The Story about a Cure for Sensual Love
A devotee resided in the company of a saintly man for the sake of improving and rectifying his spiritual life. He diligently applied himself to the Zikr and deeds which the Shaikh prescribed for him. However, there was one maidservant of the Shaikh who brought food to them from the Shaikh’ house. By, daily glancing at her as she brought the food, his heart became filled with love for her. Thus, whenever she brought the food, he cast lustful glances at her, instead of looking at the food.
The maidservant who was also a devotee seeking Allah Ta’ala, soon realized that he was casting lustful glances at her. Her enlightened heart perceived the lustful glances and thus she complained to the Shaikh: “Sire, a certain Mureed of yours is involved with lustful love. What benefit will there be for him from your prescribed Zikr and spiritual exercises? You should first cure him of this figurative love.”
It is the practice of the saintly ones, as far as possible, that they do not expose or humiliate their companions or those connected with them, so that these people do not lose heart. As the Shaikh is devoted to Allah Ta’ala, his sights are directed at Allah Ta’ala’s grace and bounties: “When the ocean of Mercy (of Allah Ta’ala) comes pouring forth,The fire worshipper of a hundred years can become the pride of all Saints.Do not despise any disbeliever. Who knows when Allah Ta’ala’s Mercy may take him?It is possible that before death overtakes, The Kaafir and the Mushrik, in a blink of an eye, can become Bayazid (one saintly one)
Hence, the Shaikh, in spite of knowing the secret, did not scold the Mureed and refrained from exposing him. However, within he thought of away to cure him of this lustful love. Allah Ta’ala inspired him with a plan and he acted upon it. He gave the maidservant some laxative, which caused her acute diarrhea. At the same time, he instructed her to collect the feces in a bucket. Due to the purgative, she defecated about twenty times until she became very weak and thin. Her face became exceedingly pale and her eyes and cheeks became hollow. Her face appeared frightful like one suffering from cholera. She appeared very unattractive and all her beauty vanished. The Shaikh then told her: “Take his food to him today and then quietly stand there.” When the Mureed saw the maidservant, instead of looking at her, he now turned his eyes away and told her: “Put the food down”. As he uttered these words, the Shaikh entered in the room and said: “O you fool, why is it that today you turn your eyes away from this girl? What is missing from her today that your love for her has vanished?” Then, then Shaikh instructed the girl to bring the container in which all the feces had been collected. When she placed it before him, the Shaikh said to the Mureed: “O foolish one, apart from these feces, nothing else has left her. From this, it seems that in actual fact you were in love with these feces and now that it has gone out of her body, your love has also gone.”
“What has become deficient in the body of this maidservant?
That you turn away in disappointment.
What has departed from her body
That now you are averse?
The Shaikh then showed the container Which was filled with the girl’s feces Look at it, O Seeker! It is only this which had left her body. Thus your beloved, in fact was this feces. It is over this thing that you became a mad man. Now that through the purgative she has become weak and pale, the love that you once felt has now vanished.” The Shaikh asked the Mureed, “Tell me, if you really loved this girl then how is it that this love has now turned to dislike and aversion?” Through this plan of his Shaikh, the Mureed realized that he had become involved in sensual love. He became ashamed of it and in sorrow and lamentations, he repented to Allah Ta’ala. Through this repentance and sorrow, he was eventually endowed with true Divine Love. Hazrat Maulana Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) drew this advice from the story:
“O people, today you fall in love with a well-musk-scented one with curly locks.
One day that same lock of hair will appear worse to you than the tail of an old donkey. ”
“Those very eyes that cause you to become intoxicated and for which you are prepared to sacrifice your life,
In old age will have dirty water dripping from them.
Look at a beautiful child who through his beauty becomes Master among men
But look when old age overtakes him, he becomes worthless.
Look how lovely and fresh the sun appears at the time of rising,
But remember its death at the time of setting.
See how splendid the moon appears on the fourteenth night,
But check how is its sorrowful state as it begins to wane.
O Man, you are in love with good food and fine outward form,
But see the result thereof in the toilet afterwards.
The people of this world, like the world itself, are truly unfaithful.
When they turn their face towards you, then know it is not the face,
It is merely the back of the head.
Now that you have come to know the unfaithfulness of the world and worldly people,
Then establish company with the saints of Allah Ta’ala and with no other beings except them.”
A sign of being accepted by Allah Ta’ala is that, through the company of these pious servants, one’s heart inclines towards Allah Ta’ala and disinclines towards worldly things. Outwardly, these pious servants must be followers of the Sunnah and at the same time, should have spent time in the company of the one who himself adheres to Sunnah completely. After this, one should never seek miracles from them because miracles and Kashf (inspirations) are involuntary occurrences. Such involuntary occurrences have nothing to do with being accepted or rejected by Allah Ta’ala. Miracles are not a sign of being chosen by Allah Ta’ala nor has Allah Ta’ala placed the criterion for acceptance on involuntary matters. Regarding the despicable and transitory nature of illusionary beauty, I have written a poem entitled “Word of warning
regarding sensual love” and for the benefit of readers, I quote it here. May Allah Ta’ala accept it and make it beneficial for all.
