The Greatest Love


Loving Allah is the ultimate aim. Having attained the state of true love for Allah, each stage that follows it is one of its fruits and a branch from its roots – such as longing, intimacy and contentment. Each stage that precedes it – such as repentance, perseverance and doing without.

love allah

The greatest love of all – The love of Allah.

The most beautiful, the most sincere, the most elevated and the most exalted kind of love is most certainly the love of the One Whom hearts were created to love, and for Whom creation was brought into existence to adore. Allah is the One to Whom hearts turn in love, exhalation and glorification, humility, submission and worship. Such worship cannot be directed towards other than Him. It is the perfection of love accompanied by complete submission and humility. Allah is loved for His own sake in every respect. All except Him are loved for the love they give in return. All the revealed Books, and the message of all the Prophets, bear witness to the love that is due towards Him, as does the natural impulse He has created in all His servants, the intellect He has given them, and the blessings He has poured on them.

Hearts, as they mature, come to love whomever is merciful and kind towards them. So how much greater is their love for Him from Whom all kindness springs!

love allah

Love of Allah enriches you.

Every good thing enjoyed by His creation is one of His limitless blessings, and He is One with no associates and no partners:

“And whatever good you have – it is from Allah; and then, when misfortune comes to you, you cry to Him for help.”

(Qur’an, An-Nahl 16:53)


And also:


“And from among mankind there are some who take for themselves (objects of worship as) rivals to Allah, loving them as they should (only) love Allah. And those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah.”

(Qur’an, Al-Baqarah 2:165)


And also:


“O you who believe, whoever of you becomes a rebel against his deen (know that in his place) Allah will bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble towards the believers, harsh towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of Allah, and not fearing the blame of anyone who blames.”

(Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:54)


The Prophet  has sworn that no servant truly believes until he, (the Prophet ) is more dear to that servant than his own child, father and all of mankind. (Related Bukhari, kitab al-Iman: 1/58 Muslim, kitab al-Iman, 2/15)

The Prophet  also said to Umar ibn al-Khattab, “even until I am more dear to you than your own self”. (Related Bukhari, kitab al-Iman wa’n-Nadhur, 11/523)

This means that you are not a true believer until your love for the Prophet Muhammad  reaches this level.

If the Prophet  must take precedence over our own selves; as Allah says:


“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves.”

(Qur’an, Al-Ahzab 33:6)


When it comes to what we love and what this entails, then is not Allah (Most Exalted is He), even more deserving of our love and adoration than our own selves?

Everything that comes from Him to His servants whether it is something that they hate, directs us to love Him. His giving and His withholding, the good fortune and the misfortune that He decrees for His servants and His abasing them and elevating them, His justice and His grace, His giving life and taking it away again, His compassion, generosity and veiling of His servants wrong actions, His forgiveness and patience, His response to His servants’ supplications even though He is not in any need of His servants whatsoever – all this invites hearts to worship Him and love Him.

If a Human being were to do the smallest amount of any of these things to another, that person would not be able to restrain his heart from loving him. How can a servant not love, with all his heart and body, the One who is constantly Merciful and Generous towards him in spite of all his wrong actions?

Allah seeks His servants friendship and love by means of His generosity towards him, even though He is not in any need of him. The servant, on the other hand, invites Allah’s anger through his disobedience and wrong actions, even though he is in need of His assistance.

Neither Allah’s mercy nor His generosity towards the servant deter him from disobeying his Lord. In the same way, neither the servant’s disobedience nor his wrong actions deter Allah from granting him His blessings.

Furthermore, while anyone who we love and who loves us may behave like this for personal gain, Allah does so in order to benefit us.

Furthermore, while anyone with whom we trade will not do business with us if he does not make a profit from the transaction – and he will do what he can to make a profit one way or another – Allah (Most Exalted is He) trades with us in order to enable us to make the best and greatest profit for ourselves from our transaction with him. Thus one good deed counts as between ten and seven hundred good deeds, or even more, while a bad deed is recorded as only one bad deed and can be swiftly wiped out.

love allah

Love of Allah makes everything beautiful.

