(Raudhatul Muheb-bin Wa Nuz-hatul Mushtāqin: Lovers’ Meadows and Yearners’ Promenade)

Chapter 13

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Italic text is the original and the rest the commentary:

Whenever Mahab-bat (Divine Love) strengthens so does the Pleasure, and that is so by the Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) of Beloved. Pleasure is the Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) of opulence and Pain is the Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) of refusal. As our Sheikh taught: The genesis of both Pleasure and Pain is due to their corresponding Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension), Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) is their causation. However Pleasure is the most manifest of all cognizances since it deals with psyche and consciousness.

Pleasure’s foundation is Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) of some ‘eternal entity’ in the other universe, one might dream and thereby find immense pleasure, often far exceeding the awake pleasures, and yet there were no physical senses involved. So we ‘grasp’ at some eternal entity, in another unreachable universe, and thus feel the temporal Pleasure in this world—even in absence of all senses. ‘Eternal Entity’ is something that is not subject to spatial-temporal and causality of this world and lasts even if this universe is destroyed.

Note: Here the term ‘grasp at some eternal entity’ means there is a vector with one point in the other universe and one point within us, and we ‘feel’ this vector’s pointing at us, poking at something within us e.g. Divine Love is in the other universe and the Pleasure within us in this universe. The vector of <Love, Pleasure> is represented/rendered/constructed via a ‘feeling’ within us. We have no comprehension of Love since it is not something for rational mind to comprehend, and we cannot comprehend Pleasure, yet we ‘feel’ pleasure due to Eternal Love. We cannot comprehend either element but we can feel their composite vector poking at our hearts and souls.

‘Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) of Beloved’ or ‘Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) of Allah’ means thought there is no way to understand or comprehend Allah, but we can Prehend Allah i.e. Allah or Allah’s Presence or Allah’s Edict or anything related to Allah, was the cause for something that happened and we feel somehow Allah’s involvement in the ‘process’ of this ‘feeling’ (feeling of pleasure or pain) yet there is no mental cognizance e.g. what-ness how-ness why-ness. There is a feel again as a vector poking at us, a vector manumitted from descriptions and characterizations.  

Note: Prehension was apPrehension or comPrehension, however the name was generalized to Prehension by Alfred North Whitehead in his “Process and Reality” the speculative philosophy of organism. Note that both apPrehension and comPrehension occur in immediate past and Prehension indeed removes the time-factor and removes the underlying processes such as mental faculties, thus provides a more general terminology for the purpose of ‘Idrāk. ‘A Prehends B’ means B was essential in concrescence/formation/becoming/causation of A or you may say ‘A is Idrāk of B’ or 'A is caused by Idrāk of B' or 'A feels B'.

The aim of all life-forms is Pleasure. And this aim is a necessity for Wujud (Being-ness).”  

Allah—The Sublime Perpetual Creator—created recreated this universe for the pure happiness of human being: But Allah never wishes injustice to ITs/His Servants Qur’an [40:31]. The Sifāt (Divine Attributes) such as Al-Wadūd (Most Loving) or Al-Jamil (Most Beautiful) or Al-Rahman (Most Beneficent) are few examples of manifestations of ITs/His Dhāt (Divine Essence) within the observable universe to indicate the ‘Givenness’ of such Divine Fiat for human being’s happiness, in attribute-form to allow for human ‘feel’ of them. Similarly the corresponding Asmā’ (Divine Names) such as Al-Wadūd (Most Loving) or Al-Jamil (Most Beautiful) or Al-Rahman (Most Beneficent) i.e. Names etched within our psyche, conscious or unconscious, indicate the ‘Givenness’ of innate identifiers in mind and language to describe to contemplate and to invoke That Beloved. When we describe we are in Divine Presence or as when we contemplate or as when invoke Hu by Divine Names each occasion is a different mode for Presence. Had Allah not wished for each and every human being happiness, Allah would not have manifested these Divine Names and Attributes within the universe, within our psyche and language or we could not have felt any feelings of pleasure or pain, hope or despair and so on.

Had Allah not wished for our happiness there would have been no feel of Divine Presence! We would have waked up every morning with the shock of unfamiliarity with this universe and for our own Nafs (Psyche, Self) as does an Alzheimer patient! And we would have felt such fear every moment of consciousness. What is keeping us away from such horror is the ‘Uns (Intimate Friendship) of Presence of Hu whereat keeps us assured we are in Presence of a loving caring supporter. Otherwise humanity would have never started and never continued.

Inform everyone that this world’s Pleasures are short-lived yet pointing towards another place where the eternal Pleasures reside.

And temporal pleasures of this happiness points to eternal pleasures of the other universe. The pleasures of this world are not for Satan to misguide human being into foul deeds, and they are not here for mere examination of tests, they are here as vectors pointing to the other universe: Ahoy! Look this way!

And once you are cognizant that the short-lived Pleasures of this world are instruments towards the Pleasures of Hereafter, and know that these short-lived Pleasures were created for that precise purpose, as was indicated by the Prophet: This world is a short-lived Pleasure and the best of all Pleasures of this world is a righteous woman”. She is a beloved of Allah, she is a means for assent and satisfaction of Allah, and her companion finds two Pleasures with her:

1.    Blessings, beauties and enjoyments
2.    A (spiritual) bridge connecting the man to the satisfaction of Allah and she is a breakthrough, smashing barriers against the eternal Pleasures of Hereafter

And the latter is the Pleasure that befits the intelligent man, and not the Pleasure that finally ends with much pain and heartache.

