AH, THE MYSTERIOUS beauty of love. Love is the one thing that can unite all our emotions—happiness, anger, sadness, and jealousy—and make them all work towards the same goal, staying in love.
We cannot always control who we love. There is the love for our family and friends. There is the love for our spouses and children. The most important love of all is the love for our Creator and His Messenger.
What makes this love more eminent than all the rest? Let us think about it. Why do we love our mothers? We love them because they went through long pregnancies and torturous labors to have us. We love them because they have spent numerous sleepless nights caring for us. They tried their hardest to keep us safe in elementary school and out of trouble in high school. Their unconditional love for us made us who we are today. They definitely earned, and are worthy of our love.
Allah is more worthy of our love because He gave us our mothers and all our loved ones. He blessed us with our intellect, our senses and our wealth. Allah loves us more than our own mothers do. He cares for us so much that He does not want us to be destined to the blazing flames of Hell-fire, so He sent us the Quran, a book of guidance. He cares for us so much that He sent us all of the Prophets as our role models and examples of how to live our lives.
If these are not reason enough to love Allah, we should know that our faith is not complete until we love Allah and His Messenger more than we love ourselves. Prophet Muhammad œ said,
Whoever possesses the (following) three qualities will have the sweetness of faith. First, the one to whom Allah and His Messenger becomes dearer than anything else. Second, one who loves a person only for Allah’s sake. And third, one who hates to revert to kufr (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the Fire. (Bukhâri)
How to show our love to Him? The same way we would show it to anyone else—we try to impress Him by doing the things that He likes and abstaining from the things He does not. His likes and dislikes are clearly mentioned repeatedly throughout the Quran. Allah loves those who are pure, clean, gracious, righteous and honest. He loves those who constantly remember Him and turn to Him, whether times are good or bad. He does not love those who are arrogant, liars, hypocrites, oppressors, and cheaters. He does not love those who deny the truth and insist on their own sinful ways.
It is human nature to tend to do things that we think will be of benefit to us. It is of our benefit to gain Allah’s love and pleasure. The Prophet œ said,
If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel, so love him’ So Gabriel would love him and then would make an announcement in the Heavens: ‘Allah has loved so and so therefore you should love him also. ’So all the dwellers of the Heavens would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth. (Bukhâri)
Your life will go more smoothly and people around you will be more pleasant to you. You will find happiness coming at you from all directions. Above all, you have tasted the sweetness of faith; you have pleased Allah and His Messenger.
We should also love all people and things around us. In addition to our families and friends, Allah also wants us to love our brothers and sisters in Islam. We should base our lives on wanting for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves. We should not be critical of each other. We should never exclusively classify ourselves as Arabs or Indians, rich or poor. We are all Muslims from the poorest to the richest and the lightest to the darkest. Even if some of our brethren have mistreated us, we should love them anyway, for the sake of Allah. This is a quality of one of the seven people who will be shaded by Allah on the Day of Judgment.
We all know that if we gain Allah’s pleasure we will, inshâ’Allah, enter paradise. Some of us do not realize the depth of this. To all the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, friends, brothers, sisters, etc., who try to please other people and are still “never appreciated,” this is the ultimate satisfaction we have been waiting for. Not only will we be appreciated when we seek the pleasure of Allah, we will be rewarded for it.
What greater reward is there than entering the indescribable blissfulness of paradise? What greater love to hold on to than the love of Allah? None. This is the greatest love of all. This is a love that will benefit us in this life and the next.
A man asked the Prophet, “When will the Hour be O Allah’s Messenger? “The Prophet said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man answered, “I haven’t prepared for it much in terms of salah or fasting or alms, but I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet said, “You will be with those whom you love. (Bukhâri)
You cannot love someone you do not know. The more we learn about Islam the more we will love Allah. The more we read about the history of Prophet Muhammad œ the more we will love him. I guarantee it. These days, there are so many ways of learning about Islam. There are books, audio and videocassettes, web sites and classes. All we have to do is provide ourselves with the means and, inshâ’Allah, the rest will fall perfectly into place. May Allah guide us all and saturate our hearts with love for Him and His Messenger, Âmîn.