Peace, one and all…
The following quotations on the essence of love are taken from al-Daylami’s book Kitab `atf al-alif al-ma’luf `ala al-lam al-ma`tuf (translated by Joseph Bell and Hassan Mahmood Abdul Latif al-Shafie as A Treatise on Mystical Love).
Dhu al-Nun al-Misri: ‘Love is fear of abandoning reverence while continuing to render service. It is to consider much on your part as little and little on the part of your beloved as much’
Bishr al-Hafi was asked about love and he said: ‘It is preference’. ‘What is preference?’ he was asked. ‘That you give preference to the beloved over what you love’, he answered.
al-Harith al-Muhasibi said: ‘It is for your heart to be in agreement with what your beloved wills’. He added: ‘This means that you are to be in conformity with your beloved, loving what he loves and hating what he hates’.
Abu Yazid al-Bistami said: ‘It is of four kinds: one from him, which is his grace; one from you, which is your obedience to him; one for him, which is your remembrance of him; and one between the two of you, which is eros (`ishq)’