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Review of "Secrets of Divine Love" by A.Helwa



Genre: Religion, Faith, Philosophy


Disclaimer: When reading this book it is important to consider the target audience and understand that it is a personal perspective. Therefore before applying any suggested principles of Islam it is recommended to do further research.



Synopsis of the book

The intent of the book is to inspire Muslims and non-Muslims in strengthening their love with God, their faith and life in general through the Divine. Endorsing tools such as meditation and practical exercises, Halwa makes an effort to assist the reader in cultivating a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God by exploring His Love through the principles and practices of Islam. Using a mystical approach and to be inclusive of non-muslims there are some anecdotes used to illustrate an appreciation for intercultural and interfaith - emphasising that exercising spiritual consciousness intersects all of humanity.


About the author

A. Helwa believes that every single person on Earth is deeply loved by the Divine. She is a writer who has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers through her passionate, poetic, and love-based approach to spirituality. With over 15 years of experience writing and speaking on Islam and spiritual development, A. Helwa draws from her personal experiences and traditional sources to help her readers access 'Divine love in everyday life.'


Personal Review

Secrets of Divine Love is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and gained wisdom from many of its pages despite much of the negative criticism it has received to date. It has very absorbing and beautifully written excerpts. When I initially began reading this book I was extremely skeptical and found that the manner in which some things were worded weren't appropriate to the Islamic conduct of Tawheed. However, as you continue to read through, the context becomes more apparent. If you are searching for a book to gain analytical knowledge on Islam then I don't recommend this book. To convey her message Halwa has used Islamic references but much of which unfortunately is misinterpreted. The text is rather a personal perspective of the author and provides a great reflection on how you may strengthen your relationship with God through introspection.


Halwa gives a compassionate and insightful description in how we can propagate our emotions of love for the Divine, citing many references from Rumi and Imam Ali r.a.- though it may have been more beneficial to add the works from contemporary scholars to make it more relatable to modern times. With a very gentle approach towards Islam, the reader is provided with the origin of words, science and lifestyle and everything that is integral in many of our current lives.


Despite the controversy based upon this book, it exposes the reader to a different perspective of God that isn't discussed enough. So often we are engulfed in information relating to God's Mercy but rarely about His Love which is imperative to the relationship you share with the Divine. Although translated in terms of a layman and perhaps some are misinterpreted, the reader should appreciate that Halwa endeavours to discuss the origin of Quranic words to accentuate their symbolism. The symbolism that is referred to allows you to develop captivating connections that unfortunately often go unnoticed in our daily lives as we often unintentionally make connections to what is only temporary.

"Qur’an, the weight of revelation naturally draws us into a bowing position. We bow with our hands on our knees and our backs straight, staring at the space between our feet. Whereas when we were standing our gaze could reach as far as the horizon, when we bow we are humbly reminded that, as vast as the Earth is, we only occupy the small space beneath our feet. We are reminded that we do not own this Earth and our time upon it is short and fleeting. When we bow, we remind ourselves that the spiritual path begins exactly where we are, that all spiritual growth begins by first acknowledging and addressing our own pride, faults, and judgments.

A prominent aspect of this book is how the author encourages you to explore the characteristics of God within you to perfect your spiritual alignment using the heart as a guiding compass. The mention of fascinating metaphors, inspiring stories and beautiful poetry succeed in reframing the spiritual paradigm. Halwa uses Islamic traditions and the five pillars as a reminder to relinquish attachment in the material world and that life is a journey, where we are all in transit for the next.

"It is important to understand that our spiritual journey will have ups and downs; just as your breath goes in and out, and ocean waves rise and fall, our faith goes through cycles. Every mountain has both a base camp and a summit, and as long as you are alive your faith will have peaks and valleys. If your faith were never-changing and constant, then you would have no reason to call upon God. In the Qur’an, Allah very clearly states that our faith will be tested. “Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried?” QUR’AN 29:2"

On behalf of my own personal experience, Islam has always been taught to me in a monotonous manner. The Secrets of a Divine Love encouraged me to deep dive into the spiritual aspect of Islam and gave me an understanding of the greater purpose of life. It taught me that, the ticket to paradise isn't just about learning a list of 99 names it is about how we can apply and manifest those qualities into our lives because after all how can you love the Creator you were born to worship if you do not understand His qualities or His Love?


 

Favourite passages & quotes from the book


"God will not force us to follow the path that He has lovingly paved for us. However, since God loves us, He will keep reminding us through the words of scripture, people we meet, places we go, and the circumstances we face that true peace can only be found in relationship with Him."


"It is not our prayer and worship of God that makes God love us; rather, it’s God’s unconditional love for us that results in our worship. We do not pray for the love of God, but from the love of God."


“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets. The moon sets. But they are not gone.” Rumi


“With life as short as a half-taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.” Rumi


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.


 

Where to buy


RECOMMENDATION: 4/5










Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.


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