We should increase doing what Allah loves, and abstain from what Allah does not love. We should inculcate this as part of our conscious decision making process and use it as a tool for our own personal transformation.
When challenged by dunia, which values do we follow? Think of how we treat those subordinate to us at work. Look at the volume of reported cases worldwide of Muslim families abusing their maids – through physical torture, withholding of salaries and treating them as modern day slaves. How many cases of domestic abuse exist within Muslim homes? What about merchants and traders with beards and tasbih, but they deal with their customers in a crooked or dishonest manner? The women in niqab who fastidiously memorize the Qur’an but spend their free time back biting other people? The Muslims who turn their backs on any hardship or plea for help?
Islam is not a theory, but indeed, an all encompassing way of life. The swifter we perform what Allah loves and abandon what Allah hates, the faster we will gain Allah’s love, and once we have achieved this, Allah will call upon His kingdom to love us. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “When Allah loves a slave, he calls out Jibril and says: ‘I love so-and-so; so love him’. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so- and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Many like to believe that Allah loves His creation equally and unconditionally, whereas nothing in the Qur’an or Hadith supports this.
“Do those who have committed evils assume that We will make them like those who believe and do righteous deeds, so as their life and death become equal? Evil is what they judge.”(Al-Jathiya verse 21)
The love of Allah can only be earned by establishing a personal relationship with Allah, and to put continued effort into maintaining that relationship. Muslims automatically feel entitled to Allah’s unreserved love, but it is an ongoing process depending on how we behave.
We tend to do something that Allah loves and then demolish our efforts by performing something that Allah hates. The typical wedding in most Muslim families nowadays incorporates actions disliked by Allah – ostentation, extravagance and wastage, coupled with backbiting, unnecessary comments and snide speculation before and after the event. How many brides even refuse to make salat at the occasion of their wedding because they don’t want their make up to be ruined? Many families rigorously perform acts of worship but when it comes to cultural events, culture takes the upper hand.
A rational person would not keep withdrawing from his bank account to set fire to his hard earned savings! Similarly, we should not extinguish the love of Allah that we have gained by doing something which He despises. We would march on and increase in doing what Allah loves, and try our best to avoid what He dislikes.
The power of Allah’s love cannot be over emphasised. Love brings with it mercy and compassion, and spreads goodness.
The best kind of love should never let us down, or divorce us, or abandon us in times of trouble. Genuine love will endure in this life and in the hereafter and will lead us to the happiness, success and tranquillity.
We have pursued love and security through men, women and money. These are all bound to fail if our quest is the perfect, eternal love. These kinds of fleeting love leaves us heartbroken, disappointed and hurt.
Isn’t it time to start a journey of love with the Creator? He is the One who enfolds us in His mercy, protection and bounty and gives us sustenance, from life to death to beyond. Even the most powerful of our allies and protectors on earth cannot help us with even a fraction of Allah’s powers.
Is it better to place the best of our love to another human being, or the One who created us and controls everything around us? It is only Allah who can forgive our sins, provide for us, heal us, and accompany us at the moment of death and resurrection. Only Allah can forgive us and protect us from Hellfire. No one is more deserving of our love.
We spend our lives running after others, sometimes to our own destruction. How many times have we wept and had our hearts shattered when we chase the wrong kind of love? This is because we place our love and hope on each other for the wrong reason: with those who are flawed and limited in capabilities. When we love the creation and not its Creator, and expect permanence and perfection from them, we are setting ourselves up for pain. All relationships will end, whether by death, illness or change of heart. The only permanent relationship is the one with Allah.
So how do we manifest this love? When we are in love, we would travel to the end of the earth to seek the love and approval of that person. We would be willing to do anything just to earn a momentary smile or a caring word from a loved one. Even the anticipation of a delighted expression of a loved one already fills us with happiness. The last thing we want is for that person to alienate us.
If we claim to love Allah, but do nothing to cultivate that love, how genuine is our claim? If a man claims to love his wife, but comes home late all the time, ignores her and spends more time with his friends than at home, do we look at what he says or what he does?
We should prepare for our meeting with Allah. We should read the Qur’an to understand Allah’s communication to us, and should spend time in seclusion away from the madness of dunia. We should emulate the sunnah of Rasulullah SAW on whatever level we are able. We should strive to increase our worship, show gratitude to Allah, spread His message and live with the behaviour that Allah loves. In doing so, we should strive to be better versions of ourselves, for the sake of Allah.
Yet in reality, our enthusiasm evaporates when dunia comes knocking, even if the dunia matters are exhausting and hateful.
This is the danger of nurturing the wrong love. If we are slaves to our emotions and desires, we will tend to love the wrong people. We will be dazzled by the illusion of love, and will endure patiently when those same people we love abuse, hurt and destroy us. Why have we degraded ourselves to such insanity? We should stop scrambling in the dirt to look for earthly love, but instead elevate our understanding of love to something higher: the eternal love of Allah.