In our last section, we discussed how conditional love for Allah is founded on the continuity of His blessings (money, health, freedom, family stability, social status, etc.)

Notice how these worldly blessings are all perishable! Isn’t this condilover threatened by:

Loss of wealth = poverty?

Loss of health = illness?

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Loss of freedom = imprisonment?

Loss of family stability = family problems?

What happens to the condilover if he is tested with the loss of any of these foundations? The structure of his faith would lean to one side, then collapse along with his love for Allah, as it was built on these shaky foundations.

How can I know if my love for Allah is based on shaky foundations which could collapse at any minute, i.e., that it is based on worldly foundations? In reality, affliction will greatly help you figure this out, and, as such, affliction is a blessing in disguise from Allah! When you are tested with affliction, you pray to Allah, Great and AlMighty, to relieve you from this affliction and restore His Blessings upon you. But Allah may decree that your affliction continues and intensifies. Only then will you know if your love for Allah was conditional on the continuity of His worldly Blessings or not.

I was deprived of my freedom, my family, my kids, my friends, my wealth, and my job all at once! I prayed to Allah, but He ordained that my affliction would extend longer than I thought it would. This trial forced me to question myself: Now, after losing all these things, do I still love Allah?

This question helped me gauge the degree of conditional love I had for Allah in my heart and allowed me to rebuild my love for Him on sound and proper foundations.

Let me ask you: Are you willing to buy a house that you know is built on weak foundations, which could collapse at any minute? What about your love for Allah, which is not only the purpose of your life but also the reason behind your creation?

Our Lord created us to worship Him. This involves love, glorification, and obedience. So, are you willing to gamble away your love for Allah by building it on shaky foundations that could collapse at any minute?

Of course not!

Therefore, you have to rebuild your love for Allah on sound foundations. These include:

  1. Certainty in Allah’s entitlement of worship for His Greatness alone, and reflection on how His Names and Attributes are manifested in our lives. This is the greatest basis for building our love for Allah.
  2. Attachment of the heart to Paradise and its blessings.
  3. Appreciation of the blessing of guidance from Allah.
  4. Gratitude for all Allah’s past blessings, regardless of our current or future situation.
  5. Acknowledgment of Allah’s countless current blessings. Regardless of our current state of suffering or loss, we are still showered by His immense Grace and Blessings. However, we don’t appreciate them because familiarity with these blessings has made us oblivious.
  6. Pondering Allah’s Mercy upon us: in protecting us from evil, giving us the means of guidance, concealing our faults and sins, and surrounding us with people who love us and are kind to us, keeping in mind that this also is from Allah. As for myself, I reviewed the countless manifestations of Allah’s Mercy upon me during a period of affliction, while I was reading Surah Ad-Duha (Qur’an 93). This gave me much relief and pleasure and made me feel Allah’s presence and that He, the Exalted, wants the best for me.
  7. Reflection upon Allah’s Blessings which involve actions of the heart —if you turn to Him— such as contentment, longing for Him, and closeness to Him and His Words (The Qur’an).

The above foundations are solid, and they do not perish or change: Allah’s Names and Attributes, the desired afterlife, past blessings, the fact that you are drowning in Allah’s Grace no matter how much has been taken away from you, etc. You can rebuild your love for Allah upon these foundations with confidence. After that, any blessings or relief from hardship that Allah bestows upon you —in the present or future— will increase your love for Allah Almighty, but they are not conditions for loving Him.

In later sections, we will discuss some of these foundations in more detail, Allah willing.

One might say: But Allah Almighty decreed that people’s hearts are conciliated by giving them worldly wealth. The Prophet, Peace be upon him, used to give a portion of the war spoils to some people, both believers and disbelievers, to reconcile them and incline them towards Islam. These people are known as Al-Mualafa Qulubuhum, and this expenditure is actually one of the Zakat (Alms) remittance choices.

While this is true, conciliating hearts with worldly wealth is only temporary to remove the psychological barriers between people with heedless hearts and Islam, and allow them to see Islam’s truth and feel content with it. Once they achieve this state, they no longer need these worldly gains to remain faithful.

In the Hadith (Prophetic Narration) related by Muslim from Anas Ibn Malik:

“A person would embrace Islam for the sake of worldly gains, then Islam would become dearer to him than the world and what it contains.” [Muslim]

“A person would embrace Islam for the sake of worldly gains” implies conditional faith! Then, shortly after reverting to Islam, the light of faith shines in his heart, and Islam becomes dearer to him than anything else. His love has transformed from conditional love to an unconditional true love for Allah built on sound foundations!

When the Prophet, Peace be upon him, passed away, some people abandoned Islam. What happened then? Those who continued to be condilovers, attached to worldly possessions, left Islam when they were tested with the death of the Prophet and the rebellion of their leaders; while the Al-Mualafa Qulubuhum —who had rebuilt their love for Allah on sound foundations— were the ones who ferociously defended Islam, risking their lives and wealth for its sake!

To live your entire life as one of the Al-Mualafa Qulubuhum is a risky proposition. It is also unacceptable because your love remains under threat and could disappear at any moment!

Establishing this concept of loving Allah unconditionally gives us a deeper understanding of our religion. For example, when we read the Prophet’s words:

“The acts most pleasing to Allah are those performed consistently, even if they amount to little.” [Al-Bukhary and Muslim]

One reason for that could be that seasonal, intermittent worship is driven mainly by affliction or a temporary appreciation of a blessing, especially if it is followed by periods without worship. In contrast, consistent acts of worship are a sign of a deep, settled love for Allah that is unaffected by circumstances.

Therefore, dear reader, if you find yourself suffering from conditional love for Allah, acknowledge it and immediately seek to rectify the situation. It is an affliction worse than many other worldly afflictions; indeed, it is a disease of faith and a distortion of our purpose in life.

Summary of this section

Get rid of conditional love for Allah and build your love for Him on sound unshakable foundations.

Prof. Eyad Qunaibi

Dr. Eyad Qunaibi is a Professor of Pharmacology with a PhD from the University of Houston, USA. He has two patents in the field of wound healing, and his scientific publications have been cited over 700 times. He authored the book PharMedTerm, and is one of three academic reviewers of the most widely circulated pharmacology textbook in the world. Professor Qunaibi has also authored many books on strengthening the Islamic faith. He has two popular YouTube channels: an Arabic channel and a global one with his videos translated to several languages. His most popular playlists include: "The Journey of Certainty," which aims to strengthen faith through an evidence-based approach, and "Women in Depth," to help Muslim women develop a strong and confident personality in harmony with their faith.

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