Allah Ta’ala says:
“Those who yearn for the meeting with Allah (should take solace in the knowledge) that, verily, the Time of Allah is approaching.”
Rasulullah (saws) said: “I ask of You (O Allah!) sight of Your Face and Shouq (eagerness) for meeting You.”
THE NATURE OF SHOUQ
The condition of natural desire (eagerness) which is a physical state to behold and fully comprehend a beloved object whose perfection is only partially known is termed Shouq.
Shouq is the initial stage of Muhabbat. At a later stage it develops into uns (affection). At this stage the conditions prevailing during shouq do not remain. Among such conditions are profuse crying and absorption in thought to such a degree that this condition asserts its dominance. Some (along the journey) consider such conditions to be the goal (of the sojourn), hence become depressed when these are reduced in the state of uns. However, there is no need to be concerned at this reduction in such feelings because the goal is not the state of shouq to be perpetual – that one should at all times be engulfed in this state. The purpose is not to eliminate natural desires neither is the purpose to create a constant throb in the heart. Rasulullah (saws), explained the limit of shouq in the following way:
“(O Allah!) I petition You for shouq for meeting You; such shouq which is devoid of hardship and which does not harm; such shouq which is not a trial leading astray.”
Sometimes excessive affection and love bring about destruction. It brings about a disturbance in righteous acts (a’mal) which are in fact the medium for attaining Divine Proximity. The true goal is achieved via the agency of executing the Divine Commands. Excessive shouq (eagerness) and ishq (love) interfere with this means. At times when shouq is overpowering, one transgresses the limits of respect and makes such statements which are disrespectful.
Most ush-shaq (those immersed and lost in love) are guilty of disrespectful statements which they utter in states of ecstasy. This disrespect is harmful although such disrespect uttered in ecstasy is forgiven. But, it is not a condition of kamal (excellence). Rasulullah (saws) was perfect in obedience, respect and love, hence he made the du’a mentioned above.
Shouq being a necessary corollary of Muhabbat, its acquisition is by inculcating Muhabbat of Allah Ta’ala.
THE NATURE OF UNS
Uns is a state of delight and pleasure induced by true recognition of certain known attributes of an object. In this state the object is known only partially, part of it being hidden. The known attributes on which the gaze Is focussed induce the condition of uns.
Uns is also a necessary corollary of Muhabbat. Its acquisition is along with Muhabbat of Allah Ta’ala.