What is true love?
And who should we love and how should we love?
Before we come to what “true” love is, I’ll try to answer the other two questions, insha-Allah:
1) Who should we love?
Well, before we answer this, we need to understand that there are two kinds of love. Shaikh Salih Al-Fawzan states:
“Generally, love is of two kinds: particular and general. The first kind is the love connected with worship, which requires perfect submission and obedience to the worshipped one. This kind is only to be confined to Allah.
The second kind of love may exist in the following forms:
1. It may be an intrinsic attachment such as the hungry craving for food.
2. It may be a feeling of tender concern such as the parental care of a child.
3. It may also be a feeling of amiability such as cordial relations between friends.
All these forms do not necessitate submission or surrender and do not consequently affect due attachment to Allah. Although these forms are not acts of shirk (polytheism), they should be subsequent to real and true emotional attachment to Allah, which is maintained in Allah’s saying:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّـهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّـهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّـهِ
“And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 165]“
[Quoted from “Guide to Sound Creed”, pg. 75]
I’ll come back to this ayah (verse), insha-Allah, in future parts, because this is one of the most important ayaat pertaining to the love of Allah.
2) How should we love?
Now that we know that our love is to be directed to Allah as He is the one deserving of it, how should we love Him?
Is it just by proclaiming “I love Allah!”
Well, no. As we can see from the previous ayah, even the disbelievers love Allah but Allah says that the believers love Him more. So how exactly do the believers love Allah?
Well, this is answered in another ayah:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّـهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 31]
It is mentioned that this ayah was revealed after some people “claimed” to be love Allah.
As we can see, this ayah tells us how to PROVE that we love Allah.
And how do we prove it? By following the way of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam).
Why is that? Let me explain:
If we love Allah, we’ll try to gain His love. He has revealed to the Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam) what He loves and what He does not love. Therefore, we need to follow the Messenger’s (salallahu alaihi wasallam) way so that we do that which Allah loves and keep away from that which He does not love. This is how we will gain His love.
Ask yourself: do you claim to love Allah? If so, do you follow the Messenger (salallahu alaihi wasallam)?
Remember: Actions speak louder than words.
Insha-Allah, I’ll talk more about following and loving the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) in the next part.
Note: Sorry, that “love” post will be delayed for another day due to unavoidable circumstances.
However, I would like to share some words of Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) about the love of Allah, as it is relevant to the article that I’m going to write.
You might be thinking “Huh? Love of Allah has some relevance to Valentine’s Day and celebrating the Prophet’s (salallahu alahi wasallam) birthday??”.
Yes, of course. It has everything to do with the topic. You’ll see, insha-Allah.
Here are the Imam’s words. They’re from a poem of his.
Love of Allah (Poem)
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
Excerpted from An-Nooniyyah
The love of the Beloved
must be unconditionally returned.
If you claim love
yet oppose the Beloved,
then your love is but a pretense.
You love the enemies of your Beloved
and still seek love in return.
You fight the beloved of your Beloved.
Is this Love or the following of shaytaan?
True devotion is nothing
but total submission
of body and soul
to One Love.
We have seen humans claim to submit,
yet their loyalties are many.
They put their trust here, and their hope there,
and their love is without consequence.
I just came across these nice points of benefit. They’re basically questions that were asked to some shuyookh (plural of “shaikh”). Each of them is only a few minutes long but they’re very deep, maashaa-Allah.
The questions and answers are all in Arabic but don’t worry, everything has been translated!
[Note: For those who want to improve their Arabic listening skills, this is a good chance.]
Calling to Tawheed Unites the Hearts
Benefit: Question Posed to Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymi on How One is to Love Allah
The Cure For khushoo (concentration) in Prayer
So, I’m in a better mood today, alhamdulillah. [Read Part 1 and then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.]
I’ll try not to be catty today (at least not as much as yesterday). Yes, I’ll be Umm Muawiyah and not Umm Meowiyah.
[And I’ve learnt my lesson about writing when I’m half-asleep.]
So, where am I headed with these reminders? The first few were on where we should be going (i.e. aiming for the top), the next few will be on where we are today (i.e. our totally sad state of existence) and the ones after that will be some practical tips on how we can go from being the losers that we are today into being the winners that we want to be.
If we want to be the winners in the hereafter, we don’t just dream about it. We need to be obsessed with attaining it, do dua consistently, make a plan for getting there and then stick to the plan as much as possible. As I keep telling my students: “Paradise is not just going to fall into our laps. We have to earn it.”
So, now that 9 days have passed, let’s continue with our Ramadan assessment:
10) The Month of Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness)
Doing istighfaar is something that is a trait of the true believers.
The whole irony is that the more one increases in good deeds and decreases in sins, the more need one will feel to do istighfaar. And the more one increases in sins and decreases in good deeds, the less need one will feel to do istighfaar.
How IS love attained, you ask?
Patience, my child. All in good time.
First, let me tell you what I realised.
I kept seeing certain people who were really liked/loved by others. So, for example, Persons A, B and C would really like Person D.
Just one thing: D didn’t necessarily like A, B or C and even if she did, then it wasn’t the way that they liked her.
So I wondered why it was like that. When I dug further, I realised that A, B and C liked D because D had done a lot for them. However, D didn’t have to like them because they had not done anything for her.
And aren’t we all like that? Don’t we all like those who GIVE us more than those who take from us?
And then it struck me: Love is attained by giving and it is NOT attained by getting.
So the people who are highly beloved to others are generally that way because they gave a lot to those people (it could be their wealth, their time, their support, etc). Therefore, they attained the love of others by giving to those people.
[Please excuse me for the poor editing. WordPress was not behaving today.]
So why were you created? And why was I created?
Well, for the same reason.
How do we know that? Because the 2 following ayaat (verses) clarify that:
“I seek not any provision from them (i.e. provision for themselves or for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e. feed themselves or My creatures). Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong. ” [Surah Adh-Dhariyat (51) : 57-58]
Allah makes it very clear in the Quran that WE are the ones who need Him, not the other way around: