The Coveted Love


Love: It is a bonding emotion.  There is a yearning desire to be close to that which we love. It brings us comfort in our hearts.  It brings us a sense of peace and security.  When we love someone, we constantly think of them, and seek out ways to please them so that they are pleased with us.

 

But love in itself must be expressed, not just declared; it must be substantiated by action, and not just proclaimed. Furthermore, love can never be fulfilled till the love is returned.  If the love is unrequited, we are left without satiation.

 

Truly, the most deserving of our love is our Rabb.  It is a love that reaps an immeasurable reward.  Yet in order to obtain His love, we have to understand who He loves. We have to know what qualities He loves so that we can incorporate them into our character.


Who Does He Love?
Allah revealed in the Quran characteristics of those whom He loves: "For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean." (Baqara:222)  "For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)." (Imran:159)  "And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast." (Imran:146)  "For Allah loves those who are fair (and just)." (Al-Hujurat:9)  "Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good;" (Imran:134)  It is through this understanding that we can receive the love of Allah by implementing these characteristics.


Bringing our hearts closer to loving Surah Al-Ikhlas, we bring the love of Allah closer to us. 'Aisha narrated that the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, sent (an army unit) under the command of a man who used to lead his companions in the prayers and would finish his recitation with (the Sura 112): 'Say (O Muhammad): "He is Allah, the One." ' (112.1) When they returned (from the battle), they mentioned that to the Prophet. He said (to them), "Ask him why he does so." They asked him and he said, "I do so because it mentions the qualities of the Beneficent and I love to recite it (in my prayer)." The Prophet; said (to them), "Tell him that Allah loves him" [Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 472]


Loving Allah and His Messenger
By loving the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, we can also win the love of Allah, subhanahu wa t'ala.  It was narrated by Anas that a man asked the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, "When will the Hour be?" The Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, said, "What have you prepared for it?" The man said, "Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Apostle." The Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, said, "You will be with those whom you love." We had never been so glad as we were on hearing that saying of the Prophet (i.e., "You will be with those whom you love.") Therefore, I love the Prophet, Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs." [Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 57, Number 37]


Following Rasullulah
Declaring our love for Allah is only the beginning.  Allah revealed in the Quran: "Say [O Prophet]: "If you love Allah, follow me, [and] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allah is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace." (Imran:31) From this verse we can conceive the notion that in order for Allah to love us, it is not just our assertion of loving Allah, but that we must follow Rasullulah, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam.


Loving No Other Like Him
There is none like Allah. It is He who solely deserves a unique love that encompasses worship and praise of Him alone.  There are those without guidance who raise their reverance of others to the same level as Allah, (aoothobillah!) but the Muslim surrenders his devotional love to none other than Allah.  "And yet there are people who choose to believe in beings that allegedly rival Allah, loving them as [only] Allah should be loved: whereas those who have attained to faith love Allah more than all else." (Baqara:165)


All of the Dwellers in Heaven Would Love You
The love of Allah is exponential.  One of the great rewards of receiving Allah's love and favor is that not only will Allah love you, but all of the angels in Heaven would love you too. It was narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, said, "If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, 'Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.' Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. 'Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,' and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth." [Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 431]


He Would Love to Meet You
The love we develop for Allah will render our love to meet Him. Abu Musa narrated that the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, said, "Whoever loves the meeting with Allah, Allah too, loves the meeting with him; and whoever hates the meeting with Allah, Allah too, hates the meeting with him." [Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 515]

Can you imagine Allah, subhanahu wa t'ala, loving to meet you? Think about that for a moment, and let the weight of that statement sink in. Allah, Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, loving to meet YOU. What an indescribable feeling.


Strive for Love
It is imperative that we strive for the love of Allah by implementing characteristics that please Him.  We should strive to follow the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, to the best of our ability to win Allah's favor.  We should be keen to love no one like we love Him, and submit ourselves in worship exclusively to Him. In His love is a great reward, and it is the most coveted love of all. 

 

May Allah make us of those whom He loves. Ameen.




Straight from the Texts

Quran

"O you who have attained to faith! If you ever abandon your faith," Allah will in time bring forth [in your stead] people whom He loves and who love Him - humble towards the believers, proud towards all who deny the truth: [people] who strive hard in Allah's cause, and do not fear to be censured by anyone who might censure them: such is Allah's favour, which He grants unto whom He wills. And Allah is infinite, all-knowing." (Mai'dah:54)


Hadith

It was narrated by Abu Huraira that Allah's Apostle, sallalahu alayhi wasalaam, said, "Allah said, 'I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him." [Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 509]


On the Web

LECTURE

True Love
Ibrahim Dremali discusses True Love, in that no other love should supercede the love of Allah (courtesy of IslamicTube.net)


WEBSITE

What are the Signs of Allah's Love for His Slave?
Islam Q&A answers the question every Muslim needs to know (courtesy of IslamQ&A)


99 Names

Al Wadood
The Loving

Linguistic Origin: Al-Wudd: love, desire; al-Muwadda: love/affection, friendship


Textual Context: occurs 2 times in the Quran


Implications: He loves His servants; He wishes for servants to worship; His servants desire and love Him; He makes the pious servants beloved to others; He deserves to be worshipped; He is beloved by all Prophets


Take Away: Build qualities that engender Allah's love; avoid those that remove His love; Love for Allah and from Allah has conditions (and blessings); Acceptance in world comes from love of Allah; Love is increased by knowledge


*Adapted from the class: A Course on Allah's Most Beautiful Names [Houston TX USA]