This month being about being more loving, it is therefore logical for me to start with loving the entity from where everything is sourced. The One who created us, and deserves our love like no other being. As Muslims we do not say that God is love, however we say that He is the Loving (Al-Wadud) it is an aspect of Him, in His absolute perfection.
We all love, whether it is our parents in particular our family generally, a pet, our house, cars, our hobbies etc. we all have things that we love. It is a natural love for the things that make us happy, that give us tranquillity.There is a problem however if the love that we have for other than God (swt.) is weightier than for Him. Allah (swt.) warns us about the one who , “has taken his own desires as a god” it is the ultimate form of oppression of the self.
Ibn Taymiyyah rah. said:”The heart will not find complete happiness except by loving Allah and by striving towards what is dear to Him.” Tranquillity and serenity will follow if we truly love Allah instead of paying lip service. We all say that we love Allah swt. I say that I love Allah (swt.), but how often do I feel the tranquillity, the khushu in Salah when I’m closest to Him?
If we want to talk about love as something that emanates from how someone makes us feel, loving us and caring for us. Then what can one say about the love that we should have for God (swt.), who gave us our life, gave us our parents, our family. He has showered us with blessings after blessings, with favours upon favours. From the a single breath or gulp of water to the ceiling above our head, He has given us abundantly.
Allah swt. said in the Quran: “And if you should count the favours of Allah you could not enumerate them.” He wants the best for us always, and even if He has not granted us something, He did so in His unlimited love. With the foreknowledge, as the All-Knowing, that it would not do us any good. He wants the best for us. He is the One who says “…is there anyone who is calling on Me, so I may answer his prayer? Is there anyone who is asking of Me, so I may grant his request? Is there anyone who is seeking forgiveness, so that I may forgive him? (Muslim)
We show love to someone by doing things for them, by giving them our all, by appreciating them. We show love by action, and that is why He has called Himself Al-Wadud. Al-Wadud is the type of love that is shown by action, as opposed to hubb which is just the feeling inside of us. Similarly is we truly love Allah swt. then we should try and dedicate all of our actions to Him. To try and worship Him, as He deserves to be worshipped and have love for that worship. Our 5 daily prayers, were a gift to mankind, given directly to the Prophet (saw.) on the Isra wa al Mi’raj. What would you think of a person who you give a gift to, and it is not appreciated worse even he throws it away carelessly. My little sister served as a reminder of this, taking away my playing rights to a little chocolate egg car that she gifted me, giving me an ear lashing about how I’ve been careless with it. What am I doing with the gift that Allah swt. in His infinite Mercy has granted me? Am I distracted by the love of this world? Allah swt says: “But those who believe, love Allah more.” [2:165] I want to be amongst those who are talked about here by Allah (swt.).
Ibn Taymiyyah (rah.) says: “There cannot be clearer recognition of mahabbah than this, and this recognition in itself increases love for Allah. 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 Abu Bakr al-Katani relates from al-Junayd (d.297H):
Abu Bakr al-Katani 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 ’Iraqi? 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 Allah,
When he speaks, it is from Allah,
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allah,
And when he is serene, then it is from Allah,
He belongs to Allah, is for Allah and is with Allah.”
Upon hearing, the Shaykhs all started weeping, and they said: There is nothing left to add to that, may Allah reward you O Crown of the Knowledgeable Ones.”
Further read and sources:
Foundations of true faith | Love is in Giving
PS: It’s past midnight and I’ve missed the post for yesterday. My laptop crashed on me, then decided it needed an update :/