By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.
Dear brothers and sisters! By saying I love you. What does that mean? I love you because you are my family, I love you because you are beautiful, I love you because you have money, I love you because you help me out, I love you because you are my tribe or we belong to the same language, I love you because we are from the same region, I love you because we belong to the same political party or I love you because we belong to the same organisation or sect?
I ask, today, please, how many people actually love simply for the sake of Allah?
Respected servants of Allah! Know that, love for the sake of Allah brings rewards your mind can’t even grasp, but unfortunately wallahi it has become a lost trait among many Muslims today. So let’s find out what it means to love someone for the sake of Allah and get motivated by a selection of amazing Prophetic Hadiths to start loving others in this blessed way In Shaa Allah!
Allah The Almighty says about the brotherly love of the people of the Ansar:
“. . . And those who, before them, had homes (in Madinah) and had adopted the Faith, – love those who emigrate to them (from Makkah) . . .” [Qur’an, 59:9]
What does “loving for the sake of Allah” really mean?
Loving someone for the sake of Allah comes in two ways: in your heart and with your deeds. You love someone for the sake of Allah in your heart because of their position with Allah, and this starts with loving the Prophets and Messengers and everyone who follows them. You should have this love in your heart for other Muslims. Outwardly means that you support that person in the good deeds they do, and you respect and defend them according to their good deeds.
This means you don’t love them because you know them very well, or because they brought you a direct benefit or because they have a nice appearance: you love and support themq because of their efforts to please Allah!
- Huge rewards to gain
- Taste the sweetness of Iman (faith)
To start with an invaluable reward in this world, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“There are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of Iman (faith): to love Allah and His Messenger more than anyone else; to love a servant (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]
We have to realise that of everything you can have in this world, a taste of the sweetness of Iman (faith) is the most precious.
- Enjoy the shade of Allah
Moving to the Day of Judgement, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said that Allah will ask on this day:
“Where are those who loved each other for the sake of Myq glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.” [Muslim]
You will only understand your intense need of this shade, when you are there and by just loving someone for the sake of Allah you can work for it now!
- The Prophets and martyrs will envy you
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) 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.” [At-Tirmidhi]
Imagine yourself sitting on seats of light and the best of the best envying you because you made it a priority to love others for the sake of Allah!
- You will have a high rank with Him
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) 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).” [Muslim]
Dear brothers and sisters! Isn’t this breath taking? By loving someone for the sake of Allah, you gain the love of (Allah) the Highest and which love is better than His?
- How to love someone for the sake of Allah
- Be patient with others and strive for a clean heart: In your relationship with other believers don’t try to seek the negative side of each word or gesture, be fast in accepting apologies and don’t be selfish. A common issue is the more ‘religious’ some people get, their hatred for others increases. Try to seek the good side in others and always try to find a good explanation or interpretation of certain behaviour or the speech of the other.
- Be a person on whom others can rely in times of need: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The believers, in their mutual friendship, mercy and affection, are like one body: if any part of it complains, the rest of the body will also stay awake in pain.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
You might know this Hadith, but try to truly reflect on it. Do you truly feel the pain of other believers, does it affect you? As this is a sign of your actual love for another!
There was an example of a man who loaned his friend money and walked back home crying. When his wife asked him why he was crying and if it was because he needed the money himself he said:
“No I am crying at my brother in faith’s state of affairs. How could I not have known what he was going through? If I had, I would have offered my help before he was compelled to ask for it.”
He was crying because he had seen his friend sighing, and even though he had seen something was wrong, he had never bothered to ask. This brother was crying because he hadn’t been there to prevent his brother in Islam from going through the pain of having to ask for a loan.
- Tell others you love them for Allah’s sake
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“If any of you loves his brother then he should inform him.” [At-Tirmidhi]
Respected brothers and sisters! Wallahi, as I know, no any religion urges its followers to adopt mutual love, affection and intimacy like the religion of Islam. This should be the case at all times, not just on specific days. Islam encourages showing affection and love towards each other all the time. In a Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:
“When a man loves his brother, he should tell him that he loves him.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi]
In another Hadith, he (Peace be upon him) said:
“By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, you will not enter Paradise unless you believe, and you will not believe unless you love each other. Should I direct you to something that if you constantly did it, you would love each other? Spread the greetings of peace among you.” [Muslim]
Moreover, the Muslim’s affection includes inanimate beings. Talking about the Mountain of Uhud, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“This is Uhud, a mountain which loves us and we love it.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Love in Islam is all-encompassing, comprehensive and sublime, rather than being restricted to one form only, which is love between a man and a woman. Rather, there are more comprehensive, wider and sublime meanings. There is love for Allah The Almighty, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and the love of good and righteous people. There is love of the religion of Islam, upholding it and making it victorious and the love of martyrdom for the sake of Allah The Almighty as well as other forms of love. Consequently, it is wrong and dangerous to restrict the broad meaning of love to this type of love only.
- A successful marital and family life is based on love and compassion
Perhaps some people are influenced by what is relentlessly propagated by the conventional and social media, movies and TV serials, day and night, thinking that a marriage will not be successful unless it is based on a pre-marital relationship between the young couple to achieve perfect harmony between them and secure a successful marital life.
