What does it mean to love one’s child, a friend, and parents for the sake of Allah? What are the criteria of loving for the sake of Allah?

Details of the Question
What does it mean to love something for God?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Love is universe’s both light and source of life. As humankind is the most comprehensive fruit of the universe; a love so great to cover whole universe is hidden inside the heart which is the seed of this fruit. Only the owner of infinite perfection (i.e. Allah) can deserve such an infinite love.

To whom shall we direct our love?

We should direct our fear and love to such a being so that our fear turns into a delicate submission, and our love turns into a noble happiness. Yes, fearing of Allah who is Wrathful means to find a way to His mercifulness and seek refuge in there. Fear is like a whip which directs us to His merciful embrace. It is like a mother frightening her child so that the child will return to her. Such a fright feels quite delightful to that child. However, if we gather all mercy from all mothers together, they are equal only to a small bit of Allah’s mercy. We can say fearing of Allah is so delightful. If there is such delight in fearing of Allah; so there should be an infinite delight in loving Allah. One who fears only Allah is freed from all other fears. Similarly, if one loves for the sake of Allah, his/her love for any creature will not be sorrowful.

A human being firstly loves his/her own self, then family and relatives, then nation, then all living beings and lastly the universe. This is related to all of these stages. One’s beloved things leave him/her one by one and most of them upset and hurt him/her. If we are logical enough, we should gather all of our loves that we have given to other things and give them the One who really deserves them so that we will get rid of these troubles. “Infinite love” is only worthy of our “Lord who is infinite and everlasting”, and such a great love is only exclusive to Him. It is unfairness to Allah for us to fill our hearts, which can embrace the whole universe and which are created to love the Lord, with love of finite earthly things. If we give our love to its real owner, then we can love everything without any sorrow in the name of Him and since everything is a mirror reflecting Him. Otherwise, love can turn out to be the most sorrowful state though it is indeed one of the most delicate boons.

We cannot waste our love only for our own selves. We cannot make our own selves our god and our lover. We cannot sacrifice everything for our own selves. We cannot attribute to them a kind of godliness. One’s own self is like a mirror reflecting our Lord’s acts, names and attributions. We should tear egotism in our self away and see “He” (i.e. Allah) hidden inside it and understand that all the loves scattered all over the universe are indeed created correspondingly to His names and attributions. If we misuse this love, for other things, we will suffer from it in the end; because, “an unlawful love misused is a merciless trouble”. Our Lord’s slightest love towards us can be larger than the universe. Nothing can be equal to His slightest love.

However, there must be indications of that we love our selves, world, Prophets, friends, parents, spouses, children and all other beautiful things for the sake of Allah. So, how shall we love these?

We should love world and creatures living on it with respect to their relation with Allah and whole universe, not with respect to their own features. That’s to say; we should say “how perfectly created is this!”, instead of saying “how beautiful this is” when we see something beautiful. And we should not let any other love get into the depths of our hearts.

Loving one’s self means to take pity on it, discipline it and protect it from harmful desires. If you loved in this way, your lower-self would not rule over you and would not make you a captive of its desires. Maybe you would rule over your lower-self. You would route it to Allah, instead of meaningless desires.

Sometimes, love for prophets and saints become useless. You should not love them in this way. Do not be one of those who go too far in love and attribute “godhood” to them. Such a love will result in punishment in the Hereafter and those whom they loved so much will sue them!

One should love his/her spouse because of his/her nice personality and his/her being a source of mercy and a gift from Allah. If you treat your spouse with sincere love and mercy, he/she will treat you with sincere respect and love too. This state will continue improving as you both grow old. Then life will pass in happiness. Otherwise, if you love your spouse only for his/her physical beauties, that love will deteriorate soon and eventually you will not get on well.

Love towards parents is considered a prayer if you love them for the sake of Allah. You wish them to live a long life sincerely. You try to render service to them sincerely so that you would gain more rewards (sawabs) because of them. If the essence of this love consists of finite worldly pleasures and interests, you begin to be disturbed by the fact that “they are still alive” with the most nefarious feeling when they grow old to be more dependent on you. You start to fight for their inheritance while they are still alive and you wildly wait for them to die, who are the reasons that brought you on earth. However, the criteria of loving parents for the sake of Allah are rendering more service to them and wishing a long life for them when you are not dependent on them anymore.

Your love towards your children is unconditional and sincere. It is an inexpressible love and a unique blessing to love these cute, sweet beings who Allah entrusted to you to raise. You neither suffer too much from their problems nor wail for their death, because your love comes from Allah.

If your love for your friends is for the sake of Allah, you will benefit from this unworldly love and spiritual contact forever because separation or death cannot hinder your friendship and your unworldly relations. If this love is not for the sake of Allah, a delightful reunion of one day results in a sorrowful separation of a hundred days.

In conclusion, we should love for the sake of Allah and put our hearts into things that our Lord appreciates.

