b- To dislike what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala dislikes of sins:
Since love is one of those signs, if not the highest, and the touchstone which distinguishes belief from disbelief, the same is true of the reverse of that. In other words, have sins become, in their sight, bitterer than the bitterest taste in their throats? One does not come to love his Lord The Almighty, having visible on him the traces of love, obedience, approach to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, abandonment of the abode of delusion, inclination to the abode of the Hereafter, abstention from this world, and standing straight on the Command of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, unless sins are the hardest thing for his heart.
That is to dislike what his Lord dislikes. One is not a lover who likes what his beloved dislikes. On the contrary, the lover always hastens to know what his beloved dislikes in order not to do, not to eat, not to support, and not to have passion for. In other words, he should know what he dislikes in all his affairs, behavior, words, deeds, outward, inward, secret and public, in order not to do it at all. That is because if he violates any of that, he then will claim to love the Lord, and, at the same time, disobey Him, that is indeed analogically fallacious as they say.
It is one of the important issues with which only the righteous believers may stand straight in their states. That is, to see the sin so bitter in your throat, or, in other words, the sin should taste more sour than bitterness itself.
To disobey Him is the most difficult thing for you. Whilst He is seeing you, rewarding you with favors, making living extensive upon you, screening your faults, and refraining from putting you to shame, while you, in the meantime, disobey Him, with your heart filled with the devil’s whispers, evil forms and suggestions, which, were the people to know, they would rebuke you, and blacken your face, because you claim to love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
How could your heart, which is in the Hand of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, be filled with what violates His commands and provokes His wrath, of the devil’s whispers, forms of wickedness and corruption? No doubt, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows all of this, and looks at you. Being so, it is due on you to make your heart sincere and sound to Him.
If something of what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala dislikes takes place in His House, would you be closer to anger and disapproval or love and approval?
If Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sees you disobeying Him, violating His command and provoking His anger, would He be pleased with you? Would he smile at you? Would He send down His mercy and forgiveness upon you or would you receive His displeasure and wrath?
If your own self or the devil permits you to commit a sin, you should then mourn, grieve, and hasten to repent and give up those sins and misdeeds, show regret, and draw close to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, to bestow mercy upon you, accept your repentance, and relieve you of them with determination not to do them ever again, as much as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wills.
c. To be addicted to the Words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala:
What demonstrates this point well, i.e. one’s love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, is to persist in His remembrance, or, as put by scholars, to be addicted to the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. That is, his tongue should not weary and his heart should not sleep from the remembrance of Allah. No doubt, whoever loves anything remembers it frequently. Your remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala causes Him to remember you as stated by Allah when He Says (what means):
“So remember Me; I will remember you.” [Qur’an 2:152]
Your remembrance of Him shows the extent to which you approach Him, and your heart stands straight after those seasons of forgiveness. But to return to the state of heedlessness, i.e. that your tongue and heart become heedless, indicates that you have received no benefit from those seasons of forgiveness, nor given thanks to your Lord for them so He has not increased you in them, and rather disobeyed and been heedless of Him, and returned to your former bad state.
For this reason, one of the indications, if not the most evident indications, of following the way of forgiveness is to remember Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. So, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala urges the people to remember Him Saying (what means):
“O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance and exalt Him morning and afternoon.” [Qur’an 33:41-42]
On the other hand, to give up remembrance (of Allah) indicates loss as clarified by:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that – then those are the losers.” [Qur’an 63:9]
This remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is manifested well in love for the Qur’an, because the greatest remembrance is to love the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and remember Him in His speech. It is also shown in their addiction to the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, by way of love and recitation, learning, teaching and seeking guidance. It is also clarified in their attestation by it, as stated by the Lord (what means): “Say, ‘It is, for those who believe, guidance and cure.'” [Qur’an 41:44] For this reason, the indication of the love for His remembrance is to love His speech, and whoever absconds and keeps away from the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, will slip once again into his bad state.
