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Ethics

Aversion (Karahah)

Aversion' refers to a state of abhorrence for all things entailing hardship and labour. Its extreme form is maqt or hatred.' The opposite of karahah is hubb or inclination. Hubb consits of the soul's liking for pleasant and beneficial things. The extreme form of hubb is ishq (love).

Aversion can be either good or bad; for example, if one is averse to jihad for the sake of God or to self-defense, this is highly undesirable and reprehensible. If, however, one has an aversion to ugly deeds and sins, it is good and highly desirable. The same rule applies to hubb, in that if one likes good and beneficial things, it is a desirable trait; but not so if one likes evil things.

The point worthy of notice is that hubb must essentially be directed only towards God and whatever is associated with the Divine. This is the highest form of hubb. It should be kept in mind that the Real Beloved is God, and it is only when man loses his Real Beloved that he mistakenly adopts other objects for his love, such as wife, children, wealth, status, or any other worldly thing. If man were to find his True Beloved again, he would also achieve deliverance from his endless, aimless wanderings. In order to find the True Beloved, first we must know all the various forms of hubb. Basically hubb may be directed towards nine different things:

1. The human being's hubb for itself; which is one of the strongest forms of hubb.

2. The human being's hubb for things outside itself for the purpose of deriving physical pleasure from them, such as various kinds of foods, clothes, and other things which serve to satisfy physical needs and desires.

3. Man's hubb for another human being on account of the kindness or service that the other has rendered him.

4. Man's hubb for something on account of that thing's inherent goodness, such as beauty and righteousness.

5. Man's hubb for another individual without his being able to find any particular reason for it; not because that individual has beauty, wealth or power or something of the kind, but simply because of the existence of some invisible spiritual link between them.

6. Man's hubb for an individual who has come from a far-off place, or whom he has succeeded in meeting during a long journey.

7. Man's hubb for his colleagues and fellow professionals, such as the liking of a scholar for another scholar, or a merchant's for another merchant, and so on.

8. The hubb (affinity) of the effect for its cause, and vice versa.

9. The hubb of common effects of a single cause for one another; such as the love between members of a single family.

If we give some thought to this matter, we shall reach the conclusion that since God is Absolute Existence and all other things depend on Him, whatever other things man may love lack any independent existence of their own. In other words, since God is the Ultimate Reality, He is in fact the ultimate object of true love, and all other kinds of love directed towards things are figurative and imaginary. Thus it is that one must sublimate one's love and discover its real object; and this is not possible unless the following conditions appear in him:

1. He should have a fervent desire of meeting God (liqa' Allah); in other words, he should have no fear of death. His actions must be such as to reflect his assurance that he will meet God after his death.

2. He should give priority to God's wish over and above his own wishes and desires, since this is one of the requirements of love.

3. He should not forget God for even a moment, just as the lover is not forgetful of his beloved for even a second.

4. He must not be happy when he gains something, or sad when he loses something, since if all his attention is centered on God all other things would be unimportant for him.

5. He should be kind and loving towards God's creatures, since whoever loves God will certainly love His creatures also.

6. He should have fear of God at the same time that he loves Him, since these two states are not contradictory.

7. He should keep his love of God a secret.

Under such conditions God would also love His servant and fulfil His promise:

Say ( O Muhammad), If you love God, follow me; God will love you and forgive your sins.' ... (3:31)

Adapted from: "Jami' al-Sa'adat" by: "Muhammad Mahdi al-Naraqi"