We recommend you to read this article:

Shall we not love our world?

We read the wise advises which masters of morals gave about forgetting love of creatures and loving the Creator instead. These advises are evaluated in a wrong way by some people and those people choose to live a hermitage which is totally against Islam’s sociable essence.
Master Bediuzzaman states that this world has got three faces and two of them are worthy of love, in order to warn us against falling into such error. These faces which are worthy of love are that world is “a mirror reflecting Allah’s names” and is “a field for the Hereafter”.

These limited minds of people cannot completely perceive Allah, who does not resemble His creatures and whose all attributions are infinite. However, they admire the perfection of His names and attributions when they think about the universe, which is a miracle of His might and art, and the creatures living in it. In this sense, of course one should love this world which guides him/her through knowing the Lord.

Again, human beings are travelers to the eternity. The seeds of all kinds of happiness in the Hereafter are hidden in worldly life. The more seeds one plants and the more he/she takes care of them, the more gainful he/she will be in the Hereafter. In this sense, of course one should love the world which is the field of Heaven.

The third face of the world is “loving lower-self’s unreasonable desires”. Quran verses and hadiths which teach us that world is a game and pastime point out to world’s third face. A hadith which is like a sea of wisdom is as follows:

“I liken the world to the situation of a traveler who has a rest in a tree’s shadow on a summer day. This traveler stayed under the tree for a while and after a short time he left.”

Our guide of righteousness enjoyed the divine merit and love as perfectly as a mortal could reach on this world, in his life which cannot be considered long. He also catered for all the requirements of the eternal life perfectly and having educated a hundred and twenty four thousand companions (apostles) each of whom are a star in the sky of humanity, he passed away to the eternal world.

This is our guide to whom we shall try to resemble! And this is our divine aim for which we should sacrifice our all. If we can perceive this aim completely, we will consider it the most significant gain on this mortal world to conduce someone to find the right way. That person will be an everlasting treasure for us and a good inheritor for our unworldly life. In fact, the prayers that person performs will add more to our sawabs. However, our inheritors of property are not like that. Benefits of alms and charity that they will give are only for themselves, except the charity that they will do especially on our behalf. And we can expect this only from our children. Good deeds of our grandchildren do not affect us. I have never seen someone who gives food to the poor or sacrifices an animal on his/her grandfather’s behalf.

As this is the way around, let’s do good deeds on this world and make sacrifices by ourselves. Let’s send everything we will need from this world to the Hereafter while we are alive so that we will not look for them hopelessly in the Hereafter.

Those masters walked on the world; they never got into it; at the same time they did not forget about boons of this world. However, they led a life bearing in mind that they did not come to the world just for benefitting from its boons. As they are already on earth, they tasted a few bits from the boons and continued to walk on…

What is world? We are inborn with a tendency to love the world; so why is loving world prohibited?

The world literally means “the nearest” and “the lowest”. Both are true. We are preparing for the Hereafter on this world. If we can watch this sky close over us with wisdom, we will be a candidate for watching the world below with awe when we are in Heaven. If we can contemplate about trees, flowers, rivers near us; it will be possible for us to enter gardens of Heaven.

If we can take this defected worldly life, which is full of pains, sorrows, exhaust and some of which passes asleep, out of our hearts, we will be able to reach that divine life, that unique happiness, true humanity and real delight.

Our Lord informs us of the fact that this world is nothing but a game and pastime (An’am, 32). Only kids play such games and only raffish people are satisfied with pastime.

When a kid grows up to be an adult, quits playing with his/her toy houses, which he/she built and impaired a lot of times, and seeks for an eternal home. And again when one grows, pastime is replaced by working and gaining knowledge in his/her life.

We are warned to pay attention to the fact that the world has got three faces, in Nur (divine light) Collection: “being a mirror reflecting divine names”, “being a field for Heaven” and “being a playground for revelers”.

The world’s third face of being a playground is this: the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states “People are asleep; when they die, they wake up” and puts the heedlessness of those who play with the third face of the world into words quite well.

When this hadith and Bediuzzaman’s pray “show us the originals and sources of the boons, examples and shadows of which you have shown to us” are juxtaposed, we can come up with this meaning: A person can eat and drink in his/her dream. Those foods satisfy him/her in dream. This is like a shadow fed on another shadow. However, when that person wakes up, he/she understands that he/she is hungry and starts to seek for his/her real food.

People who pass their time with worldly things and forget about real happiness are satisfied with shadows too. They will wake up when they die and perceive that the real satisfaction is only in the Heaven. However, it will be too late for most people and they will have already missed the chance.

What is important is to “die before death” and comprehend that world is like a shadow when compared to the Hereafter; and order our lives according to this consciousness. Those who reach this consciousness are not deceived by the third face of the world, care for the first two faces, enhance their merits and increase their sawabs.

