When the Messenger of Allah P.B.U.H. invited Ka`ab ibn al-Ashraf and his companions to Islam, they said, “We hold an honorable status as the sons of God, and indeed we love Allah more [than you].”
On this occasion, Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala – exalted is He) revealed the following verse:

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you truly love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” [Qur’an, 3:31].

The love of the believers for Allah is reflected in following His commands, favoring His obedience and seeking His pleasure. The love of Allah for the believers is in His praise of them, His reward, His forgiveness, and His mercy upon them. It is also in His granting `ismah (protection from committing sins), and tawfīq (success) to them.

If the servant knows that true perfection belongs to none other than Allah, that any good he sees in himself is from Allah, and that his love is only for Allah’s sake, he becomes motivated to obey Him and begins to love whatever brings him closer to Allah. Therefore, love is explained as the desire to obey, and is reflected in following the Messenger P.B.U.H. and in persistently encouraging others to obey him.

Sahl ibn Sa`d (may the mercy of Allah be upon him) said: the sign of the love of Allah is the love of the Qur’an, and the sign of the love of Allah and the Qur’an is the love of the Prophet P.B.U.H.; and the sign of the Prophet’s love is the love of his sunnah, and the sign of the sunnah’s love is the love of the Hereafter; the sign of the Hereafter’s love is detachment from the worldly life, and the sign of detachment from the worldly life is taking only sustenance needed to attain Paradise in the Hereafter.

Whoever claims four things without accompanying them with four actions is a liar: claiming to love Paradise without being obedient; claiming to love the Prophet P.B.U.H. without loving scholars and the poor; claiming to fear Hellfire without avoiding acts of disobedience; and claiming to love Allah but complaining in times of adversity.

A scholar was asked about the one who loves Allah. He said, “It is one who spends little time with people and much time alone; who is always in thought and outwardly silent; who is in a spiritual state that overtakes his sight, hearing and speech…who does not become sad if inflicted with a calamity, and if inflicted with hunger he is not aware…who looks to Allah in times of solace, who is happy with His company and speaks to Him intimately, and does not contend with the people of this world over their world.

Whoever claims three, but does not purify himself of three is arrogant: claiming to seek the sweetness of remembrance of Allah but loving this world; claiming to love sincerity in one’s actions yet reveling in people’s adorations; and claiming to love one’s Creator without purifying one’s nafs (self).

The Prophet of Allah P.B.U.H. said:

“A time will come when my Ummah will love five (things) and forget five others: they will love this world and forget the Hereafter; they will love money and forget the Reckoning; they will love creation and forget the Creator; they will love sins and forget repentance; they will love palaces and forget the grave.”


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