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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Love in Islam

Love is one of the greatest blessings Allah has bestowed on humanity.
Allah has created human nature in such a way that a person will take
pleasure from loving and being loved, from friendship and from intimacy.
Being with people who live by the moral values of the Qur'an, enjoying
love and friendship with them, brings a believer greater pleasure than
many other blessings. Therefore, the Paradise that Allah has promised
to His servants whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased is a
place of extraordinary beauty in which true love, friendship and
intimacy will be experienced with enormous joy for ever. The
information Allah provides about the life of Paradise in the Qur'an,
always refers to joy, friendship, love, conversation, pleasing words
and peace. Everything that might prove an obstacle to love and
friendship has been kept far removed from the people of Paradise. In
one verse, for example, Allah has revealed that He will strip away any
rancour in the hearts of the companions of Paradise (Surat al-A‘raf,
43). All vices that might represent an obstacle to love and friendship,
such as jealousy, enmity, rivalry, anger, discord and touchiness, will
be excluded from Paradise.
PS. Christian Arabs call God Allah. Allah is the word in Arabic
translation of God, but there is no plural to this unique word (no
Gods, but single God)"
One of the main characteristics of believers, who have been given the
glad tidings of Paradise, is that they love all believers who abide by
Allah's messengers, prophets and approval, in this world too. This bond
of love and friendship between believers is revealed in these terms in
the Qur'an:
Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe:
those who perform prayer and give the alms, and bow. (Surat al-Ma'ida,
The faithful feel a closeness to all devout believers who strive to
earn Allah's approval, and adopt them as their friends and guardians.
They take great pleasure from being with them under all conditions.
They are bound to all Muslims with great loyalty and devotion. This
love is not based on any interest, or lineage or race. Money, rank,
culture or material values are of no importance to them. They approve
of the people of whom they expect Allah to approve; devout believers on
the path of Allah are some of His most beloved servants. For that
reason, believers also have great love and consideration for one
another. Many verses of the Qur'an refer to the love, attachment,
compassion and consideration that believers have for one another. Some
of these verses read:
Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate.
Remember Allah's blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined
your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You
were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it.
In this way Allah makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you
will be guided. (Surah al ‘Imran, 103)
The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and
heed Allah so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-Hujurat, 10)
Allah loves those who fight in His Way in ranks like well-built walls.
(Surat as-Saff, 4)
In another verse Allah reveals this love among believers thus:
Those who were already settled in the abode [Madina], and in faith,
before they came, love those who have migrated to them and do not find
in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer them
to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who
are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are
successful. (Surat al-Hashr, 9)
Believers regard all the faithful as their brothers. They do not
hesitate to make any sacrifice for the good of another believer or to
ensure his or her comfort. This conception of love possessed by
believers can only be acquired through faith and living by the moral
values of the Qur'an. Allah reveals in one verse that He will bestow
love on those who believe and do devout works:
As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will
bestow His love on them. (Surah Maryam, 96)
Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has expressed the
importance of love and the superior nature of believers who live by
true love in one of his hadiths:
"Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) said: 'Those who love one another for My
glory, will have minbars of light, and the Prophets and martyrs will
wish that they had the same." (Reported by Tirmidhi, 4/24, Bab ma ja'a
fi al-hubb fi-Allah)
The true source of this love that believers have for one another is
their deep love of Allah. Believers whose purpose in the life of this
world is to attain the approval, mercy and Paradise of Allah spend
their entire lives for Him. As is revealed in the verse "Say: ‘My
prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the
Lord of all the worlds,'" (Surat al-An‘am, 162) they aim at attaining
His approval in their every deed, in all their behaviour. The love of
believers, who devote all they have to attaining the good pleasure of
Allah, is again for Allah alone. The love of Allah of a believer who
knows Allah by all His names, who witnesses His might and greatness at
every moment, who feels His mercy, love and compassion throughout his
life, is incomparably greater than any other love. Believers' love for
other believers is similarly powerful and deep because it is based on
the love of Allah, and they love in order to attain the approval of
Allah. Another reason why this love is strong and permanent is because
they know that the friendship with the faithful will last for ever in
the Hereafter.
In the Qur'an Allah has given the moral values of the Prophet Yahya
(peace be upon him) as an example of this sensitivity of believers
regarding love:
[We said:] "Yahya, take hold of the Book with vigour." We gave him
judgement while still a child, and affection and purity from Us-he
guarded against evil... (Surah Maryam, 12-13)
In the hadiths, our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)
has recalled that the love believers feel for one another is for the
approval of Allah:
Whoever loves for Allah's sake, hates for Allah's sake, gives for
Allah's sake and withholds for God's sake has a perfect faith. (Abu
There are three qualities whosoever has them will taste the sweetness
of Iman: loving Allah and His Messenger above all else, loving someone
solely for the sake of Allah, and hating to return to disbelief after
Allah has rescued him from it, as much as he would hate being thrown
into Hellfire." (Sahih Bukhari).
Believers who have great love of Allah, fear Allah, and make sincere
endeavours so that He might approve of them, are auspicious individuals
who bring beauty to the world. Due to these superior moral values, they
also love the things that Allah has created, feel affection and
compassion for them, and wish to protect them and bring them goodness
and beauty. Allah has given the glad tidings that in return for this
pleasing love stemming from the faith in believers' hearts and their
fear of Allah, and for their sincere loyalty to Him, He will reward
them with Paradise, the most beautiful sphere of love and faithfulness.
It is an important religious observance for the faithful to remind one
another of the importance of loving Allah and believers. Every believer
must strive to live by the love to be experienced in Paradise while
still in this world, and they must bind themselves to Allah, our only
friend and guardian, and to other believers, with love and devotion.