It is obvious that a world, in which days are followed by nights, youthfulness is pulled back by agedness, health is surrounded by diseases and the destination is death, cannot be a place of happiness.
The Messenger of Allah states swearing:

I swear to Allah, world is like dipping a finger into the sea when compared to the Hereafter. See what will you have? What will your finger take from sea?

Eternal happiness is a sea and boons of the world are just wetness on the finger… Those who do not drown in this wetness, who do not get wet in this slight humid, find the sea. Those who are not deceived by finite things reach to the infiniteness.

If you are looking for infiniteness in this finite world, infiniteness is in absence. Make your id absent (control your lower self) so that you can be infinite” Words

The ones who are aware of that they are travelers pay attention to their destination, not to the vehicle or the seats they are sitting on. Their hearts beat for this destination and their mind is always busy with that place.

They consider the world a field of Heaven and attach great importance to it for this reason; however, they keep in mind that a field is not a place of fun. Despite of all the pains they suffer, they focus on the destination and say “everything will be over in the evening and I will have comfort and ease when I reach there”.

Those who live in this way find happiness and welcome death with a smile. They leave the field easily because they did not put their hearts into this field.

World and Hereafter, which seem so far away from each other, indeed wander together in our inner world, world of senses, square of mind and world of deeds.

Every act of ours, every thought and every love either belongs to the world or to the Hereafter. We take our every step either towards Heaven or Hell. Each of our words either leads us to happiness or to disaster. Every minute of our lives is a seed for one of these destinations.

World and Hereafter are two destinations. The more one loves one of them, the less he/she thinks of the other.

Those who quit wandering around as they wish on this world will fly to from one place to another in a blink of an eye in the Hereafter.

Those who limit their food to halals in the world will benefit from Hereafter’s boons infinitely.

Those who avoid useless knowledge carefully in this world will gain a sea of knowledge in the Hereafter. Those who know when to speak and when to keep silent on this world will have pleasant conversations and hear nice words in the Hereafter.

Those who are not taken away with people’s temporary compliments will have Divine mercy and grace in the Hereafter.

Every excessive desire which one quits on this world will return to him/her as a unique happiness there. A person who sends some things from this world to the Hereafter throughout his/her life, will move to the Hereafter eventually and see its fruits.

We read the wise advises which masters of morals gave about forgetting love of creatures and loving the Creator instead. These advises are evaluated in a wrong way by some people and those people choose to live a hermitage which is totally against Islam’s sociable essence.
Master Bediuzzaman states that this world has got three faces and two of them are worthy of love, in order to warn us against falling into such error. These faces which are worthy of love are that world is “a mirror reflecting Allah’s names” and is “a field for the Hereafter”.

These limited minds of people cannot completely perceive Allah, who does not resemble His creatures and whose all attributions are infinite. However, they admire the perfection of His names and attributions when they think about the universe which is a miracle of His might and art and the creatures living in it. In this sense, of course one should love this world which guides him/her through knowing the Lord.

Again, human beings are travellers to the eternity. The seeds of all kinds of happiness in the Hereafter are hidden in worldly life. The more seeds one plants and the more he/she takes care of them, the more gainful he/she will be in the Hereafter. In this sense, of course one should love the world which is the field of Heaven.

The third face of the world is “loving lower-self’s unreasonable desires”. Quran verses and hadiths which teach us that world is a game and pastime point out to world’s third face. A hadith which is like a sea of wisdom is as follows:

“I liken the world to the situation of a traveler who has a rest in a tree’s shadow on a summer day. This traveler stayed under the tree for a while and after a short time he left.”

Our guide of righteousness enjoyed the divine merit and love as perfectly as a mortal could reach on this world, in his life which cannot be considered long. He also catered for all the requirements of the eternal life perfectly and having educated a hundred and twenty four thousand companions (apostles) each of whom are a star in the sky of humanity, he passed away to the eternal world.

This is our guide to whom we shall try to resemble! And this is our divine aim for which we should sacrifice our all. If we can perceive this aim completely, we will consider it the most significant gain on this mortal world to conduce someone to find the right way. That person will be an everlasting treasure for us and a good inheritor for our unworldly life. In fact, the prayers that person performs will add more to our sawabs. However, our inheritors of property are not like that. Benefits of alms and charity that they will give are only for themselves, except the charity that they will do especially on our behalf. And we can expect this only from our children. Good deeds of our grandchildren do not affect us. I have never seen someone who gives food to the poor or sacrifices an animal on his/her grandfather’s behalf.

As this is the way around, let’s do good deeds on this world and make sacrifices by ourselves. Let’s send everything we will need from this world to the Hereafter while we are alive so that we will not look for them hopelessly in the Hereafter.

Those masters walked on the world; they never got into it; at the same time they did not forget about boons of this world. However, they led a life bearing in mind that they did not come to the world just for benefitting from its boons. As they are already on earth, they tasted a few bits from the boons and continued to walk on…

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What does it mean to love and to hate for the sake of Allah? What should one understand from it? How should one love and hate for the sake of Allah?

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