Essential love (al-mababba al-dhatiyya) is divided into two parts: a. love whose reason can be understood (ma yu'qalu sababuhu); and b. love whose reason cannot be understood. The first kind derives from the love of essential beauty and perfection existing in the beloved, and the second derives from hidden affinity, also called spiritual affinity, between the lover and the beloved. The love of perfection is part of the love of beauty because perfection shows beauty (al-kamal mug,hir li'l-jamal). Since our author states that he is dealing with love which is acquired through one's effort, the love which derives from affinity is outside the scope of his inquiry, because it is bestowed on the lover. However, he does make some general remarks concerning it. Anyhow, love deriving from affinity is the noblest of all kinds of love and the most enduring. I IS

As we have seen, al-Dabbagh divides love into two parts: a. love according to its genus; and b. love according to what occurs in the lover's essence. Now, he turns to the second part which can be called the stages of love.116 There are ten stations of love. But love is a general term which denotes two kinds of situations. In the first, the lover operates on love, meaning that he acquires, chooses, and affects it. Therefore he is called lover (mubibb).11 7 In the second kind, the opposite situation prevails; love operates on the individual, meaning that he neither chooses nor acquires it. He is dominated by love. This person is designated the passionate lover ('ashiq). Each kind has five stations

enumerated by the author.u s Let us follow al-Dabbiigh's explanation of each state. Ulfa (lit. attachment, or friendship), the first station of the lovers, means to prefer the beloved above everything. The lover thinks only on the beloved's qualities and by them strengthens his adherence to the beloved, for example, by listening to songs about the beloved. In what follows al-Dabbiigh expresses an idea which is reminiscent of the Kabbala.119 The basis of the eternal ulfa lies in the hidden world ('alam al-ghayb). Every form in the sensual world ('alam al-shahada, lit. the world of testimony)120 is a symbol of a spiritual essence existing in the hidden world. If a reality moves there, its symbol must move here, like a shadow which follows a man. Ulfa has both universal and particular meaning. Understood as an universal term, it denotes the connection of all existents to each other which derives from their participation in the reception of God's light of existence. The particular aspect of ulfa means the participation in the special quality of human beings, namely, knowledge expressed by belief. Therefore, the believers who are connected to each other by belief are like one body which suffers if any organ in it suffers. 121

The meaning of hawa (lit. passion, desire)122 is 'absolute inclination of the heart toward the beloved and deviation from anything other than him.'123 In this station love becomes strong, however, it is not a stable station, for love is renewed whenever the lover observes the beloved's beautiful forms and noble qualities. The difference between the first station and the second is not essential, rather it is a difference in intensity. In the second station, the lover is totally devoted to the beloved. 'To describe a lover by hawa is not appropriate unless he relinquishes his desire (hawahu) [for other things] and prefers to obey his beloved than to obey others. He hears only from his beloved and speaks only of him.'124 Thus, if hawa is directed toward God, it is positive, otherwise it is negative.125 AI-Dabbiigh's

view is corroborated by a typical mystical interpretation of Qur'an 45.23 which reads: 'Have you seen whoever has taken his desire to be his god? God has led him astray out of a knowledge, put a seal on his hearing and his heart and laid a veil on his eyes. Who shall guide him after God?'126 AI-Dabbagh interprets the first sentence to mean that such a person has no desire but to God. For the sake of the love for God he deviates from other ways, and this is done according to God's knowledge which guarantees his certainty. Putting a seal on his hearing and his heart means that he hears only his Beloved and finds only Him in his heart. The veil on his eyes denotes looking at God alone. And finally, if God does not guide him, who shall guide him?127