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Akbar Ahmed

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7 Mystical Love Poems to God

Posted: 08/12/2011 8:10 am

The month of Ramadan, in which millions of Muslims are fasting throughout the world, reminds us of our need to reach out to the divine with compassion and love in our hearts. We want to love God and be loved by Him. But by creating a relationship in love, we are also able to love others whatever their religion or culture.

This is the lesson the sages and the poets from every religious faith teach us. Whether they are of the Abrahamic religions or non-Abrahamic ones, male or female, live in the West or the East, they constantly return to the theme of love.

Let me give some examples of poetic expressions that we can all share and appreciate -- all the more valuable because it is coming from other traditions. I will give the name of the writer, the title of the poem and then a sample verse.

"Close to God" by St. Thomas Aquinas
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The first poem was written by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), who is commonly thought of as possibly the greatest Catholic theologian. His personal experience led him to the conclusion that all in creation were revelations of God's infinite, eternal, expanding being.

One may never have heard the sacred word 'Christ', but be closer to God than a priest or nun.
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Professor Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC, and is the author of the new book of poems "Suspended Somewhere Between" (2011).