A Word of Warning Regarding Sensual Love by Hazrat Maulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb
That troublesome curling lock which caused sedition in youth,
Has transformed into the tail of a donkey in this perishable abode, in old age.
That coquetry glance, which was notorious in shedding the blood (of lovers),
In old age has become too helpless to have any care for itself
O heart! Step carefully, in the spring of perishing beauty,
Thousands of boats of youth have sunk in the sea of love.
Falling in love with perishable beauty is our spiritual death,
Only in safeguarding one’s heart, lies the secret of eternal life.
Ah! That cheek which was the envy of a hundred gardens in youth,
Now, due to old age, it has become a disgrace to a hundred autumns in this perishing garden.
Those eyebrows and eyelashes that had become an altar for the lovers yesterday,
Now due to old age, they are like the eyelashes of a donkey, with flowing matter discharging from them.
That sweetheart beauty who yesterday ruled the kings,
Today, due to old age, there is rebellion in her kingdom.
That glowing countenance which was being adorned by a volunteer love,
Because of its declined beauty, is ashamed of its admiration.
That pride of charm which, until yesterday, was the adornment of Poetry and Literature,
Why is it, that now, in old age it is subjected to criticism?
Now where is the veil of ‘howdah’ (of camel) and that deep sigh of separation?
That idolized doll is being humiliated in the dust of camel driving.
The charms of a young beauty is the dawn of a rose garden,
But look at the end of this rose garden in the eve of gardening.
That essence of the sweet love of lovers, and that inspiration for the love-song composition,
In old age has been reduced to a withering rose in the poet’s eyes.
Thousands of Beauties are buried in tombs
Yet the fools (lovers) are still given to vain imagination.
If there is any true love, then it is the eternal love of the Ever-Living Lord,
The love of a perishing beauty is always a temporary one.
O Akhtar do not be deceived by any charms of this Universe,
Rather remain in love with (Allah Ta’ala) the Creator of the
Universe in this temporary world.
The seeker of Allah Ta’ala (the Mureed) became involved in sensual love and would not have found a way out of it. However, a saintly person’s company saved him. As Maulana Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) says, “The path towards Allah Ta’ala is not reached through reason alone. One will have to seek the company of pious personalities with whom one should reside with the intention of self-rectification and reformation. If one is going to avoid being obedient to those saintly beings, then one will at all times remain imperfect and will never be able to achieve complete results. Thus, in this way Abu Ali Sina, who was the Master of the Philosophies, at the time of his death admitted that ‘reason’ was of no benefit! He stated, “We have ridden the horses of ‘Intellect’ and ‘Reason’ in vain. And having been deceived by ‘Reason’ and ‘intellect’, we
avoided the obedience and guidance of the saints of Allah Ta’ala, and thus, continuously swim about in an imaginary world.”
Maulana Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) says: “It is completely useless to swim in the sea of Reason and Intellect. There is need for the ship of Nabi Nooh (Alaihis Salaam) – i.e. the help of the friends of Allah Ta’ala. Look how Nabi Nooh’s (Alaihis Salaam) son – Kan’aan depended on Reason alone saying, “The high mountains shall save me from this storm”. He considered the ark of Nabi Nooh (Alaihis Salaam) as being despicable. Consequently, the ship was saved during the deluge and reached the high mountain, while, Kan’aan drowned.
Maulana Rumi (Rahmatullah Alaihe) says: “When you do not have the proper sight, then you look upon the love and company of the saintly ones and their obedience (i.e. their ship) as despicable, while considering imitation of the people of Europe as the high mountains of Intellect and Reason. But, beware, do not look upon this ship as being of no value and a thing to be despised. It is true that the AhIullah, the saints are
usually dressed in old and tattered clothes and live simple lives, but do not look at the simplicity of their lives and consider them lowly and despicable. Instead, look at the Grace of Allah Ta’ala that is with them. Look at the splendor of the one who arrives through the ship and do not look at the heights of the mountains of Reason. The power of Allah Ta’ala is such that with one wave, He can turn the ship upside down. But, that ship which travels in the shadow of Allah Ta’ala’s Mercy, in spite of its outward weakness and the evil intention of the enemy (Shaytaan), will pass through all the trials in safety. If one is not going to follow this advice, then in the end, one will have to admit the
shortcomings of the intellect. Hence, if a person needs to find safety from faults and sins, he will have to become closely connected in love with the saints of Allah Ta’ala. Then he will not suffer losses. People who wish to travel on the path of Deen with only reason are breakers of their ‘Taubah’. When Shaytaan gives one blow in their direction, their ‘Taubah’ is broken down. Yet their arrogance is such that they look down upon the saints of Allah Ta’ala. Such people remain imperfect throughout their lives.
So, O People! Seek for yourself a way towards Allah Ta’ala and consider the company of the saints as medicine.