Seeking Allah’s Love

Non-Muslims and those secular Muslims whose faith is weak may ask: “Why do we have to sacrifice everything for Allah by doing all the religious duties (e.g., observing the five times daily prayers, fasting the whole month of Ramadan, paying Zakat or the obligatory charity, perform hajj, and observing other righteous deeds)?” The answer is straightforward, we have to sacrifice everything for Allah in order to please Him so that He will love us and bestow His Mercy and reward us supreme success. Allah’s Messenger r said:

“Allah the Almighty said: ‘My servant does not please me with anything more beloved to me than the religious duties I have imposed upon him.’” (Bukhâri)

If we please Allah by performing all the acts of worship (He has enjoined upon mankind), we show gratitude to our Creator. We need to be grateful to Allah I for all the favors He has bestowed upon us, especially for making us Muslims. In this way we gain His love and guidance and hence, His ultimate rewards. Allah the Exalted says:

“And remember! Your Rabb caused to be declared (publicly): ‘If you are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.’” (Qur’an 14:7)

“…And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Rabb is free of all needs, Supreme in Honor!” (Qur’an 27:40)

“…Show (your) gratitude to Allah. Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise.” (Qur’an 31:12)

We have to love Allah I for making us Muslims and for all the favors He has bestowed upon us. Verily, Allah I is our Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher. Everything comes from Him. He Alone deserves our love:

“Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah as equal (with Allah); they love them as they should love Allah. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see behold they would see the penalty that to Allah belongs all power and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty.” (Qur’an 2:165)

We have to love Allah, the Most High, and be devoted to Him Alone so that in return, He will love us. Only when we gain His love, mercy and guidance can we attain success. We need to know how to earn Allah’s love. One may ask, but how do we attain Allah’s love? Alhamdullillah, Allah provides us clear and explicit answer to this very important question. In the Qur’an Allah the Almighty tells us two ways by which He bestows His love upon us:

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.’” (Qur’an 3:31)

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love.” (Qur’an 19:96)

It is very clear that if we follow the Sunnah (Way or Tradition) of Prophet Muhammad r and do righteous deeds Allah I will love us. Allah’s Messenger r invited people to believe (in Tawhîd and other six articles of Faith). He joined them to perform the pillars of Islam as well as other deeds of righteousness, which he himself practiced with much devotion. We can show our love and devotion to Allah I by performing not only the obligatory deeds required upon us but also to do the supererogatory or voluntary deeds. This means to observe the obligatory five daily prayers, zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and hajj in the House of Allah I in Makkah once in a lifetime for those who can afford it. In addition to these is to try as much as possible to perform the optional prayers; to give sadaqa (voluntary charity); to fast in other days and months; to perform umrah (less pilgrimage); to do dhikr (remembrance of Allah) by reading the Holy Qur’an, by praising Allah and supplicating to Allah; by doing and/or supporting Da’wah (inviting people to Islam); to do jihad (fighting for the Cause of Allah) and other righteous deeds. All these must be done with sincere devotion to Allah in accordance with the Sunnah or Way of the Prophet r. The most important of these voluntary worship is the qiyaam ul layl or tahajjud (after midnight prayer). Allah I commanded His Messenger r to pray qiyaam ul layl, which the Prophet r regularly performed and which became part of his Sunnah. We read in the Qur’an:

O you (Muhammad) folded in garments! Stand (to prayer) by night, but not whole night, half of it, or a little less, or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tone. Soon shall We send down to you a weighty Word. Truly the rising by night is a time when impression is more keen and speech more certain. True, there is for you by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties: but keep in remembrance the name of your Rabb, and devote yourself to Him whole-heartily. He is the Rabb of the East and the West: there is no god but He. Take Him therefore for your Disposer of affairs. (Qur’an 73:1-9)

Verily, your Rabb does know that you (O Muhammad) stand forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night or half the night, or a third of the night, and so does a party of those with you. And Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night. So He has turned to you (in mercy). Read therefore as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you). He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah’s Bounty, and others fighting in Allah’s Cause. So, recite as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you) and perform regular prayer and give Zakat; and loan to Allah a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah. Yes, better and greater in reward, and seek forgiveness of Allah, for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Qur’an 73:20)

By making qiyaam ul layl as part of our practice, we become pious, a characteristic that will make us better Muslims. By praying the qiyaam ul layl, we demonstrate not only our sincerity to Allah but also shows our patience and sacrifice for waking up in the midnight to perform extra prayers when others are asleep. When we stand for a long time praying, reading or reciting Qur’anic Ayât (Verses) or Suraat (Chapters); when we do more dhikr (remembrance and praises to Allah); and when we make more supplications to Allah, we earn more hasanaat (rewards). By earning more hasanaat we actually improve our personality to be pious Muslims. We must strive to be pious in order to be closer to our Rabb. We must know that Allah’s Messenger r encourages us to have such excellent character as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abu Dharr t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said to him, “You are not better than people with red or black skins unless you excel them in piety.” (Tirmidhi 5198 and Ahmad)

Once we become pious, we earn Allah’s love. Allah the Almighty will bless us with the best personality ¾ one that is loved by all the angels, and all the people, especially the Muslims. We read the following Ahadîth Qudsi:

Abu Hurairah t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said, “Allah (Mighty and sublime be He) said: ‘Whoever 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.’” (Bukhari 8/509)

Abu Hurairah t narrated that the Prophetr 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 4/431 and 8/66, Muslim and Tirmidhi)

We should include in our supplications to Allah I during qiyaam ul layl, that He makes us effective Du’ât (those who invite people to Islam), so that those non-Muslims who listen to us will easily see the Light of Islam. When we do this, by Allah’s Will, we will succeed as Du’ât because Allah I listens and grants supplications from His devoted worshippers especially during qiyaam ul layl. Allah’s Messenger r said:

Abu Hurairah t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said: “Our Rabb, the Blessed, the Superior, comes down every night to the nearest heaven to us during the last third of the night. Then, He says: ‘(Is there anyone) who invokes Me, (demands anything from Me) so that I respond to his invocation? (Is there anyone) who asks Me for something so that I may grant him his request? (Is there anyone) who seeks My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari 2/246)

We should invite non-Muslims to love Allah I so that the Almighty will love them in return. They can show their love to Allah I by being rational and sincere in their search for Truth. If they do so, they will find that verily, Islam is the True Religion from Allah I. Insha Allah, our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) will guide them and open their hearts to Islam as He is the One Who gives Islam to those whom He loves. Allah’s Messenger r said in the following Hadîth:

‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud t narrated that Allah’s Messenger r said, “Allah Most High has allotted you your characters just as He has allotted you your provisions. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives religion only to those whom He loves, so he who is given religion by Allah has been loved by Him. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, a man is not a Muslim till his heart and tongue are submissive, and he is not a believer till his neighbor is safe from injurious behavior on his part.” (Tirmidhi 4994)

Those who, by the Grace of Allah, have embraced Islam must thank Allah for His great Mercy. They should sincerely love Allah, His Messenger r and Islam as a whole:

Anas t narrated that a man asked the Prophet r about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, “When will the Hour be?” The Prophet r said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Messenger.” The Prophet r 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 Prophetr, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar t , and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not similar to theirs.” (Bukhari 5/37)

Anas t narrated that the Prophet r said, “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and the whole mankind.” (Bukhari 1/14)

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 4:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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