Love of Allah
Love in Islam is all-encompassing, comprehensive and sublime, rather than being restricted to one form only, which is love between a man and a woman. Rather, there are more comprehensive, wider and sublime meanings. The first of them is the love for Allah The Almighty, then the love for the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ, the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and the love of good and righteous people. There is love of the religion of Islam, and the love of striving for the sake of Allah The Almighty as well as other forms of love.
A Man has to love Allah with all of his heart; a love that knows no equal. That Allah is more beloved to him than anything else. A sincere love, which demands obedience to Him and leaving off disobedience to Him.
Al-Hassan Al-Basri : “Oh Son of Adam, Love Allah! Allah will love you, and know that you will not love Allah until you love obeying Him”.
He also used to say, “He who knows Allah, loves Him.”
The love of Allah should occupy man’s heart and get total possession of it; and if it does not seize it entirely, it should at least outweigh the love of all other things in it. Allah Says about the believers, (what means): “He loves them and they love Him,” [Quran 5:54] and the Prophet ﷺ said: “A man would not have attained faith until and unless he loves Allah and His Messenger more than anything else.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet ﷺ taught the following supplication to his Companions, “O Allah, allow me to love You and to love those who love You, and to love whatsoever brings me nearer to Your love, and make Your love more precious to me than cold water to the thirsty.” (At-Tirmithi)
So he who truly loves Allah, loves Him above everything and more than anything else. Then he loves the Messenger ﷺ with a sincere love, after the love of Allah. He loves him for Allah’s sake, because he is the Messenger of Allah.
A Comprehensive Definition
Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullâh – says:
“There cannot be clearer recognition of mahabbah than this, and this recognition in itself increases love for Allâh. And people have discussed (at lengths) about mahabbah – its causes, its signs, its fruits, its supports and its rulings. The most comprehensive of what has been said about this is what Abû Bakr al-Katânî relates from al-Junayd (d.297H):
Abû Bakr al-Katânî said:
A discussion about mahabbah took place in Makkah, during pilgrimage season. The Shaykhs who were present spoke about this topic, and al-Junayd being the youngest of them. They said to him: What do you say, O ’Irâqî? So al-Junayd lowered his head and tears were gushing from his eyes, then he said:
“A servant should overcome his soul,
And be continuous in the remembrance of his Lord,
Establishing the rights of his Lord,
Focusing upon Him with his heart,
The light of fear setting ablaze his heart,
Whilst drinking from the vessel of pure love,
And certain hidden realities being unveiled for him.
So when he talks, it is due to Allâh,
When he speaks, it is from Allâh,
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allâh,
And when he is serene, then it is from Allâh,
He belongs to Allâh, is for Allâh and is with Allâh.”
Upon hearing, the Shaykhs all started weeping, and they said: There is nothing left to add to that, may Allâh reward you O Crown of the Knowledgeable Ones.”
Causes of the love of Allah
The first cause is man’s love for himself and his drive to perfect his own creation. This leads directly to loving Allah because man’s very existence and attributes are but the gift of Allah whose grace and kindness have brought man from behind the curtain of non-existence into this visible world. Man’s preservation and eventual attainment of perfection are also entirely dependent upon Allah’s grace. It would indeed be a wonder if one should take refuge from the heat of the Sun under the shadow of a tree and not be grateful to the tree, without which there would be no shadow at all. On precisely the same way, were it not for Allah, man would have neither existence nor attributes at all.
The second cause of this love is that man loves his benefactor, and in truth, his only Benefactor is Allah, for whatever kindness man receives from fellow-creatures is due to the immediate instigation of Allah. Whatever the motive that may have prompted the kindness he receives from others, Allah is the One who set that motive to work.
The third cause of man’s love of Allah is his contemplation of the beautiful Attributes of Allah, His Power and Wisdom, of which human power and wisdom are but the feeblest reflections.
Signs of the love of Allah
When Allah Loves someone
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so, O Gabriel 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.” (Sahih Bukhari)
What Allaah has mentioned in the hadeeth qudsi of the great virtues of those whom He loves. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
“Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6502.
This hadeeth qudsi includes a number of benefits of Allaah’s love for His slave:
We ask Allaah to help us to please Him.