Semnun : Whatever one loves

Semnun bin Hamza (d. 911? CE) was born in Basra and spent much time in Baghdad, where he was a friend of Junaid. He is remembered in particular for his explanation of Sufism as ‘not owning anything and nothing owning you.’ Because he taught (and embodied the teaching) that the heart of the path to God is love, he was known as ‘Semnun Muhib’ or Semnun the beloved. His teaching of the essence of love and its effect upon the lover is in this saying :
“Whatever one will love, one’s end shall be in that.”

He also warned that ‘love must come with troubles and suffering; if it were not so, every vagabond would try to claim love.’ He pointed out that gold gained value after being burned by the jeweller’s fire and crushed under the jeweller’s hammer, and said that for this reason saints and prophets often encountered difficulties.

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