“A life lived without love is no life; it adds up to nothing. In reality we should be ashamed of any time that passes without love.” So said the great Muslim mystic and poet Rumi. These words are dear to me, a Muslim, but they are also dear to my mother, a Catholic. Rumi was such a force for love in his own time (the thirteenth century) that students from every religion came to listen to his wisdom, and in our time he continues to speak across religious and cultural divides.
These particular words are so powerful to me because they force us to consider what state of mind we normally pass our time in. Is most of our time spent in worrying over how to acquire more wealth? Is it spent in fear of our neighbour? Envy? Hatred? How much of our time can we honestly say is spent in love? How radically would it change our lives if we made a conscious effort to spend more time in love?
By love, Rumi surely did not mean the merely sentimental or romantic. His was a cosmic love that did not even require an object, one that unconditionally bestowed itself on all that entered its orbit. It was also a tough love, the kind that gives us the strength to stand against injustice for instance. This I believe is the love of the prophets – of Mary, of Jesus, of Khadijah, of Muhammad – and to manifest this love is the reason we exist.
~ Daniel Thomas Dyer, author, illustrator, publisher