Allah (Most Exalted is He), in His infinite mercy has created everything for us, both in this world and in the next. Who else then, deserves to be loved and worshipped more than Allah? All that we – and the whole of creation, for that matter – require and need is with Him. He is the Most Generous. He gives His servants more than they need, even before they ask him. He is pleased with even a little right action and increases its rewards. He forgives untold wrong actions and wipes them out. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth supplicates to Him. The multiplicity of things never bewilder Him, nor is He weary by the insistent pleas of His servants. Indeed He is pleased with those who persist in their supplication.

He is ever pleased with His servants who seek His assistance, and He is angry with those who do not. He is displeased when He sees a servant being disobedient and not caring about his actions, and yet He veils His servant’s wrong actions while the servant himself does not veil them. He has mercy on His servant while the servant does not have any mercy on himself.

He has called him to His acceptance and mercy through His compassion and generosity – but he declines. He has sent Messengers to him and made His covenant known through them. Allah, even draws near him and 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 My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Related by Muslim, Kitab al-Musafirin wa Qasruhu, 6/36)

How then, can our hearts not love Him, the One who – and no other than Him – grants rewards, answers prayers, pardons mistakes, forgives sins, veils wrong actions, dispels grief and drives away sorrow?

He alone, is worthy of remembrance, worship and praise. He is the most generous to be asked, the most liberal to give, the most merciful to pardon, the mightiest to assist and the most dependable to rely on.

He is more merciful to His servant, than a mother is to her baby. He is more pleased by the repentance of the penitent sinner than a man who is overjoyed to find his riding beast, with all his provisions still on its back after he had lost it in a barren land and had given up all hope of survival.

He is pleased with the obedient servant for his obedience, even though it could not have happened without his help and assistance. He pardons and forgives even after He has been disobeyed. And yet, the rights which are due to Him are the ones which are most rejected and neglected.

He is the nearest witness, the most sublime protector, the most true to His Word, and the most just of all Judges. He knows the secrets of the selves:


“There is not an animal of whose forelock He does not have a hold.”

(Qur’an, Hud 11:56)


He records the actions and decides the lifetimes of His slaves. To Him, the secrets in the hearts are known and the Unseen revealed. Everyone yearns for Him, faces humble themselves before the Light of His Face, and minds are completely incapable of understanding the Essence of His Being.

Love of Allah the Almighty gives life to the Heart and sustains the soul. The heart experiences no pleasure, nor feels any joy, nor tastes any success – not even life – if it does not have this love. If the heart loses this love, then the loss it suffers is more severe than that of the eye when it is deprived of its sight and the ear when it is deprived of its hearing.

Even worse than this, the decay of the heart when it is devoid of love for its Creator, Source, and True God, is far worse than that of the body when it no longer contains the soul. This truth is only recognised by the people who are alive, for a wound does not pain the dead.

A righteous man once said in a poem:

And love your Lord by serving Him
For lovers are but servants of the Beloved

When she was giving counsel to her children, one of the women of the salaf once said to them, “Make it a habit to love and obey Allah, for those who have taqwah take their obedience to the point where their body experiences aversion for anything other than obedience. If the cursed one (shaytan) tries to tempt them to do something wrong, the wrong actions is ashamed and avoids them because of the way in which it is rejected by them.”

Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak recited:

You disobey Allah,
and yet you still claim to love Him.
By Allah, such behaviour is disgusting,
by any standard!
You would have obeyed Him had your love been true.
For the lover is always obedient to the Beloved!

References: The Purification of the Soul – collected and arranged by Ahmad Farid.

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Be conscious of Allah


Be conscious of Allah wherever you go.

