Loves such as those of the people of neglect and those attached to this world, that are for the sake of the evil-commanding soul, bring many tribulations, and much pain and suffering in this world. While the ease, pleasures and enjoyment they bring are little and few.
For example, compassion becomes a painful calamity on account of impotence. Love becomes a calamitous misfortune on account of separation. Pleasure becomes a poisoned cup on account of its transience. And in the hereafter, because they were not for Allah Almighty’s sake, they will either be without benefit or will be torment. (If they were illicit.)
Your love of your instinctual soul. The result will be pity it, to train it, and to prevent harmful desires. Then the soul will not ride you, it will not make you a prisoner of its desires, rather, you will ride it. You will drive your soul, not to whims and fancies, but to right-guidance.
Your love for your wife. Since it will be built on her being a mine of tenderness, a gift of compassion and on her fineness of character, if you have sincere love and affection for her, she too will have earnest love and respect for you. As the two of you approach old age these sentiments will increase, you will pass your life happily. But if it is otherwise, if it is love of a pretty face and for the sake of the instinctual soul, then that love will be quickly destroyed and so too will be good relations.
Your love for your father and mother. Since it will be for Allah Almighty’s sake, it will be both worship and the older they grow the more your love and respect for them will increase. If you earnestly desire and pray, with the noblest of sentiments and most manly zeal, that they will live far into old age, and even kiss their hands with sincere respect and say, “Let me gain even more reward on their account”, it will obtain for you a most elevated pleasure of the spirit. But if it is otherwise, and for the sake of the soul and this world, when they grow old and approach the time of becoming a burden for you, if you show them, with the most base and despicable sentiment, that they are a nuisance and then wish for the deaths of those respected people, who were the cause of your life, it will be savage and grievous pain for the spirit.
Your love for your children. As for love for those lovable, friendly creatures whom Allah Almighty entrusts to your supervision and upbringing, it will be a most happy love, a most happy bounty. Neither shall you suffer too much pain at their misfortunes, nor shall you cry out with despair at their deaths. As was stated above you will say, “Since their Creator is both All-Wise and Compassionate, as far as they are concerned, that death is happiness.” Moreover, concerning yourself, you will think of the mercifulness of the One Who gave them to you and you will be saved from the pain of separation.
Your love for your friends. Since it is for Allah’s sake, because separation from those friends, and even their deaths, will not be an obstacle to your conversing and your brotherhood, you will benefit from that immaterial love and relation of the spirit. And the pleasure of meeting will be permanent. If it is not for the sake of Allah, the pleasure of one day’s meeting will result in the pain of a hundred days’ separation.
Your love for the prophets and saints. Since the intermediate realm, which seems to the people of neglect to be a dark, lonely and desolate place, appears to you as a stopping-place illuminated by the presence of those luminous beings, the fact that you will go there will not induce terror and fright, but, on the contrary, an inclination towards it and a feeling of longing; it will not drive away the pleasure of worldly life.
Your love for beautiful things. Since it is for the sake of the One Who fashioned them, it will be in the manner of, “How beautifully they have been made.” This love is pleasurable thought and it causes the gaze of beauty-worshipping delight to see the more elevated and holy and thousand times more beautiful treasures of the degrees of Allah’s beauty. This love opens up a way to these treasures because it transfers the eye from those beautiful works to the beauty of the Divine actions. And it opens a way from them to the beauty of the Names, and from them to the beauty of the attributes, and from them to the One of Glory’s peerless beauty; it opens a way to the heart. Thus, if this love is in this form, it is both pleasurable, and it is worship, and it is thought.
Your love of youth. Since you have loved it as a beautiful bounty of Allah Almighty, you have, of course, done so in worship, you have not drowned it in dissipation and destroyed it. Since this is the case, the worship you have gained during your youth is the undying fruit of that transient state. As you grow older, because you will have obtained the enduring fruits that are the positive aspect of youth, you will have been saved from its harm and excesses.
Your love for finely adorned exhibitions like the spring. Since it is in the form of contemplating Divine artistry, when the spring ends the pleasure of the spectacle does not fade. For the meanings that the spring delivers, like a gilded missive, may be contemplated all the time. Both your imagination and time are like films in the cinema, they both cause the pleasure of that contemplation to continue for you, and they renew the spring’s meanings and beauties. Your love, therefore, cannot be temporary and full of regret and pain. Rather, it will be full of pleasure and enjoyment.
Your love of this world. Since it is in the name of Allah Almighty, the formidable creatures of this world will be like familiar friends for you. Since you love it as the tillage for the hereafter, you will be able to find in everything capital or a fruit that will produce benefits in the hereafter. Neither will its disasters frighten you, nor will its transience and ephemerality trouble you. You will pass your sojourn in this guest-house with the greatest of ease. But should you love it as the people of neglect do, then as we have told you a hundred times, you will drown and perish in a fruitless love, condemned to a depressing, crushing and suffocating transitoriness.
By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi