Chapter 46: Excellence and Etiquette of Sincere love for the sake of Allah
allah, the exalted, says:
"muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of allah. and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. you see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking bounty from allah and (his) good pleasure. the mark of them (i.e., of their faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers). this is their description in the taurat (torah). but their description in the injeel (gospel) is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, and becomes thick and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers, that he may enrage the disbelievers with them. allah has promised those among them who believe (i.e., all those who follow islamic monotheism, the religion of prophet muhammad (pbuh) till the day of resurrection) and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e., jannah).'' (48:29)
"and those who, before them, had homes (in al-madinah) and had adopted the faith, - love those who emigrate to them...'' (59:9)
375. anas bin malik (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "there are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of iman: to love allah and his messenger (pbuh) more than anyone else; to love a slave (of allah) only for (the sake of) allah; and to abhor returning to infidelity after allah has saved him from it as he would abhor to be thrown into the fire (of hell)".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
1. in this hadith, the love of allah signiffies the sweetness of iman.
2. the love of allah and his prophet (pbuh) is the cornerstone of the faith. when it is said that this love should exceed one's love for everything else in the universe, it means that what is enjoined by allah and his prophet (pbuh) must be given preference over everything else, whether it is love for the wife, children, worldly interests, desires or whims. when there is a clash between the two, the former should be given preference over the latter.
376. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "seven are (the persons) whom allah will give shade of his thrown on the day when there would be no shade other than his throne's shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up worshipping allah; a man whose heart is attached to mosques; two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of allah; a man whom an extremely beautiful woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying): `i fear allah' a man who gives in charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand does not know what the right has given; and a person who remembers allah in solitude and his eyes well up".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: this hadith mentions seven types of people whom almighty allah provides special protection or his throne's shade. in some ahadith this blessing has also been promised for some noble actions over and above those which have been mentioned here. some `ulama' including as-sakhkhawi and al-hafiz ibn hajar have given a list of seventy such actions. imam as-suyuti said: "the (present) hadith mentions only seven qualities to bring into prominence their importance and also the importance of acting upon them'.
377. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "on the day of resurrection, allah, the exalted, will say: `where are those who have mutual love for the sake of my glory? today i shall shelter them in my shade when there will be no shade except mine".
commentary: it should be borne in mind that the shade referred to in the hadith is the shade of allah's throne. referring to this shade in the arabic text as the shade of allah, is similar to the `she camel of allah,' the `land of allah' `the house of allah' that are mentioned in the qur'an. (editor's note)
378. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "by him in whose hand my soul is! you will not enter jannah until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. may i inform you of something, if you do, you love each other. promote greeting amongst you (by saying as-salamu `alaikum to one another)".
commentary: in this hadith, islam has been regarded as the medium of mutual love. this is the reason muslims have been enjoined to greet each other regardless of acquaintance. it does not, however, mean that a muslim will be a true believer or entitled to jannah, by mere greeting. what it really means is that his faith will become meaningful only when it is supported by actions. greeting is an islamic custom and a practical form and demonstration of it. the combination of faith and its practice will take a muslim to jannah.
379. abu hurairah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "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 favour 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)".
380. al-bara' bin `azib (may allah be pleased with them) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said about the ansar: "only a believer loves them, and only a hypocrite hates them. allah loves him who loves them and allah hates him who hates them".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
commentary: the way the ansar or helpers, faithfully served islam, muslims and the prophet (pbuh), constitutes not only one of the brightest chapters of islamic history but also makes them a model of excellent conduct and character. almighty allah rewarded them for their devotion to islam with immense love for faith - the love which became a symbol of their faith and love for allah. not only that, because of this devotion of the ansar, everyone who entertained jealousy and hatred against them was declared a hypocrite by allah. there were two famous tribes, namely al-aus and al-khazraj in al-madinah. in the pre-islamic days they were enemies to each other. when they embraced islam, they became close brothers. they welcomed the muhajirun (the emigrants) with open arms and rendered every possible assistance to them. for this reason they were named ansar. may allah be pleased with them and they be pleased with him.
381. mu`adh (bin jabal) (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "allah, the exalted, has said: `for those who love one another for the sake of my glory, there will be seats of light (on the day of resurrection), and they will be envied by the prophets and martyrs".
commentary: this hadith tells us that allah will grant an exalted position to such people who love one another for his sake. "they will be envied by the prophets and martyrs'' does not mean that they will be granted a place higher than even the prophets because the highest position will be granted to the prophets, as these are the best of allah's creation. these words simply draw our attention to the superiority and the exalted position those who love one another for allah's sake will have on the day of resurrection.
382. abu idris al-khaulani (may allah had mercy upon him) reported: i once entered the mosque in damascus. i happened to catch sight of a young man who had bright teeth (i.e., he was always seen smiling). a number of people had gathered around him. when they differed over anything they would refer it to him and act upon his advice. i asked who he was and i was told that he was mu`adh bin jabal (may allah be pleased with him) the next day i hastened to the mosque, but found that he had arrived before me and was busy in performing salat. i waited until he finished, and then went to him from the front, greeted him with salam and said to him, "by allah i love you.'' he asked, "for the sake of allah?'' i replied, "yes, for the sake of allah". he again asked me, "is it for allah's sake?'' i replied, "yes, it is for allah's sake.'' then he took hold of my cloak, drew me to himself and said, "rejoice,! i heard messenger of allah (pbuh) saying, `allah, the exalted, says: my love is due to those who love one another for my sake, meet one another for my sake, visit one another for my sake and spend in charity for my sake".
commentary: besides the merit of mutual affection, contact and co-operation for the pleasure of allah, this hadith tells us that one should disclose one's affection to him whom one loves. it also tells us that when a person is engaged in worship or daily round of recitation, his visitor should not sit before him so that his concentration is not affected. he should sit behind him and wait till he has finished his prayer. the hadith also teaches us to approach someone from the front so as not to scare him.
383. abu karimah al-miqdad bin ma`dikarib (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "when a man loves his brother (for allah sake) let him tell him that he loves him".
[at-tirmidhi and abu dawud].
commentary: the wisdom behind informing someone that one loves him for the sake of allah, is to make him aware of the regard shown to him so that this will turn into mutual affection and will, therefore, promote cooperation with each other.
384. mu`adh (bin jabal) (may allah be pleased with him) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) held my hand and said, "o mu`adh, by allah, i love you and advise you not to miss supplicating after every salat (prayer) saying: `allahumma a`inni `ala dhikrika wa shukrika, wa husni `ibadatika,' (o allah, help me remember you, expressing gratitude to you and worship you in the best manner)".
[abu dawud and an-nasa'i].
commentary: we learn from this hadith the following:
1. it is commendable to inform those whom one loves for allah's sake, of this love.
2. the superiority of mu`adh.
3. it is commendable to say this du`a after each obligatory salat.
4. it is commendable to seek allah's help in order to discharge one's duties towards allah in the best possible manner.
385. anas bin malik (may allah be pleased with him) reported: a man was with the prophet (pbuh) when another man passed by and the former said: "o messenger of allah! i love this man (for allah's sake)". messenger of allah (pbuh) asked, "have you informed him?'' he said, "no". messenger of allah (pbuh) then said, "tell him (that you love him)". so he went up to the man and said to him, "i love you for the sake of allah;'' and the other replied, "may allah, for whose sake you love me, love you.''