There are many paths leading one to God, two of them being the path of love and that of compassion. In the path of love, one initially falls in love with somebody/something worldly and eventually realizes that it is God alone Who is worthy of love, therefore moving closer to Him. In the path of compassion, on the other hand, one feels compassion to other beings and therefore becomes thankful for the favors given to them by God. Also, compassion towards others allows them to see and feel the extent of God’s mercy and compassion, bringing them closer to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). For an in depth discussion of these paths, see path of love and path of compassion, respectively.

 

Ustadh Bediuzzaman states that while both paths lead one to God, the path of compassion is shorter and safer than the path of love. Why? Because in the path of love you initially pass through the obstacle of falling in love with somebody or something worldly, whereas in the path of compassion there is no such obstacle. So it happens to be a shorter path. Also, in the path of love, there is a possibility that you will be stuck in the obstacle, being unable to direct your love to God. So the path of compassion is also safer.

 

Now a question may come to mind. Why is it wrong to fall in love with something or somebody worldly when its ok to feel compassion? The answer lies in the motivation behind love and compassion. The motivation behind love comes from perfection, beauty, and benevolence/bestowal [The Eleventh Flash, Tenth Point, First Point]. That is, you love somebody based on these qualities they happen to possess. But in reality it is only God Who truly possesses them. So falling in love with others is wrong since they are not worthy of it. However, compassion is directed towards anybody regardless of their abilities; in fact it is generally directed to those who lack abilities, power, money, and so forth.


References

 

The Eighth Letter

The Twenty Sixth Word, Addendum

 

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