic of love,

The pen split and the paper tore.

If intellect tries to explain it, intellect falls

helpless as a donkey on a muddy trail;

Only Love itself can explain love and lovers!

The proof of the sun is the sun itself.

If you wish to see it, don’t turn away from it.

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