To reach the level of loving someone for the sake of Allah is not easy; it is a journey of faith, writes JASMINE KHAN.
IN my dealings with women with emotional problems, I am often asked: ‘What does it mean to love for the sake of Allah?’ In my research, I found that ‘loving for the sake of Allah’ is a selfless love. It’s doing something for someone with no wish for anything in return. Better still, it’s doing something for someone we don’t even particularly like but doing it solely for the pleasure of Allah. It entails loving someone without expecting anything in return, other than from Allah. It also means to love someone who is obedient to Allah.
We live in a world in which we are saturated with values that are alien to Islam and we struggle to keep our heads amidst images of possessive and even obsessive love, be it for spouses or our children. It is important to remember that whatever we have, from our health, possessions and even the people in our lives, come solely from the mercy and grace of Allah SWT. We do not own anything, and certainly to treat another person as a possession is not allowed.
To reach the level of loving someone for the sake of Allah is not easy; it is a journey of faith. Our faith fluctuates in intensity from time to time and it can also have different levels.
However, it can, and must ultimately grow to the level of the profound realisation of the divine decree of almighty Allah. At this level, we are awed at the magnificence of Allah and Allah’s creation, when our faith develops from a simple ‘I believe in Allah’ to a level where we can look upon the natural world and how everything works with perfect symmetry; when we appreciate the wonder of how our bodies work.
Our level of ‘mere belief’ turns to realisation and understanding. It is at this level that we obey Allah’s commands because we want to; we do it out of gratitude, hoping for Allah’s pleasure and fearing Allah’s displeasure. It is now no longer merely following orders; we appreciate the wisdom in whatever Allah requires us to do. When we discover the benefits of following the commands here on the dunya as well as the aakhirah, we are well on the way to think and reason in the manner prescribed by our Creator.
It is at this stage that our thoughts and reasoning become aligned with the divine teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. We become so ‘Allah oriented’ that everything and everyone in our lives are loved solely for the pleasure of Allah. Allah and His pleasure are now the only objective, and nothing is more important to us than attaining His love and mercy. This is the state we should all aspire to; this is the true meaning of ‘love and hate for the sake of Allah’.
This much degree of faith is a mandatory part of imaan, as testified to by Allah. ‘If your parents, and your children, and your siblings, and your spouses, and your relatives, and the wealth you have acquired, and a business you worry about, and homes you love, are more dear to you than God and His Messenger, and the struggle in His cause, then wait until God executes His judgment. God does not guide the sinful people.’ (Quran 9:24)
Also, the Prophet (SAW) stated: “Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, said, ‘Those who love each other for the sake of My Majesty shall be upon podiums of light, and they will be admired by the prophets and the martyrs.’” (At-Tirmidhi) Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Verily, Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Where are those who have mutual love for My glory’s sake? Today I shall shelter them in My shadow when there is no other shadow but the shadow of Mine.’” (Sahih Muslim)
Abu Umamah (RA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said: ‘If anyone loves for Allah’s sake, gives for Allah’s sake and withholds for Allah’s sake, he will have perfect faith.’ (Abu Dawud) When we reach the point where we love our deen more than ourselves, when our hearts are overflowing with love for Allah and His Prophet (SAW), our innate nature, (the fitrah) will return to its original state of creation. This is when we are rationally and passionately convinced by every aspect of the divine law.
We pray that Allah facilitates us to reach this level of imaan, also known as al-wala wal-bara’a, Insha Allah.
- Jasmine Khan, Muslim Views columnist, “From Consciousness to Contentment”.
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