Hadith 11: “Three qualities which, if a person attains them, he will find the sweetness of faith”
It is reported on the authority of Anas that Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be upon Him) said: “There are three qualities for which anyone who is characterized by them will experience the sweetness of faith: He to whom Allah and His Messenger are dearer than all else; he who loves a human being for Allah’s sake alone; and he who has as great an abhorrence of returning to unbelief after Allah has rescued him from it as he has of being cast into hell.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Values Related to Faithful Love
1. Love of Almighty Allah is the source of all love; any other kind of love is only part of it.
2. Love of Allah and love of what Allah loves is the source of all love and happiness. Loving what Allah does not love is the source of misery and loss in the worldly life and the Hereafter.
3- Love based on faith is an act of worship, and this is why it should solely be dedicated to Almighty Allah.
4- Our love for someone should be based on Allah’s love for this person or for his good deeds, because we love whom Allah loves of people and deeds and vice versa.
5. Faithful love is based on logic and reason, unlike innate natural love which is based on natural disposition or passion.
6- When the innate natural love contradicts with faithful love, we should put the faithful love first before the innate natural love.
7. Affirming faithful love, so that every giving, taking, cutting and linking be based on it, and this in turn leads to complete perfect faith. Allah’s Messenger said:
Narrated Abu Umamah: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: If anyone loves for Allah's sake, hates for Allah's sake, gives for Allah's sake and withholds for Allah's sake, he will have perfect faith.
8. Obedience and following the sunnah is one of the results of faithful love. Whoever claims to love Allah and His Messenger, and yet he disobeys Allah’s commands is actually a liar. Almighty Allah says:
“Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran: 3: 31)
9. Hatting disbelief and disbelievers is one of the foundations of true faith, it is a fence surrounding the faithful love and defining its borders. Almighty Allah says:
“You will never find a people who ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day loyal to those who defy Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their parents, children, siblings, or extended family…” (Quran: 58: 22)
10. We have to differentiate between worshipping Allah by loving and hating for His sake and justice and fairness. Love should not incite someone to favor an unjust Muslim over an oppressed non-Muslim. Almighty Allah says: “Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair.”
11. Al-wala' wa-l-bara' is loyalty and loving for Allah (people/deeds) and disavowal and hating for Allah (people/deeds). This refers to holding fast to all that is pleasing to Allah, and withdrawing from and opposing all that is displeasing to Allah, for the sake of Allah.
12. Love is to establish and to destroy at the same time, they are two contradicting concepts but each of them is a proof of the other. The word of taweheed (monotheism) can only be established by denying and affirming (denying the false idols and affirming the oneness of Allah). This contradicting duality has to be achieved also in love, faithful love is denying every love which is not for Allah and affirming love only for him.
13. Tasting the sweetness of love cannot be described by words, it can be felt at the middle of the night by the condition, at difficult times and hardships by peacefulness and at prosperity by gratitude.
14. Loving for Allah and in obeying Allah benefit the person on the Day of Resurrection, any other kind of love would be like scattered dust, it would turn to animosity and loss as Almighty Allah says:
“Close friends will be enemies to one another on that Day, except the righteous.” (Quran: 43: 67)
15. Faithful love transcends the limits of time, the believer loves his ancestors in faith such as the benevolent Prophets and their followers (the Believer of Yaseen, Believer of Pharaoh's People, Dhu al-Qarnayn)
16. Faithful love transcends the limits of place, the believer loves his fellow believers from all races, backgrounds and ethnicities (Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi/ Salman al-Farasi/ Suhaib al-Rumi) (Arabs/ non-Arabs/ Rohingya people/Uyghurs)
17. Faith implies love, supplication, following and support of all the people of faith and Muslims in the past, present and the future.
18. There are three qualities which, if a person attains, he will find the sweetness of faith.
Means to Attain Allah’s Love:
Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned ten reasons to attain Allah’s love (to be mentioned here briefly):
1. Reciting the Holy Qur`an with deep contemplation in its meanings and purposes
2. Seeking to be close to Allah by praying Nawafal (nonobligatory prayers).
3. Remembering Him all the time by tongue, heart, deeds and condition; person’s share of love depends on his share of this remembrance.
4. Giving preference to what He likes over what you like, at the times in which the whims overcome you, and seeking what He likes even if it is difficult.
5. Making the heart aware of His names and attributes.
6. Seeing His kind, beneficence and inward and outward blessings and graces, because they are reasons for His love.
7. Having the heart totally broken between the hands of Allah Almighty; this could be explained only by the words; to be broken means to be humble.
8. Having loneliness with Him at the time of His descent, to talk to Him, recite His words, stand with your heart and behave between His hands in way shows slavery to Him and end this with repentance.
9. Sitting with the true lovers of Allah and picking the best of their sayings.
10. Neglecting anything makes a curtain between the heart and Allah the Exalted and Glorious.
Faith and good deeds are means for the servant to attain the love of his Lord, this leads to sweetness and comfort that the believer feels in his heart. The following hadith confirms this meaning; the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Whoever is pleased with Allah as (his) Lord, and Islam as (his) religion, and Muhammad as (his) Prophet, then he has tasted the sweetness of faith." This does not mean that the sweetness of faith is restricted only in the three qualities, but it shows their importance.
Faith increases and decreases, “if a person attains them, he will find the sweetness of faith”, this means if a person lacks them, his faith is incomplete.
“…after Allah has rescued him from it as he has of being cast into hell” confirms the verse: “It is not for any soul to believe except by Allah’s leave…” (Quran: 10: 100)
The saying “and he who has as great an abhorrence of returning to unbelief…” is a proof that a person might be subject to disbelief at any moment, and no one should feel completely safe from temptation. This is why it is recommended for the believer to supplicate to Allah with what Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him, used to say: “O Controller of the hearts, make my heart steadfast in adhering to Your religion.”
It is permissible to combine between the two terms “Allah” and “Rasoulloh” (His Messenger), using a dual pronoun as in the word “Siwahumah” for educational reasons, because the lesser the words, the easier it is to memorize the hadith. On the other hand, sermons need more clarification and explanation, and this is why Allah’s Messenger criticized a person who was giving a sermon and referred to Allah and His Messenger in one word using a dual pronoun, as he should have said Allah and His Messenger separately.
Instilling the value of variation (among people) based on taqwah (piety) and faith.
Opposing any fanaticism or zealotry to anything other than Allah (family/tribe/nation/race).
The nunation (tanween) in the Arabic word “thalath” (three) is a substitute for a mudhaf mahthuf (an omitted possession) estimated as khisal (qualities).