‘ASHQ - عشق
Literally: A being or becoming passionately enamoured. Love. Passion.
Ecstatic love to Allah. Ilahî love. Ecstatic love towards Allah.
“Thus, since man's reality is exalted and his fitrah comprehensive, he is, by his very fitrah, needy with thousands of different sorts of needs for the innumerable Ilahî Names, each of which has many degrees. The intensified need is longing. The intensified longing is love. And intensified love is ‘ashq. As the rûh is perfected, the degrees of love unfold according to the degrees of the Names. Furthermore, since the Names are the titles and manifestations of the One of Zuljalâl, love of them will be transformed into the love of the Ilahî Essence.” The Words ( 672 )
“See how well Mawlana Jâmî has expressed it, for toward the faces from the multiplicity to wahdah, whose fitrah was kneaded with ‘ashq and who was intoxicated with the cup of ‘ashq: يَكِى خَواهْ يَكِى خَوانْ يَكِى جُوىْ يَكِى بِينْ يَكِى دَانْ يَكِى گُوىْ (Only this line is Mawlana Jâmî's) That is,
1. Want only One; the rest is not worth wanting.
2. Call One; the others will not come to your assistance.
3. Seek One; the rest is not worth it.
4. See One; the others are not seen all the time; they hide themselves behind the veil of fading.
5. Know One; knowledge other than that which assists ma’rifat of Him is without benefit.
6. Say One; words not concerning Him may be considered meaningless.
نَعَمْ صَدَقْتَ اَىْ جَامِى ٭ هُوَ الْمَطْلُوبُ ٭ هُوَ الْمَحْبُوبُ ٭ هُوَ الْمَقْصُودُ ٭ هُوَ الْمَعْبُودُ
Yes, Jâmî, you spoke the truth absolutely. The True Beloved, the True Sought One, the True Desired One, the True Ma’bûd is He alone...” The Words ( 230 )
“I see that the most fortunate person in the life of this world is one who accepts the world as a military guest-house, and does idh‘ân in that way and acts accordingly. And through that acceptance, he swiftly attains the rank of acceptance by Allah which is the greatest rank. He may not give the price of a perpetual diamond to something for the value of glass which will be broken. He passes his life with istiqâmah and pleasure. Yes, the matters concerning the world are like pieces of glass doomed to be broken, while the eternal matters concerning the âkhirah have the value of extremely solid diamonds. The intense curiosity, fervent love, terrible ambition, desiring obstinately and other intense feelings in man's fitrah have been given in order to gain the matters of the âkhirah. To direct those feelings intensely towards transitory matters of the world means giving the price of eternal diamonds to transient pieces of glass which will be broken. A point has occurred to me in connection with this and I shall tell it. It is as follows:
‘Ashq is an intense love. When it is directed towards transitory beloveds, it either causes its owner perpetual torment and pain or, since the metaphorical beloved is not worth the price of such intense love, it causes to search for an eternal beloved; the metaphorical ‘ashq transforms into haqîqî ‘ashq.
Thus, there are thousands of feelings in man. Like ‘ashq, each has two degrees. One is metaphorical, the other haqîqî. For example, the feeling of anxiety for the future is present in everyone. When a person experiences intense anxiousness, he sees that he possesses nothing to guarantee to reach the future which he is anxious about. Also, a future which is brief and undertaken in respect of rizq is not worth such intense anxiety. So he turns his face away from it, towards a future which is beyond the grave, haqîqî, long-lasting and for the ghâfil it has not been undertaken.
Also, he displays intense ambition for possessions and rank. Then he sees that the transient possession which has been put temporarily under his supervision, and calamitous fame and rank which is perilous and leads to riyâ are not worthy of such intense ambition. He turns towards ma’nawî ranks and degrees in closeness to Allah which are haqîqî ranks, and turns towards good works, as a store laid up for the needs of the âkhirah and ‘amal as-sâlih which are a haqîqî possession. The metaphorical ambition which is a bad quality transforms into haqîqî ambition, an elevated quality.
And, for example, with intense obstinacy, man expends his feelings on trivial, fleeting, transient matters. Then he sees that he pursues for a year something not worth even a minute's obstinacy. Also, on account of obstinacy, he persists in something poisonous and harmful. Then he sees that this powerful feeling was not given to him for such things. It is contrary to hikmah and haqiqah to expend it on them. So he expends that intense obstinacy, not on those redundant fleeting matters, but on the elevated and eternal haqiqahs of îmân and principles of Islam and the services of the âkhirah. That metaphorical obstinacy, a base quality transforms into haqîqî obstinacy. That is intense ardent steadfastness on haqq which is a fine and good quality.
Thus, like these three examples, if man uses the ma’nawî faculties that are given to him on account of the nafs and the world, and behaves in ghaflah as though he was going to remain in the world eternally, they become the means to base morality, wastefulness and futility. But if he expends the light feelings on the matters of the world and the intense feelings on ma’nawî duties and the duties pertaining to the âkhirah, they become the source of laudable morals and the means to happiness in both worlds in conformity with hikmah and haqiqah.
I guess that one reason the advice and admonitions offered have been ineffective at this time is that those that offer them say to the immoral people: "Don't be envious! Don't display ambition! Don't hate! Don't be obstinate! Don't love the world!" That is, they propose something that is apparently impossible, like changing their fitrah. If they say: "Turn these feelings towards khayr, change their channel," their advice would be effective, and it would be employing a duty within the bounds of their will.” The Ninth Letter