Not only this, many people are also influenced by the call to intermixing between the two sexes, lewdness as well as many other moral deviations. This leads to great corruption and grave crimes as well as the violation of sanctities and honour. I will not refute this allegation from this point of view, but through real studies and figures.
In a study carried out by Cairo University (a university of neutral orientation; which is not an Islamic authority to be subject to doubt of being biased) about what it called “love marriage” and “traditional marriage”, the following was concluded:
“According to the study, 88 percent of marriages which take place after a love affair end with failure, i.e., with a success rate of not more than 12 percent. As for what it called “the traditional marriage”, according to the study, 70 percent are successful. In other words, the number of successful marriages in the so-called traditional marriage is six times more than love marriages.” [See Risalah Ila Mu’minah]
This study is confirmed by another similar one carried out by Syracuse University in the U.S. The study indicates beyond doubt that love or passion is not a guarantee for a successful marriage; rather, it often leads to failure. The alarming rates of divorce assert these facts.
Commenting on this phenomenon, Professor Saul Gordon, a lecturer at the aforementioned University said:
“When you are in love; to you the whole world revolves around this person whom you love. Marriage then comes to prove the opposite and destroy all your perceptions. This is because you discover that there are other worlds that you have to be aware of. It is not the world of humans, but the world of concepts, values and habits which you paid no attention to before.” [Ibid]
Frederick Koenig, a professor of social psychology at Tulane University, says:
“Romantic love is very strong and emotional, but does not last, while real love is linked to the land and life and can withstand trials.”
“It is impossible that one adapts the powerful emotions in romantic love. This love seems like a cake, a person enjoys eating it [while it lasts], then it is followed by the period of downfall. While real love means sharing the concerns of daily life and cooperation for it to continue. Within the framework of this cooperation, one can achieve his human need.” [See Al-Qabas Newspaper: Quoted from Risalah Ila Hawwa’]
The love which the writer talks about and calls “real life” was expressed in the Qur’an as affection. Allah The Exalted Says:
“And of His Signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” [Qur’an, 30: 21]
The relationship between spouses is based on affection and mercy, not on ardent love, desire and passion. It is a relationship which is based on quiet love (affection) and mutual mercy, not illusions of love which fail to withstand reality or romantic fantasies which fail to create a successful marriage.
How knowledgeable was Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, when he addressed women and said:
“If one of you does not love her husband, she should not tell him about this, because only a few homes are based on love; rather, people live together by virtue of good morals and Islam.”
Nevertheless, this does not mean that we call to neglect emotions between spouses or bury feelings and sentiments between them.
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), gave us the best example of loving his wives. It was narrated in the pure Sunnah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him), was careful to put his mouth on the same place from which his wife Aisha may Allah be pleased with her drank. During his final illness, he used her Siwak (tooth stick) and died while he was reclined against her chest, between her neck and bosom. What kind of love is nobler and more sublime than this?
Respected servants of Allah! Allah describes the true believers in Islam with the following description:
“While the people of Iman (faith) are stronger in their love for Allah [than anyone else].” [Surah al-Baqarah: 165]
Love and hatred are opposites. Since it is logically impossible to truly love something without hating what stands against it, Muslims both love and hate for the sake of Allah.
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) guided us to this balance and moderation in our emotions when he said:
“Verily the strongest handhold of faith is that you love for the sake of Allah and that you hate for the sake of Allah.” [Ahmad]
Our great scholar, Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz (d.1420, may Allah have Mercy on him) was asked about love and hatred for the sake of Allah, and he replied:
“Loving for Allah is when you love (someone) for Allah’s sake, the Blessed and Exalted, because you believe him to be a person of taqwa (mindfulness of Allah’s orders) and Iman (upright beliefs, statements, and actions). Because of these things you love such a person for the sake of Allah. You also hate for the sake of Allah when you see a disobedient disbeliever. You hate such a person for the sake of Allah. You also hate a disobedient person, even if he is a Muslim, based on the degree of his disobedience. This is how a believer is – He allows his heart to react to both types of people, loving some of them for the sake of Allah. He loves the people of Iman and taqwa for the sake of Allah, while he hates the people of disbelief, evil, wicked and disobedience for Allah’s sake, allowing his heart to interact with both kinds. In the case when there is good and bad in a person, like a disobedient Muslim, then he loves him for his Islam and hates him for his disobedience, combining both emotions of love and hatred for one person. As for the people of Iman (faith) and the people of upright Islamic practice, then he (a true believer) loves them wholeheartedly. Similarly, he hates the people of disbelief wholeheartedly. But regarding someone who has both things (good and bad traits), a disobedient Muslim, he loves him based on the level of his Iman (faith) and Islam, while he hates him according to the level of his wickedness, disobedience and violations (of Islamic beliefs and practices).”
Dear brothers and sisters! I end my today’s sermon by saying: all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Wishing you and all your loved ones a Joyous Jumu’ah Mubarak.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rabi’ul Thani 16, 1444 AH (November 11, 2022).
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