by Jesse Muhammad
Itâ€™s not necessary for me to go into a â€˜million and oneâ€™ reasons why as Muslim members of the Nation of Islam, we do not celebrate Valentineâ€™s Day. Research its origin for yourself and you may find, like we did, that it has nothing to do with the expression of true love. You can also watch this small clip of the videoâ€œThe Origin of Valentineâ€™s Dayâ€Â by Brother Abdul Muhammad of Chicago.
However, I wanted to share our perspective on this thing called â€œLove.â€ I was recently reading an article by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan titledÂ â€œThe Majesty of Master Fard Muhammadâ€™s Loveâ€. It is an excerpt from a New Yearâ€™s Day message he delivered over five years ago, yet it is so timeless.
â€œThe Old Testament of the Bible is considered a testament of law. The New Testament is considered a testament of love. Sometimes people observe law out of fear of punishment, not necessarily because they love the law. Sometimes people do good in hope of a reward, not necessarily because they love the doing of good. But love is above the law. Love is the highest manifestation of law. It is such a high principle, that the scripture says that those who demonstrate love are the disciples of God. If we do not demonstrate love, we cannot even claim to be of God. So, what is love?
Those of us who have studied the lives of the prophets know that they are human beings with human idiosyncrasies, but once Allah (God) touches and raises them where they can reflect the characteristics of Allah (God), then He sends them to represent Him to people who know Him not.
The Christian tradition says, â€œGod is Love.â€ In that sentence, â€œGodâ€ is the noun; and what follows on the other side of the verb â€œisâ€ means that it is equal to the noun, because â€œloveâ€ is either a predicate nominative or a predicate adjective. So, you can reverse the sentence, and say, â€œLove is God.â€ The scripture says, â€œGod is loveâ€ because of His demonstration of Love. The scripture then calls us to rise to demonstrate love as He demonstrates. How does Allah (God) demonstrate His Love?
The Bible is full of references to the Coming of God. If Allah (God) is Omnipresent, where is He coming from and why does He have to come at all if He is already Present? In a world as wicked as the one we live in, we can hardly feel His Presence because evil so dominates the human being and the human characteristics. We do not live in a world that practices true love.
We live in a world where people write poems about what they do not know (love). We live in a world where people sing songs about something that they have never really understood or experienced.
In this world, love has become a cheap word. On the lowest level, people say, â€œWe made love last night.â€ If love is sexual intercourse, then it does not last long. If what we need to look forward to of love is that kind of romantic foolishness, then we are as far away from love and God as our foolish expression of love is.
Some of us have never heard our parents say, â€œI love you.â€ I lived with my mother for 55 years of my life and not once did I ever hear her say, â€œI love you.â€ Did that mean she didnâ€™t? In the Bible, there is a parable about two brothers, whose father asked them to do the Will of God. One son said he would, but he did not, and the other said he would not, but he did. Then, the scripture asked, which one did the will of the father? So, regardless of what we say, it is not what we say, it is what we do.
The Holy Qurâ€™an mentions very little of love, but it mentions duty. In this connotation, if you tell someone that you love them, love becomes a verb. Duty denotes some activity that expresses the love that you have. It is not the sex act, which is done by too many people who do not know anything about love.
It is very sad to see people thinking that they are in love in a sexual way, but then after they marry, within six months or a year, they find that the light of love has burned out because it never was there in the first place. They were in lust with physical pleasure that deluded them into thinking that it was love. So it had no longevity.
Love is an enduring principle. Yet, most Black people have never really experienced the kind of love that is called agape in Greek. If God is love, can it be proven?
â€¦â€¦I want to challenge you. I do not want you to tell me that you love our people. You are the beneficiaries of someoneâ€™s love. Some of you dress up in your Sunday â€œgo-to-meetingâ€ clothesâ€“and walk right by your Brother in the street. You will not even knock on the door of your neighbor and invite them to hear the Teachings that you heard that civilized you, yet you claim to love our people.â€
In his article, â€œA study of the word â€œloveâ€ in the Qurâ€™anâ€œ, Farid Mahally writes that the word love is used approximately 69 times in the Qurâ€™an. â€œThis is in distinct contrast with the Bible, which list 409 uses of love. The New Testament alone lists 223 uses,â€ he further says.
Does this mean that we have less love in Islam? Certainly not. Nor does it mean that Christians love more than Muslims or vice versa. It means that our religion and our book places more emphasis on that which is the foundation of true love: Duty
Without observing duty, can we truly say we love?
Letâ€™s not just say it, letâ€™s show it everyday.