Become a Lover

It follows that love is the ultimate fragment and piece of knowledge and truth which in turn cannot be surpassed or superseded by any other fragment and piece of knowledge and truth. Love then encompasses and envelops the overall good, and a critical dimension or element of the overall good is justice. Love, as the all-encompassing knowledge and truth, is then the natural and real human condition and state. Any condition or state other than love is an artificial and false substitute for the natural and real condition. As Rumi wrote:

You are the king’s son.

Why do you close yourself up?

Become a lover.

Do not aspire to be a general 

or a minister of state. 

One is boredom for you,

the other a disgrace. 

As the American activist and politician Keith Ellison once argued, Islam is the only intellectual and spiritual tradition which he found to have effectively and sufficiently addressed the issue of social justice, given that Islam holds and views the required and necessary condition and state for the advancement of social justice to be the ultimate and supreme form of knowledge and truth (haqiqa). 

Arguably, the institutionalization of love in traditional cultures occurs through marriage. But marriage in a modern sense – given that marriage in a modern sense is void of tradition – amounts merely to the appropriation and control of another’s sexual organs. Sexual liberation in a modern sense and sexual liberation in a traditional sense are quite different from one another. While the modern form of sexual liberatiom seeks to liberate one’s true sexuality from the confines and limitations of medieval European Christianity, sexual liberation in a modern and secular sense ultimately undermines the institutionalization of love and the basic social unit which is formed as a result of the institutionalization of love, namely, the family. 

On the other hand, the latter form of sexual liberation – namely, the traditional form – legitimizes practices such as polyamory and polygamy in order to sustain the institutionalization of love and to expand the basic social unit of a society. And without the most basic unit of a society, a society will lack the basic units and building blocks that are necessary for the creation and sustainability of a society. 

Given that the “core element of life” is “sexual happiness” and sexual liberation, modernity contends that traditional morality is incompatible with sexual happiness and sexual liberation, as Augusto Del Noce noted. One of the core arguments of modernity is that modernity enables and enhances the core element of life, whereas tradition and traditional morality stifles and suppresses the core element of life. However, this argument is a uniquely Western one, and it stems from a purely Western backdrop and context and a uniquely Western political and social history. When one takes the history of Islam into account or the history of Asia into account, the modern Western argument pertaining to the enhancement and enabling of the “core element of life” fails to garner a universal scale and scope. 

Why this modern argument regarding sexual happiness and sexual liberation is a purely Western one which lacks any universality in scale and scope has three reasons, as Del Noce noted. For one, this modern argument amounts essentially to an attack on religion, but specifically an attack on Christianity given the Western context of this argument. But as neoconservatism has demonstrated, this modern attack can ignorantly extend into non-western cultures as well. Second, the so-called “progressive schemes” of modernity are actually backward and conservative when one dissects them, given their failure to consider the sexual narratives and sexual dispositions and outlooks of cultures such as Islam and Asia. And third, a failure to understand history underlies such an argument. 

Thus, while modernity and secularism sought to garner the cultural and social edge over tradition and traditional morality through the issue of sexual happiness and sexual liberation, such an edge can only be maintained within a Western context rather than a universal one. 

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