Taqwa:

Taqwa can be compared to walking through a narrow path with thorny bushes on both sides and a person passing through it tries his level best to save his clothes from being torn. The thorns are the sins and the clothes is one’s Eeman.
Linguistically Taqwa means forbearance, fear and abstinence, but in the Islamic terminology, Taqwa has a distinct meaning. Taqwa is a high state of heart, which keeps one conscious of Allah’s presence and His Knowledge, and it motivates him to perform righteous deeds and avoid those, which are forbidden.
The essence of Taqwa is to make a shield (which guards) against Allah’s anger and punishment. That shield is to obey His commandments and abstain from His punishment. [as explained by Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) in Jami al-Uloom wal-Hikam (190/191)]
Allah says:
O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah, as you should have of Him and do not die except as Muslims.” [Soorah aal-Imraan (3): 102]
Ibn Mas’oud (radhiallahu anhu) said speaking about this verse, Allah is meant to be obeyed, and not disobeyed; remembered at all times, and not forgotten; and to be thanked; and we are not to be ungrateful to Him.”
The advice from Allaah to the first and the last is to command with taqwaa; Allaah mentions:

{…And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allâh…} [An Nisaa 4:131]

Likewise, this was the advice of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to Mu’aadh ibn Jabal when he sent him to Yemen. He said to him: 

Have taqwaa of Allaah wherever you are and follow a bad deed up with a good one and it shall wipe it out and have good character in dealing with the people.”

Talq Ibn Habeed (a tabi’e) said: “Taqwa (piety) is that you act in obedience to Allah, and hope in His Mercy, upon a light from Him; and Taqwa is leaving acts of disobedience to Allah out of fear of Him, upon a light from Him.” [(Saheeh) by Shaikh al-Albanee. Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah in Kitaabul-Emaan (no: 99)]
Taqwa alone is the criterion of greatness in the Sight of Allah
Allah says:
O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa (God-consciousness, fearing Allah). Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 13]

The most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa (God-consciousness, fearing Allah).

Allah has erased all distinctions of racism, cast and color and made all human beings equal. He has established a unique criterion for greatness and that is Taqwa. Taqwa is the essence of the teachings of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him).
Whenever Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) sent his Sahabah (companions) on a military expedition, he would advice them to have deep-rooted Taqwa of Allah and he would also advise the rest of his military party likewise.
The Pious Predecessors (salaf as-Saalih) continued this practice of giving mutual advice of Taqwa after Allah’s Messenger r passed away. Umar Ibn Khattab (radhiallahu anhu) wrote to his son, Abdullah: “To proceed: ‘Verily I advise you to have taqwa (fear) of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, for whoever fears Him, Allah will protect him, and whoever gives a loan to Him, Allah will reward him, and whoever thanks Him, Allah will increase Him.”
In one verse of the Qur’aan Allaah says:
{Verily, the Muttaqûn (the pious) will be in place of Security (Paradise). Among Gardens and Springs} [ Ad-Dukhan 44:51-52]

Allaah mentions:
{Verily, for the Muttaqûn, there will be a success (Paradise); Gardens and vineyards} [ An-Nabaa 78:31-32]

Allaah says:

{Verily, the Muttaqûn (the pious. See V.2:2), will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers (Paradise). In a seat of truth (i.e. Paradise), near the Omnipotent King (Allâh, the One, the All-Blessed, the Most High, the Owner of Majesty and Honour).} [ Al-Qamar 54:54-55]

And Allaah says:

{…And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine…} [At-Talaaq 65:2-3]

Some benefits of Taqwa:

1. Taqwa is a means by which a believer performs righteous deeds and Taqwa causes the righteous deed to be accepted by Allah.
Allah says:
O you who believe! Have Taqwa (fear) of Allah and always speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous and correct actions and will forgive you your sins and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed attained a great achievement.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab (33): 70]
and: Verily Allah accepts only from those who are the muttaqoon (those who posses Taqwa).” [Soorah al-Maaidah (19): 71-72]
2. Taqwa makes one deserving of Allah’s Pleasure and Love. Allah says:
Verily, the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa.” [Soorah al-Hujurat (49): 13]
and: Whoever fulfills his pledge and has Taqwa of Allah much, then indeed, Allah loves those who are muttaqoon (those who posses Taqwa).” [Soorah Aal-Imraan (3): 76]
3. Taqwa causes sins to be forgiven and increases rewards. Allah says:
And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him. He will remit his sins from him, and will enlarge his rewards.” [Soorah at-Talaaq (65): 5]

Allah will forgive sins.