What lies behind the attachment of people who do not believe in Allah
and the Hereafter is generally the importance imputed to worldly values
and expectations directed towards worldly interests. By coming
together, these people in one sense make a mutual agreement of
interests; the parties support one another and thus seek to achieve
mutual advantages. The people in that alliance know that their
togetherness is not based on trust or friendship, and that, even though
this is not openly stated, the alliance is dependent on a number of
conditions. When the element of either party that provides the other
with these advantages is eliminated, the alliance also falls apart.
Whether this leaves the other person in difficulties or needing support
is of no interest to other. That is because the alliance formed has
stemmed solely from a joining of forces and an expectation of benefits.
For that reason, when these expectations are removed, it is perfectly
natural that the alliance should also fall apart. As revealed by Allah
in the verse "Their hostility towards each other is intense. You
consider them united but their hearts are scattered wide. That is
because they are people who do not use their intellect," (Surat
al-Hashr, 14) no matter how much those who do not believe may appear to
enjoy unity and solidarity, fundamentally they cannot actually be
The only force on Earth that can establish true friendship and alliance
among human beings is "faith." With their friendships, believers who
fear the Day of Judgement have laid the foundations of a sound alliance
that begins in this world and that will continue for ever in the
Hereafter. They love one another with no expectation of benefit or
advantage, out of pure intentions and solely for Allah's approval, and
are one another's friends for that approval. It is impossible for this
bond, based on love of Allah and fear of Allah, to be loosed unless
Allah so wills.
When a man loves his brother for sake of Allah, he should tell him that
he loves him. (Abu Dawud)
Give gifts to each other, as this will make you love one another.
(Sahih Muslim)
Give one another gifts and love one another. Give one another food.
This will produce breadth in your daily bread.(Al Hafiz ibn al-Dayba
al-Shaybani, Taysir al-'usul ilaJami al-'usul, vol. 16, p. 239)
The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:"One who is
the best of you in good conduct is nearest to me. A believer loves and
is loved. There is no good in one who does not love and is not loved."
(Imam Ghazzali, vol. 2 , p. 95)
Two brother are like two hands one of which clears the dust of the
other. (Imam Ghazzali, vol.2, p.95)
Do not be angry with each other and do not envy each other and do not
turn away from each other, and be slaves of Allah, brothers. (Muwatta,
narrated by Anas ibn Malik)
Allah's Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "A
Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him,
nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the
needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his
(Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the
discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim,
Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection." (Narrated by
Abdullah bin Umar, Vol 3: #622)
The faithful constitute a great spiritual force with the strength their
love for one another for Allah's approval gives them. As revealed in
the words of one verse, "But those who were sure that they were going
to meet Allah said, ‘How many a small force has triumphed over a much
greater one by Allah's permission! Allah is with the steadfast," (Surat
al-Baqara, 249), even if they are few in number, with the faith in
their hearts they acquire great enthusiasm and will with which to
overcome terrible difficulties and troubles. They obtain the assistance
and support of Allah because of the moral values they display. As Allah
has revealed in the verse, "You shall be uppermost if you are
believers," .(Surah Al ‘Imran, 139), they constitute such a spiritual
force that nobody can turn them against one another, and that nobody
can break
Since they sincerely seek Allah's approval, they never engage in any
confusion, disagreement or dispute among themselves. That is because
the word of Allah is one; the verses of the Qur'an are clear. Since all
believers abide unconditionally by the Qur'an and always act with a
view to gaining as much approval from Allah as possible, a great
harmony and order ensues. All matters can be easily resolved within a
harmonious order. A powerful solidarity is formed because they behave
in the light of the moral values of the Qur'an and the interests of
believers, even when they conflict with their own interests, and hold
their brothers' desires above their own.
Since believers intend to be one another's eternal friends in the
Hereafter they are bound to one another with a deep love, respect and
loyalty. Therefore, they know no rivalry, disagreement or dispute. Due
to their fear of and sincere faith in Allah, no matter what
difficulties or troubles they may encounter they never fall into
defeatism, moral relativism or lack of will. If there is a flaw in one
of them, the others will support him with proper moral values and
encourage him towards goodness. Since they constantly command one
another to perform what is good and to avoid evil, their faith and
strength constantly grow. This spiritual strength possessed by
believers, whose objectives, endeavours and prayers are always the
same, which stems from faith and love, has been described by
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi with the following example: "For just as one of
man's hands cannot compete with the other, neither can one of his eyes
criticize the other, nor his tongue object to his ear, nor his heart
see his spirit's faults. Each of his members completes the deficiencies
of the others, veils their faults, assists their needs, and helps them
out in their duties. Otherwise man's life would be extinguished, his
spirit flee, and his body be dispersed. Similarly, the components of
machinery in a factory cannot compete with one another in rivalry, take
precedence over each other, or dominate each other. They cannot spy out
one another's faults and criticize each other, destroy the other's
eagerness for work, and cause them to become idle. They rather assist
each other's motions with all their capacity in order to achieve the
common goal; they march towards the aim of their creation in true
solidarity and unity. Should even the slightest aggression or desire to
dominate interfere, it would throw the factory into confusion, causing
it to be without product or result. Then the factory's owner would
demolish the factory entirely." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur
Collection, TheTwenty-First Flash)
This example given by Bediuzzaman is of great importance with regard to
being able to comprehend the union and unity stemming from the love
among believers. On account of the sincere love and devotion that stem
from their faith, in the same way that the machinery in a factory comes
together to constitute a great force, so they acquire an unshakable
spiritual strength with their mutual love and devotion.
Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe:
those who perform prayer and give the alms, and bow. (Surat al Ma'ida,
Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks like well-built walls.
(Surat as-Saff, 4)
source: http://muslimbridges.org


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