Every enjoyable thing is beloved to man. The meaning of beloved, is that the heart is inclined towards it. When this inclination becomes very intense, then this is referred to as ishq. The meaning of hatred, is when the heart of man is disinclined from something, since it causes distress and harm. If the hatred and dislike intensifies, then is referred to as maqt.

When this is understood, then ponder: Whatever we can perceive with our senses, is either in accordance with our desires, contrary to it, or neither in conformity, nor contrary. Whatever is in conformity to our desires, is beloved and enjoyable; whatever is contrary to it is disliked and detested; and whatever is neither contrary, nor in conformity, does not create enjoyment nor dislike- one remains in a condition of equilibrium.

Enjoyment always occurs after perception, and that is of two types:

  1. External perception
  2. Internal perception

The external perception is attained by the five senses e.g. the eye enjoys pleasure in looking at beautiful objects, the ear attains delight in listening to well-structured beautiful-sounding poems, the tongue and nose feel enjoyment in tasting delicious food, and in smelling wonderful fragrances, and the whole body derives joy in touching soft, and delicate objects. All of these things are beloved to the soul i.e. the nafs is naturally inclined to them.

Similarly, man has been granted a sixth sense, which is an internal perception. The location of this sense is the heart. The sixth sense is sometimes referred to as aql (intellect), nur (illumination), or the sixth sense. In short, no matter what it is called, this internal perception, just like the external senses, gains enjoyment from those things which are in conformity with it.

Thus Rasullullah ﷺ said, ” From your world, three things have been made beloved to me: fragrance, (lawful) women, and the coolness of my eyes lies in salaah” (Nasaai)

By perfume, the sense of smell derives pleasure. By beautiful (lawful) women, the sense of sight and touch develops delight. However the, enjoyment of salaah is not perceived by any of the external senses. The enjoyment is felt by the sixth sense, which is internal, the location of which is the heart. It is for this reason that whoever has a heart that is corrupt, will never attain enjoyment in salah. Only the person whose heart is sound, will really experience this joy. The specialty of man is due to this sixth sense, since all animals equally possess the other five qualities. Thus, animals are also desirous of beautiful forms, articulate voices, wonderful smells, tasty food and touching delicate objects.

Tabligh-e-deen- Imaam Muhammed Al-Ghazaali Rahmatullahi Alayh

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