4. Taqwa keeps one steadfast on the Straight Path and protects him from deviation.
Allah says:
O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah. He will give you a Furqaan (criterion to judge between right and wrong).” [Soorah al-Anfaal (8): 29]
Imaam Ibn al-Katheer (rahimahulla) said in his Tafseer, ‘Ibn Abbas, as-Sudde, Ikrimah, adh-Dahhak, Qataadah and Muqaatil, Ibn Huyyan, all said about ‘Furqaan’ that it means a way out (from difficulty).
Mujaahid added: ‘A way out from difficulty both in this world and in the Hereafter.’ In a narration from Ibn Abbas, he said: “It means, ‘Salvation’ and in another narration from him ‘being helped.’ Muhammad Ishaaq said that it means: ‘A criterion to judge between truth and falsehood.’ This explanation from Ibn Ishaaq is the most general of what has proceeded and it is a necessary consequence of it. Since whoever has Taqwa of Allah by obeying His commands and abandoning what He has prohibited, will be given the ability to recognize truth from falsehood.
This will be the cause for his salvation, his being helped; and the cause for his worldly affairs being made easier and his happiness on the Day of Judgment. It will be the cause for his sins to be expiated by Allah, and his being granted forgiveness and Allah shielding him from the people. It will likewise be the cause of him being the recipient of a great reward from Allah, as He the Most High says:
O you who believe! Have Taqwa (fear) of Allah and believe in His Messenger; and He will provide you with a light by which you will walk.” [Soorah al-Hdeed (57): 28]

How to achieve Taqwa?

Allah says:
O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who created you and those who were before you so that you may become al-Muttaqoon.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 21]
Thus, Taqwa is the fruit of Eebadah (worship) and and can only be achieved by performing acts of Eebadah. Therefore we often find Allah mentioning Taqwa with Eebadah, he said regarding the fasts of Ramadaan:
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become muttaqoon (those who posses Taqwa).” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 183] 

Who is the most righteous?

Allah says:
And whosoever honors the symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.” [Soorah al-Hajj (22): 32] 
Thus, Taqwa inhabits the heart and it is only within the capability of Allah to know what the hearts conceal. Therefore, judging people’s righteousness and spirituality is beyond the ability of a human, Allah pointed out to this fact when he said:
There is among people, he whose speech will dazzle you in this life and he will claim that Allah is witness (to the sincerity of) what is in his heart, yet he will be among the most vicious enemies (of mankind).” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 204]
It is mentioned in the Qur’aan that Allah chooses His Awliya (singular ‘wali’ ling. meaning Friend) from His creations based upon their righteousness.
Allah mentioned the characteristics of His Walee saying:
Verily, Awliya of Allah are those who are not overcome by fear of grief; they are those who believe and have Taqwa.” [Soorah Yoonus (10): 62-63]
and:
Verily, His close friends (Awliya) are only those with Taqwa but most of them do not realize it.” [Soorah al-Anfaal (8): 34]
Thus, a Walee of Allah is he, who has Eeman, Taqwa and fear of Allah.
Unfortunately, many Muslims have exaggerated in this matter and specified some individuals to be ‘Awliya of Allah’, while assuming piety and righteousness for them. This practice is incorrect because the characteristics, which Allah mentions about His Awliya (Eeman and Taqwa) are matters of the heart and knowing them is beyond the capability of a human. Also, because these characteristics are present in every believer in varying degree, therefore, to specify some individuals to these qualities is unjust.
This practice of elevating people to specific ranks of piety and giving them certain status is a practice imported from Christianity and Hinduism. It was the practice of the Christians that they would elevate some individuals to great ranks for whom they assumed spirituality. And this was the main cause, which destroyed their religion.
It is also seen that tombs are built at the graves of these so-called ‘Awliya of Allah’ and prayers are directed to them, either believing them to be intercessors or benefactors. This practice is in complete contradiction to the teachings of Islam. Islam teaches worship of One True Lord and fearing Him alone.

