Signs of Intimacy with God

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s (r.a.) Ihya ‘Ulum ad-Din in the book of ‘Love, Longing, Intimacy and Contentment’, as translated and published by Islamic Text Society.

“Perhaps you will ask what the signs of intimacy are.  Know then that its specific sign is a constriction of the breast provoked by associating with other people and a sense of dissatisfaction with them coupled with a passion for the sweetness of litany.

If one does mingle with people, he is like a solitary soul in society, a social being in seclusion, a stranger in a settled place, a sedentary en voyage, one present in absence and absent in presence, mixed in body, isolated in mind, immersed in the sweetness of remembrance of God.

This is as ‘Ali (k.w.) said in describing such folk: ‘They are people whose knowledge causes them to pounce on the very essence of a matter.  They touch the spirit of certainty.  They find soft what the pampered find rough.  They are ease with what the ignorant deem strange.  They befriend the world with their bodies while their spirits are linked to the supreme site on high.  These are God's deputies on His earth and the summoners to His religion.’

This is the meaning of intimacy with God.  These are its signs.”


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