Shaykh Abū al-Qāsim al-Qushayrī—may Allāh bless his soul—said:
Mahabba (love) is a condition which man feels in his heart, too subtle to be expressed in words. This subtle spiritual state leads the worshipper to recognize the greatness of God, instills in him the desire, above all things, to please God, makes him unable to tolerate God’s absence, induces in him constant excitement at the thought of God; he finds no rest without God and feels an intimate comfort in continual thought of Him. Yet the idea of the love of man for God does not imply physical attraction and possession. How could it do so—since the true Infinite is too holy to be fully attained or reached or comprehended. It is more to the point to describe the man who knows mahabba as being completely lost and overwhelmed in the beloved, than to refer to the relationship as one of possession. If the lover were described as submerged in the beloved, it would be more adequate than if they were described as being together.