One of the greatest states which indicates that you have proceeded on His way and drawn near Him is to be addicted to the Speech of Allah, its recitation, love for it, reflection upon its meanings, by means of prayer, reading, recitation, standing, while going and returning, persistently and relentlessly, out of love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala – otherwise, he will be exposed to loss, as we have already mentioned in detail. We just clarify those states that the believer should try to detect in himself, whether he has become in those good states, or is still heedless and indulged (in this world), far (from Allah The Almighty), forgetful of Allah and of the Hereafter. Consider the words of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in reference to the meanings of coming apart and approach to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala: “If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah . And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.” [Qur’an 59:21] That is, they may meditate on their own states; had they been mountains, they would have come apart and humbled before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. What is the matter with them then that they have become harder, more solid, harsher, and farther than mountains?
d. To grieve for missing your share from Allah
The next state which shows your love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is to grieve and feel sad for missing your share from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. By no means would your states improve after forgiveness unless you grieve much and show sorrow for what you have missed, of the remembrance of Allah and worship.
As for those who give no care to what passed them, and rather go on carelessly, there is no indication of their love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, because if one misses any of his share of the relationship with Allah, he will not be more sad than he is on missing his share of this world. You grieve, show regret and feel sad for missing your share of this world, whereas you do not feel sad in the same way for missing your share from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, concerning His remembrance, worship, standing before Him, and approaching Him. Where is the love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Where is your approach to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Where is your exaltation of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? Where is your estimation of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
“What is [the matter] with you that you do not attribute to Allah [due] grandeur.” [Qur’an 71:13]
For this reason, one of the greatest things which indicate this good state to which the righteous believers move is to grieve for what they have missed; and, at the same time, begin a new stage of worship and obedience, i.e. not to find cumbersome obedience, out of love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, nor to get bored of it, nor to be disturbed by it, nor to fidget of it. On the contrary, the indication of love, endurance and feeling no tiredness is that if one loves a person in this world, he will not find cumbersome to do everything for him, to strive with everything for his sake , to give him everything, with pleasure and gladness, like to be in his service, save him his property, alleviate from him (difficulties), set out on a journey for him, and undertake great suffering to obtain his love. Then, what do you think about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
That is the sign missing in the people of faith, i.e. not to find worship cumbersome in so much as to love and rejoice at it, dislike to leave it, and like to be permanently in the service of his beloved Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala; he neither leaves it, nor gets bored of it, nor finds it cumbersome, nor is fed up with it. Being so, “Allah The Almighty never gets tired (of giving reward) until you get tired (of doing righteous deeds)” [Bukhari and Muslim] as mentioned by the Messenger of Allah, ﷺ. However, the believers these days find the worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala cumbersome, and anyone of them finds it cumbersome to go to the mosque to seek knowledge, to come to obtain anything that may draw him near Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, to learn two Qur’anic ayaat from the speech of Allah, to obtain anything that may lead to his happiness in the Hereafter, to perform standing in prayer, to observe fasting, to remember (Allah) and even to recite the Qur’an.
The mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala descends upon him because He comes to him running as He Says in the Qudsi Hadeeth: “O My slave! Stand towards Me, so I would walk to you”, and “Whoever comes to Me walking, I go to him running.” [Bukhari]
Consider then, do you love your Lord when you find worshiping Him heavy, leave it through giving excuses, because you find it cumbersome, whether it is fasting, standing (at night in prayer), spending, giving in charity, doing the deeds of faith, fulfilling the interests of Muslims, enjoining what is good, forbidding what is evil and calling to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
Look at yourself to see all of this. If you find those acts of worship cumbersome, and get bored of them, then, know that you are no longer in the state of love for the acts of worship and rather come to dislike them, and find them heavy upon yourself. Then, look at your state with Allah. Look at your hard-heartedness, tearlessness, heedlessness and forgetfulness of departure, readiness, preparation and mending oneself in the procession to Allah The Almighty.
e. To love and humble oneself to the believers:
The next sign of love is that out of love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is to love the believers, and be merciful and kind to them. That is to be kind and compassionate to all the people of faith, and, at the same time, very severe and strong against the enemies of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, in response to His statement (which means): “forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.” [Qur’an 48:29] One will not truly love his Lord unless he loves His creation and slaves as confirmed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala:
“Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic.” [Qur’an 5:54]
It is this state which distinguishes the one who has love for Allah from the one who does not have such love. That is to be humble toward the believers, and merciful among themselves; to have those attributes of love, maintenance of relations with them, and endeavor to fulfill their interests; to be in harmony and go hand in hand: “The believer, in his relation with the other believer, is like a single building whose parts strengthen each other.” [Bukhari and Muslim] as put by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to the end of those Hadeeths and Qur’anic ayaat which confirm that meaning. The point is that you will not truly love your Lord unless you love the believers. The one who loves Allah most among the people is he who has the strongest love for his brothers, as illustrated in the Hadeeth.