Sufi Poetry, God, And Love


In May of 2018, I made a trip to Delhi. The trip itself was one of a kind, that's a story I have to set aside for now. On my way back, I got a book with a collection of Rumi poetry.


I love poetry. Every version of it: the one that rhymes to the spoken word poetry. 

Out of all, my favorite has always been Sufi poetry. My first introduction to Sufi poems is probably under the age of 10. I do remember the poet Rumi. I was so fascinated by the way he wrote his poems since the day I read my first one. His poems extend and spill across cultures over the centuries.


Not much-known fact is that in the Sufi tradition, love has a significant meaning. It has been quoted, "Love dominates and determines the Sufi's inward and psychological states." Sufi poetry often reflects love as spiritual teaching.


Love also has a significant place, that is Islam. I know. I am quoting one specific religion for the first time. I can not talk about Sufi poetry without mentioning Islam. The Sufi mystics often draw the following out of a verse in the holy book.

"Love can not be learned, It is blessed upon you by divinity, and it is always initiated from God."

You can almost say that it can be translated into God's desire to love and be loved.


Most of Rumi's poetry describes the love for Divinity. Then it spills over into humankind and our spiritual existence. I often feel we have forgotten what love means. We have forgotten how to give love and how to receive it. There is so much I could write about the way the love of God has been written and how we end up misinterpreting it.


I didn't start this to talk about divine love. I do believe God is love. So when the feeling of love happens to you (I am merely using the word "feeling" to describe love, but it's much more than that.), we no longer know how to be with it. Our intellect has overtaken what our heart or soul needs to handle.


Today, I am reminded of a poem by Rumi. And I wanted to add a few words about Sufi poetry along with it because Sufi poetry speaks about one's spiritual journey using love as a vehicle for the seeker, using metaphors.


Here is the Poem.

And it is for you.


"There is a candle in the heart of man, waiting to be kindled.

In separation from the Friend, there is a cut waiting to be

stitched.

O, you who are ignorant of endurance and the burning

fire of love

Love comes of its own free will, it can't be learned

in any school."


This one is one of my all-time favorites because it says it all, in a few words.



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Saj

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Sajatha Jaffer  |  sajatha.jaffer@gmail.com

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