Love is key to the practice of religion

Love is something tasted. If one’s heart does not taste love, his humanity will weaken and erode. My brothers, one who does not know how to love, does not know how to practice religion. This is a rule: One who does not know how to love, does not know how to practice religion. And if he tries to be religious, his piety is crooked and brings ruin to others. As for the one who loves, the more he increases in religiosity, the more he increases in humility to Allah and in good manners. The more he increases in religiosity, the more he increases in mercy for creation. The more he increases in religiosity, the more he increases in love for doing good ..he increases in preferring others over himself ..he increases in perfecting his good character in his interactions with others. Not just in a display of good character –which is something we can all excel at. It is easy to be courteous at work. Today they call it work etiquette or protocol. Anyone, good or bad, truthful or dishonest, can excel at this simulation of good character. I’m not saying everyone does this. However, this is easy even for one faking it. However, true character springs from the heart. It does not change when the surroundings change. The character of one connected to love does not change if those around him change. He is not a person who has good character when those around him are nice, and if they wrong him, he acts badly like them. The Prophet termed such a person a conformist. ‘If people do good we shall do good, and if they do wrong we shall do wrong.’ “Rather, make yourselves ready to do good if people do good, and, if they do wrong, do not do wrong” he said. Real character does not manifest in times of ease, my brothers. In times of ease and comfort and celebration, we all try to appear at our best. However, it is in times of anger, hurt, oppression and harm when real character emerges. Does it flow from the heart or is it affected? Nothing can erode the good character of one who truly possesses it. And if he is disturbed and weakens for a moment and a word slips out or he behaves inappropriately, he makes amends, seeks forgiveness, repents, blames himself and pushes himself to be steadfast on good character. Your religiosity should be characterized by love. Look at others with the eye of respect out of reverence for their Creator. I have good manners with the creation, young and old, people, animals and plants, believers and non-believers, and everything around me, in reverence for the One Who created them. Because Allah did not say to the one He sent to me as a mercy: {We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as an unequalled mercy} for Muslims only. Did He say “for Muslims?” He said: {for all the worlds} Even those who interpret {the worlds} to mean [only] those who enter Islam, how can [others] enter Islam if they don’t find mercy, which you should show them fundamentally even if they weren’t Muslims. These meanings were the basis for the spread of this Religion in the East and West. We seek these meanings in gatherings such as this. We need such meanings at times like these and always. They are the key. Pay attention – they are the key to solving our problems; to improving our situation; to saving our Ummah from the state it is in. Without this key, all attempts — as you’ve seen with your eyes– have failed. Politics has failed. The economy failed in changing the situation. Armies have failed. The media has failed. We, sheikhs, have failed. What is happening? The current state of the religious discourse has failed. Political discourse failed. The army’s address failed. The police’s address failed. The economy’s address failed. Social address failed. What’s the reason for this failure? It is the absence of this meaning which taps into the humanity of a person. I should address the humanity of the person before me. If this meaning is absent from our relations, nothing will resolve the situation. Rectification of the state of the Ummah is coming by the Will of Allah. Its key will be for hearts to actualize the meaning of this love, and to ascend in character and conduct. We should understand that the meaning of religiosity is to live as a mercy for the worlds like our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. That we cry for a sinner when he sins. We feel pain for him, prostrate at night and pray for Allah to grant him repentance. Not that we became arrogant and condemn him for his sin and look down on him.


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