True Love and Metaphorical Love Compared
True love ['Ishq Haqiqi] refers to love for Allah swt, while metaphoric love ['Ishq Majazi] refers to love for creation when it exists for the sake of fulfilling one's base desires. In short, true love is love of Allah swt, Lord of the universe, and metaphorical love is love for creation.
Allah, the Lord of the worlds, has placed an instinctive mutual attraction between men and women. However, He has also placed some restrictions and conditions for their relationships. If they live within these limits, they will be rewarded. If they exceed these limits, they will be punished. When purification of the soul [ tazkiyah al-nafs ] is not achieved, a man's mind is always preoccupied with thoughts women. Similarly, women may be captivated by men. Even if the whole world praises the beauty of a certain woman, she herself can become infatuated with the physical beauty of one man. One of the greatest stories of love between man and a woman is that of Laila and Majnun. Due to its fame, 'ishq laila [ love for Laila] has become another term for ishq majazi[metaphorical love] as Majnun's love for Laila is symbolic of the love of worldly objects.
Majnun's real name was Qais. His story falls in the period of Hadrat Hasan(ra). Qais was deeply taken by Laila. He once met Hadrat Hasan(ra) who said, Qais, I have made peace with Amir Mu'awiyah(ra). I have handed the reigns of leadership to those suited for it. Qais kept silent for a while. Hadrat Hasan asked him, What are you thinking about? He replied, I was thinking that the governorship actually suits Laila. Upon hearing this Hadrat Hasan stated, You are crazy[ Anta Majnun]! and from then on he became known as Majnun.
Once Majnun's father told him, Because of you I have had to face considerable disgrace. The tales of your infatuation have spread far and wide. Come, I will take you to the Sacred Ka'bah. There, you can sincerely repent for your sins. When Majnun reached the sacred Ka'bah, he clasped the shroud of the Ka'bah and supplicated:
O Allah, I repent of all my sins,
But I repent not of my love of Laila.
When his father heard him say this, he looked angrily at him. Then Majnun recited another couplet:
O Lord, never remove my love for her,
And have mercy upon that person who says amen for my supplication.
Once a person saw Majnun kissing the feet of a dog. He asked Majnun, Why are you doing that? Majnun replied, This dog has just come from the street on which Laila lives. That is why I am kissing its feet. What else can such an obsessed and insane person be called except for Majnun [crazy]!
Majnun used to circle the street where Laila lived, reciting the following couplets:
I circle the walls of the house of Laila
Sometimes I kiss this wall, sometimes I kiss that one,
It is not love for these walls that has infatuated my heart,
But the love of who lives within them.
Once, the mayor of the city thought that he should actually see with his own eyes the girl whom Majnun's love have made famous. When Laila was brought before him, he was astounded to see that she was just an ordinary girl without any extraordinary features, figure, or complexion. He said to her, You are no prettier than any other girl. She retorted, Keep quiet. You are not Majnun. It is for this reason that the metaphorical lover claims that Laila should be beheld by the eyes of Majnun.
True love is permissible and is an act of worship [ibadah]; whereas metaphorical love is impermissible and sinful.
True love secures one's religion as well as worldly life; whereas metaphorical love destroys them.
True love will one day result in meeting the Beloved (saws) whereas metaphorical love will one day result in separation from the beloved.
True love illuminates the heart; whereas metaphorical love darkens it..
True love breathes life into the heart; whereas metaphorical love brings it death.
True love brings one respect and honor; whereas metaphorical love leads one to disgrace.
True love's fervor is everlasting; whereas metaphorical love's zeal is temporary.
In true love the lover's final adobe is Heaven [Jannah]; whereas in metaphorical love the lover's final adobe is Hell [Jahannam].
True love's road is one on which all difficulties are endured easily; whereas in metaphorical love every difficulty is a punishment.
In true love the lovers' faces glow with the freshness of spring; whereas in metaphorical love the lovers' faces cast the dreariness of winter.
Love for Allah By Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad (db)