Taqwa and manners

Living Islam


Islam is also a “way of life.” The faith offers guidance and structure in all aspects of daily life, from birth and death rites, to courtship and marriage relationships, and in education and business dealings.

Some people think that religion is composed of rituals limited to certain times- They think about Allah and the afterlife only when they pray, fast, give charity or go on the pilgrimage. At other times they are engrossed in the business of the world.

Living by the values of Islam is possible by applying the commands and advice given in the Qur’an to every aspect of life. This and the practice of the Sunnah ( practice of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him)) is the only way that people can achieve the best and happiest results in this world and the next. Our Lord tells us in the Qur’an that a person can attain the best kind of life by doing right actions:

Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (QURAN,Surat an-Nahl: 97)

Muslims strive each day to walk the “middle road” — meeting one’s needs and living life, while being ever-mindful of God and the responsibilities we each have to Him and to our fellow human beings. A Muslim should try to strike a balance, being “of this world” without being neglectful of the spiritual realm.

What is Islam?

Islam, which comes from an Arabic root word meaning “peace” and “submission.” Islam teaches that one can only find peace in one’s life by submitting to Almighty God (Allah) in heart, soul and deed. The same Arabic root word gives us “Salaam alaykum,” (“Peace be with you”), the universal Muslim greeting.

Who is a Muslim?

A person who believes in and consciously follows Islam is called a Muslim, also from the same root word. So, the religion is called “Islam,” and a person who believes in and follows it is a “Muslim.”

 

Who is Allah?

Allah is the proper name for Almighty God, and is often translated merely as “God.” Allah has other names that are used to describe His characteristics: the Creator, the Sustainer, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Just etc.

Muslims believe that since Allah alone is the Creator, it is He alone that deserves our devout love and worship. Islam holds to a strict monotheism. Any worship and prayers directed at saints, prophets, other human beings or nature is considered idolatry.

What do Muslims believe about God, prophets, the afterlife, etc.?

The basic beliefs of Muslims fall into six main categories, which are known as the “Articles of Faith”:

  • Faith in the unity of God
  • Faith in angels
  • Faith in books of revelation
  • Faith in prophets
  • Faith in an afterlife
  • Faith in destiny/divine decree

The “five pillars” of Islam

In Islam, faith and good works go hand-in-hand. A mere verbal declaration of faith is not enough, for belief in Allah makes obedience to Him a duty.

The Muslim concept of worship is very broad. Muslims consider everything they do in life to be an act of worship, if it is done according to Allah’s guidance. There are also five formal acts of worship which help strengthen a Muslim’s faith and obedience. They are often called the “Five Pillars of Islam.”

Daily life as a Muslim

While often seen as a radical or extreme religion, Muslims consider Islam to be the middle road. Muslims do not live life with complete disregard for God or religious matters, but nor do they neglect the world to devote themselves solely to worship and prayer. Muslims strike a balance by fulfilling the obligations of and enjoying this life, while always mindful of their duties to Allah and to others.

 A person of faith orders his whole life according to the Qur’an and strives to apply carefully from day to day what he has read and learned in its verses. In everything he does from the moment he gets up in the morning until the time he falls asleep at night, he is intent on thinking, speaking and acting according to the teachings of the Qur’an. Allah shows in the Qur’an that this dedication dominates the whole life of a believer.

Say: “My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.” (QURAN,Surat al-An’am: 162)

By Allah’s will, living according to the teaching of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (way of Prophet(pbuh)) will enable people to develop a broad way of understanding, superior intelligence, the ability to distinguish right from wrong and the ability to consider a matter in depth. These characteristics will ensure that the person who possesses them will live every moment of his life in the ease that comes from these advantages. A person who lives his life in submission to Allah and according to the teaching of the Qur’an will be totally different from other people how he behaves, sits and walks, in his point of view and how he explains and interprets things, and in the solutions he finds for the problems that confront him.

Muslims strive each day to walk the “middle road” — meeting one’s needs and living life, while being ever-mindful of God and the responsibilities we each have to Him and to our fellow human beings. A Muslim should try to strike a balance, being “of this world” without being neglectful of the spiritual realm