3. To achieve the Signs of the Love of Allah
The important point in the way toward Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and drawing near to Him is the fact that whoever proceeds on His way becomes the dearest and the nearest to Him, and has the highest position in His sight. Those states have many signs that should be visible on the righteous believers, indicating that they are the best to proceed on the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the most convenient to approach Him, and the strongest in their ambition, striving and spending in their procession toward Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. That is the concept we would like to refer to, i.e. the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Everyone claims to love his Lord. But Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala made a test in His love, and the signs which distinguish him who loves his Lord from him who does not love Him, and what should be visible on the believer, in order to know whether or not he is so, and start to reckon himself for those concepts from this day on, otherwise, he, whose world is lost, his Hereafter will be lost accordingly; and if one is not in this state, this indicates his remoteness from the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
What are those concepts which indicate the Love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala?
a. To give priority to the Love of Allah and His Messenger, ﷺ, over all things that one loves:
The lovers (of Allah) always give priority to the Love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His Messenger ﷺ over all things that they love. If the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His Messenger ﷺ opposes the love of one’s children, property, family, majesty, authority, self-inclination, sleep, laziness, the appetite for food and physical desires, without doubt, the love of Allah (and His Messenger) should be given priority. That is the significance of the statement of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, “None of you will have his faith (complete) until I become dearer to him than his own self, child, parent and all people.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
One will not taste the sweetness of faith if he gives priority to the love of anything over the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and His Messenger ﷺ. Similarly: “There are three (signs), and if anyone possesses them, he will taste the sweetness of faith: that Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else; that whenever he loves anyone, he loves him only for the sake of Allah; and that he dislikes to revert to disbelief in the same way as he dislikes to be thrown into Hell.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Consider how you give priority to your sleep and comfort over standing (at night in prayer) out of love for Allah, remembrance and worship of Him; and how you give priority to your food, drink and sexual desire over fasting, remembrance (of Allah), recitation of the Qur’an, undertaking the interests of religion and the believers; and how you prefer your niggardliness, stinginess, greediness for this world to spending and giving for His sake, so that He would give you more, bestow upon you greater bestowal, and raise you in position and rank. Look at your state, O poor one, how you forbid yourself the giving, mercy, generosity, munificence, forgiveness, and, ultimately, love of Allah.
It is you who cut yourself off from this way, by giving priority to what you love and are pleased with, and what you desire and incline to over what your Lord The Almighty likes and approves of.
It should be kept in mind that if you give priority to anything over the love of Allah, it will be a source of misfortune against you. If anyone gives priority to anything over the love of Allah, he would be punished by it in the world and the Hereafter.
No doubt, you will leave in this world whatever you love and give priority to in this world, in confirmation of the statement of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: “You could love whomever you like, for you will, inevitably, leave him.” [Al-Albaani: Saheeh] Love whomever you want, for you will, inevitably, leave him, except the love for Allah The Almighty, which will remain with you wherever you are, in the grave, at the time of reckoning, on the day the witnesses will stand forth until you enter Paradise with nothing dearer to you than it, as stated by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Who Says (what means): “but approval from Allah is greater,” [Qur’an 9:72].
Look at the righteous believers, and how they give priority to their love (for Allah) if it conflicts with sleep, food, drink, children, property, worldly benefits, majesty, authority and passion for one’s own self. Then, make a comparison with your own state if the sciences of Sharee‘ah and love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala conflict with His creation. Behold! You invent such-and-such excuses, delay because of such-and-such and give priority to such-and-such over it. It may be that you indulge in those things, given that it is the first concept on which you should measure your own self and faith, and know whether you have moved forward on the Way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, or are still in your previous conduct, controlled by the devil, about whom Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Says (what means): “and he [Satan] departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.” [Qur’an 18:50] The love of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the touchstone. It is followed by the love of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ as stated by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Who Says (what means): “Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is forgiving and merciful.'” [Qur’an 3:31] The good consequence of this love is to receive forgiveness, and not to be punished, as confirmed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in this respect when He Says (what means): “But the Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the children of Allah and His beloved.'” [Qur’an 5:18] In reply to their claim, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Says (what means): “Say, ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins?’ Rather, you are human beings from among those He has created.” [Qur’an 5:18] Thus, love leads to no punishment, and is a way to forgiveness.
For this reason, this way always distinguishes the righteous believers who are true in their love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from those who claim to love Allah, and disobey His Messenger ﷺ, secretly and publicly, and also violate the commands of Allah The Almighty, knowingly, in their secrets, deeds, and the deeds of the heart and physical organs, and give priority to their beloved things, sleep, laziness, comfort and fear over their Love for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. If anything contradicts the worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, they give priority to it, and rather defer the worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and perform this worship (if they are to do it) with boredom, difficulty and readiness to leave it, rather than with love, approach and continuity to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, or with love for the deeds of faith that draw one near Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.