There’s no such thing as being “too young” to embark on a spiritual guide. However, young people sometimes hesitate to delve into spirituality. This reluctance may stem from language barriers or a feeling of unworthiness due to their youthful age, still comfortable in the world of indulgence and temptation.
An Accessible Guide to Spirituality
Yet, spirituality serves as a stabilizing force in this uncertain era. This is where A. Helwa’s book, “Secrets of Divine Love,” comes into play. The book, originally in English, has been translated into Indonesian by Quanta Publishers and has received a positive reception.
The Author’s Unique Perspective
A. Helwa is renowned as a student of Islamic spirituality. Before writing this book, her writings on various blog platforms and social media had already inspired many, especially young individuals. Helwa’s ability to present her ideas to young readers is a testament to her skill, making “Secrets of Divine Love” a worthwhile read.
Engaging and Accessible Language
What sets this book apart is its engaging and accessible language. Interestingly, this accessibility does not dilute the depth or originality of the content.
Drawing from Authoritative Sources
Helwa references a range of authoritative books on Islam and spirituality, including the hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim, works by Imam Al-Ghazali, Muhammad Asad’s Quranic exegesis, and books by Karen Armstrong and Seyyed Hossein Nasr. It’s no surprise that the book includes profound quotes from figures such as Rumi and Sayyidina Ali RA. With such a rich literary foundation, Helwa’s explanations hold significant weight.
Analogies that Resonate with Young Minds
Moreover, Helwa introduces topics without sounding authoritative or judgmental. Instead, she guides readers through stories and intriguing analogies. For example, she likens investing in anything other than God to placing an ice cream cone in the middle of a scorching desert—a futile endeavor where everything melts away under the relentless sun. Analogies like this may seem odd to older generations but are more relatable for young minds.
The book articulates the central theme of monotheism well. The story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion after succumbing to the temptation of Satan is retold. While religious texts and teachings often feature this narrative, Helwa presents it from a unique perspective on faith. Faith goes beyond simply testifying to the existence of God; it encompasses much more.
The Ultimate Goal: Love of God
However, what stands out most among the book’s various themes is Helwa’s explanation that the purpose of human life and worship is not solely to attain heaven and escape hell.
A Shift in Perspective
Citing the famous saying of Rabiah Al-Adawiyah, she emphasizes that the ultimate goal of all worship and life’s culmination is to attain the love of God. This message, often discussed in Sufi literature for centuries, is reiterated by Helwa but remains relevant.
A Religion of Love and Compassion
Helwa is not a writer trapped in black-and-white moral dichotomies. Life, she asserts, is not solely about heaven and hell.
A Beacon of Hope
Reading this book, one may find hope in a religious ecosystem filled with peace in the midst of a generation that often perceives religion as a rigid code of conduct rather than a path of love and compassion. The spiritual messages of love in “Secrets of Divine Love” distance readers from a single, wrathful interpretation of religion.
Rediscovering Religion as a Personal Journey
Instead of nurturing religious fanaticism, this book guides readers toward a religion that is gentle and filled with love. It brings back the idea of religion as a personal and introspective journey amidst a world where many approach it merely as a rigid set of laws.
A Guide for the Youth
“Secrets of Divine Love” is well-suited to serve as a guide for millennials and Generation Z who may feel hesitant or shy to revisit their faith when they believe their sins have piled as high as a mountain. Like Stoic literature and teachings on maintaining sanity, this book serves as a reminder in an increasingly uncertain era.