BY : Mugheerah Luqman
HOW CAN I ACQUIRE ALLAH’S LOVE
PREREQUISITES OF LOVE
Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim At-Tuwaijri mentions two basic prerequisites of love in the preface of his book Fiqh ul Quloob:
It is psychologically proved that the person closest to you would be most beloved to you. And the closest to you would be the one knowing the most about you. The more you share about yourself to someone, the closest he gets to you. Therefore, psychiatrists are required to follow a strict professional conduct in order to avoid engaging in such relationships which sometimes even leads to obsession as it is not unusual to find a patient developing feelings for the psychiatrist.
Therefore, Ulamaa say that In order to develop strong feelings for Allah, one should know about His majesty and greatness through a thorough study of His names and attributes. And the best way is through Quran.
The second prerequisite does not mean that one should not love anyone other than Allah, it simply means, that Allah’s love should be his main concern and it must precede all over the others. Allah’s love definitely contradicts love for Haram which includes haram relationships and His disobedience.
10 WAYS BY WHICH WE CAN ACQUIRE ALLAH’S LOVE
The most important of all which encompasses all the other 10 is to acquire His love by obeying His Prophet and leaving all which displeases Him. The question one should ask himself is that How much willing I am to obey His messenger and love him for Allah’s love and how much I can give up for Him? Allah says:
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّـهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّـهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌSay, [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.” (3:31)
Ibn Qayyam R.A lists down 10 ways by which one can acquire Allah’s love. In short they are as follows:
2 .To get closer to Allah by means of offering voluntary deeds after obligations. As the Prophet SAW said:إن الله تعالى قال: من عادى لي وليا فقد آذنته بالحرب. وما تقرب إلي عبدي بشيء أحب إلي مما افترضت عليه، وما يزال عبدي يتقرب إلي بالنوافل حتى أحبه، فإذا أحببته كنت سمعه الذي يسمع به، وبصره الذي يبصر به، ويده التي يبطش بها، ورجله التي يمشي بها، وإن سألني أعطيته؛ ولئن استعاذني لأعيذنه”Allah the Exalted has said: ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshiper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him”. [Al- Bukhari].
3. Excessive remembrance of Allah by means of tongue and heart and actions. In order to increase your love, try most of the times thinking about Him as usually the lovers do. The Prophet SAW said:يقول الله تعالى: أنا عند ظن عبدي بي، وأنا معه إذا ذكرني، فإن ذكرني في نفسه، ذكرته في نفسي وإن ذكرني في ملإٍ ذكرته في ملإٍ خير منهمAllah the Exalted says: ‘I am as my slave expects me to be, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me inwardly, I will remember him inwardly, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly (i.e., in the assembly of angels).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].In the same way, declare your love to Him and remind yourself how much you want to love Him and gain His love as well.
4. To sacrifice your pleasure for what pleases Allah. The true lovers give away and sacrifice their pleasure for the liking of their beloved.
5. To study Allah’s names and attributes and reflect upon His attributes like His love and mercy, etc.
6. By observing the manifestation of His attributes and His signs. His love, His favors and His blessings. Man is naturally attracted to someone who has favored him and loves him excessively. Imagine someone you admire the most having excessive love for you in his heart.
7. Let your heart to be humble in front of Allah which is very important. It means to free your heart from any kind of arrogance or ego in front of Him. And the most important way to reap humbleness is by Dua. Excessive Dua makes one humble in front of Allah as Allah says:وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَAnd your Lord said: “Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation). Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, out of arrogance] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (40:60)
8. To have isolation with Him at times when He descends down to the Heaven of this Earth i.e. Qiyam ul Lail. As it is said that the night is for lovers. How desirable it is for those who love to be isolated.
9. To attend the gatherings of His beloved people. Which also means to love them for Allah’s sake alone. The prophet SAW said: أن رجلاً زار أخا له في قرية أخرى، فأرصد الله تعالى على مدرجته ملكًا، فلما أتى عليه قال: أين تريد؟ قال: أريد أخًا لي في هذه القرية. قال: هل لك عليه من نعمة تربها عليه؟ قال: لا غير أني أحببت في الله تعالى، قال: فإنى رسول الله إليك بأن الله قد أحبك كما أحببته فيه”A man set out to visit a brother (in Faith) in another town and Allah sent an angel on his way. When the man met the angel, the latter asked him, “Where do you intend to go?” He said, “I intend to visit my brother in this town.” The angel said, “Have you done any favor to him?” He said, “No, I have no desire except to visit him because I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious.” Thereupon the angel said, “I am a messenger to you from Allah (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake)” [Muslim].
10. Last but not the least, to avoid anything that may create a hurdle between your heart and Allah.
HOW CAN WE KNOW WHETHER ALLAH LOVES US OR NOT
2. See how much His beloved people love you:إن الله تعالى يحب فلانًا، فأحببه، فيحبه جبريل، فينادي في أهل السماء: إن الله يحب فلانًا، فأحبوه، فيحبه أهل السماء، ثم يوضع له القبول في الأرض”When Allah loves a slave, 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”. [Al- Bukhari and Muslim].