roomforhuman here with another book that will tantalize our Lost hungry minds. In the episode “The Economist,” on the bookshelf that leads to Ben‘s secret room, two books to the left of The Holy Qur’an, you’ll see a book entitled “Kings of Love.” This is a book devoted to the history and poetry of the Nimatullahi Order, which is a sect of the Sufi Order. Sufism is a sect of Islam. Now, I’m not an expert on the subject whatsoever (so I’m sorry if some of this is not completely accurate), but as far as I know the Sufi’s belief system lies in the realm of metaphysics. The primary belief is known as Wahdat-ul-Wujood, which is the idea that everything lies in God and God lies in everything. Here’s how I think this relates to Lost (other than the fact that Sayid is of the Muslim faith and the episode dealt with the metaphoric selling of his soul to Ben).
The Nimatullahi order’s primary concern is love. They believe that the only path to God is through love and devotion to the Truth (which is God). This sounds a lot like the philosophy Ben holds in regards to the island, and although his idea of love may be a little shady, his devotion is undying. I believe that Ben truly believes the island to be the manifestation of God and thus will do anything to protect it. Especially if he believes that by destroying the island, you are, in essence, destroying all life. If he has successfully convinced Sayid of this, by using Sayid’s faith of course, then it is no wonder Sayid would be following Ben now. I know that Ben seems to be using coercion on Sayid, but I think that would only go so far…there has to be more to it.
It’s also interesting to note that Sufi’s are big into spiritual training from what they call Sufi Masters. Pulling from this, you might say that Jacob was the original Sufi Master and Ben was his pupil, but now Ben is the Master.
So, do I believe that Ben is a Sufi, maybe? But mainly I think this book is leading us to a greater understanding of why Ben feels so strongly about protecting the island. There is something about it that he has an absolute love and devotion to. And, I don’t think we will fully understand his zealousness until we know what the island truly is.