And according to the Prophet there are three blessings once obtained much goodness will be found both in this world and the world-after: Heart filled with Shukr (Gratitude), tongue busied with Dhikr (Remembrance) and the Husn (Goodness) of a woman (goodness within and without).

This is a fine case of Sufi expressions for spirituality of women and indeed showing the serious consideration for women’s spirituality. The reader should note that the reverse is not true, what was said by the Prophet and what was explicated by Imam AL-Jawzia are exclusively for women and do not apply to men!

This spiritual asymmetry of sexes is the core of the humanity, which has shaped it sometimes for better and sometimes for the worse based upon the conduct of men towards the women.

Moreover these considerations move women away from the biological necessity for propagation of life on planet earth, to spiritual necessity for a man to find a Path towards Allah. Each one of us walked—away from Allah—upon this bridge of hers to enter this planet, and few lucky men would walk backwards on her bridge returning to Allah! (Even creation of Jesus, peace be upon him and his virgin mother, did not require a father but required a mother. Allah did not create Jesus without the mother though the omission of father was allowed! And somehow the omission was necessary for Jesus’s purposes.)

All heartache sorrow and pain are caused by the absence of beneficial ‘Ilm (Knowledge) for That Beloved, or lack of passionate effort and sacrifice for obtaining such knowledge, or the absence of Idrāk (Grasp, Prehension) for Mahab-bat (Divine Love) and Irādat (Élan)—the latter being the most painful. And because of that i.e. the vanishing of his Divine Beloved, man is in pain left stranded within the carnal realm hapless.

Each pleasure in this world guides towards its counterpart in the other universe, the counterpart that has reached the Kamāl (Perfection).

Given the ambience of Shukr (Gratitude) and Dhikr (Remembrance), the enjoyment of the Husn (Goodness, Beauty) of a woman elevates the man towards Allah, as does a warm column of air gliding an eagle upwards with little energy spent by the eagle, for she is Allah’s beloved beyond all doubts. Her beauty, a vector along which a man is guided towards the Divine Beauty of Allah, was originally from Allah and only delivers/guides/points man to Allah.

However for the same woman enraged by the vulgar approach devoid of any spirituality, her temporal pleasure only guides the man towards hollow carnal existence.

The Prophet used to pray: I ask You for the Pleasure of glancing at Your Face and Shawq (Yearning) towards meeting You.

Here the ‘Pleasure’ or the ‘Yearning’ are not substances of this world, here the acquisition of either entity is not achieved by any effort of the man, and truly they require the Divine Givenness.

Let me explain to you in different words: The pleasure or yearning or beauty are not a part of the human parcel, they are Divine Endowments and their purpose, no matter how they are manifested, is to point to you a Path towards Allah, to meet with Allah to see Allah.

Any Pleasure on this earth is meant to reach Perfection and that Perfection, finally, is to glance at Allah’s Face, if you are unable to conduct the affairs for that Pleasure to guide you towards its ultimate Perfection in the other universe, you are imprisoned here and endeavoured only a Pleasure-pulse for some moments.

There are three forms of Pleasure:

1.    Physical, pleasures of eating drinking and sex and so on. These pleasures are shared with animals.
2.    Psychological, pleasures of leadership grandeur pomp and aggrandizement. Just like physical pleasures, these psychological pleasures may be necessary for Mankind to move upwards and improve, but given abuses they are far more harmful than that of the physical pleasures.
3.    Spiritual & Intellectual

Spiritual and Intellectual Pleasures

Examples of Spiritual and Intellectual Pleasures are Ma’refat (Divine Gnosis) or ‘Ilm (Divine Knowledge) and their perfection—within this world—manifest as benevolence generosity chastity courage patience and so on. And this is the pleasure for the Nafs (Self, Psyche) that has reached loftiness and nobility.

These pleasures are felt by the Qurb (Divine Nearness) or ‘Uns (Intimate Friendship) or Shawq (Yearning) for meeting That Beloved, and this pleasure for the eye of the heart is to behold one ray from the rays of Nur (Divine Light). Indeed a particle of such pleasure is far superior to that of mountains of pleasures in this mortal life.

Some ‘Ārif (Divine Cognoscente) said: Whoever feels the pleasure of seeing Allah all eyes in the universe find pleasure seeing him! And those who do not find pleasure in seeing Allah indeed find only sorrow or regret in this world. (Now you know the reasons for rejections and betrayals they are all incubated within you not wanting Hu)

And again some ‘Ārif (Divine Cognoscente) said: The poor losers of this world leave it behind while never tasted the goodness of its blessings! And they were asked: And what are these blessings? They answered: Mahab-bat (Love) for Allah, feeling ‘Uns (Intimate Friendship) for Hu, feeling Shawq (Yearning) to meet Hu, Ma’refat (Gnostics) of Allah’s Divine Names and Attributes.

It is said: The Love necessitates the movement of Nafs (Psyche, Self) and intensifies her seeking, since Nafs (Psyche, Self) is created for rapid movements similar to spread of fire, thus Love moves her naturally, and whatsoever of objects that can be loved Nafs (Psyche, Self) finds within the object’s loving pleasure and movement (as sailing along a wind), and if the love ends then Nafs (Psyche, Self) becomes heavy and still and loses her energy to laziness. And in such condition one can find laziness lack of self-esteem sorrow stress sorrow and melancholy. No happiness or beatitude if Nafs (Psyche, Self) has nothing to love.

With Allah there is only success


© 2005-2002,  Dara O. Shayda