Praise be to Allah in the first and in the last, and peace be upon the best of His Prophets and Creatures.
Love for the sake of Allah is the best act of worship that is almost absent from our daily life, however few people are keen to apply the Sunnah.
Whoever understands the meaning of worship knows the objectives of Shari`ah because when most of us limit the acts of worship in the pillars of Islam, we miss many of pious actions and good deeds which the Pious Predecessors used to practice and compete about because the meaning of worship as defined by Ibn Taymiyah is a collective name for everything that pleases Allah whether sayings or apparent and hidden actions.
Although we memorize this definition since our first studying period, our practical application contradicts our knowledge.
Love for the sake of Allah, which is based on the meaning of affection, is an inner feeling which their impacts reflect on the behavior and become clear in peoples' eyes, movements of body organs, and slips of the tongue, negatively or positively.
If it means the inclination of the heart to something or someone, we will not add to that because explaining what has been already explained is erroneous and explaining the well-known is fruitless, but may add more complication to it.
We hope that our meetings inside families would be for the sake of Allah not for a worldly benefit, but for maintaining the ties of family, showing filial obedience to one's parents, and maintaining the ties of their kinship.
During this meeting, we have some acts of worship like: Spreading peace, feeding the poor, maintaining the ties of kinship, mentioning the name of Allah, smiling at your brothers' faces, enjoining good and forbidding evil, and teaching young ones the etiquettes of meetings and the manners of talking. These acts of worship will not be active but in case of associating with the people because a person cannot gain it during isolation.
Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave priority for those who associate with the people and observe patience on their harm.
When I wanted to speak about the love for the sake of Allah and its connection with family meetings, I tried to limit the topic in some certain points to be easy for review.
Love for the sake of Allah is involved in every aspect of life and we practice it daily whether knowingly or not because the believers practice it by loving their Muslim brothers.
1- Love is the handhold:
Imam Ahmad reported from the Hadith of Al Bara' ibn `Azib (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated: "We were sitting at the Prophet (peace be upon him) then he said: Which is the strongest bond of Islam? The Companions said: Salah. He said: It is good but not the correct answer. They said: The fast of Ramadan. He said: Good, but not the correct answer. They said: Jihad. He said: Good, but not the correct answer. He then said: The strongest bond of faith is to love for the sake of Allah and hate for the sake of Allah."
2- Affection is the best of deeds:
Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The best of actions is to love for the sake of Allah and to hate for the sake of Allah."
3- Love is the best of faith:
Imam Ahmad and At-Tabarany reported in Al Mu`jam Al Kabir on the authority of Mu`adh ibn Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about the best of faith and he said: "That you love (any person or thing) for the sake of Allah, hate for the sake of Allah, and that you keep your tongue busy in the remembrance of Allah. He said: Allah's Messenger, is there anything besides this? He said: You like for the people what you like for yourself, and you dislike for them what you dislike, and you either say good or keep silent."
Abu Dawud reported in "his Sunan" and Al Bayhaqy in "Shu`ab Al Iman" and Al Hafiz Ad-Diya' Al Maqdisy on the authority of Abu Umamah Al Bahily (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) 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."
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever possesses the following three qualities will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:1. The one to whom Allah and His Messenger becomes dearer than anything else. 2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah's sake. 3. To lit a huge fire and fall into it is better than associating others with Allah in worship." [This Hadith is reported in Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim in other wordings].
4- Loving something for other than Allah is dangerous to the lover:
Ibn Jarir reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "Whoever loves and hates for the sake of Allah, befriended for the sake of Allah, and fought for the sake of Allah shall be one of the righteous servants of Allah. A person shall not find the taste of faith even if his Salah and fasting are abundant until he does that. All friendships in the world are for the sake of the world which will not avail a thing for the people who do so." It was reported from Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: "Let everyone of you beware of converting to Judaism and Christianity while he does not know, then he recited Allah's Saying: "O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ' (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliyâ' of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliyâ', then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allâh guides not those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust)." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 51].
5- What should you do if you love someone for the sake of Allah?
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: "A man was with the Prophet (peace be upon him) when another man passed by and the former said: "O Messenger of Allah! I love this man (for Allah's sake)". The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) asked: "Have you informed him?'' He said: "No". The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) 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." [Reported by An-Nasa'i].
6- Virtues of love in the world:
Abu Dhar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "O Messenger Allah, a person loves a group of people, but he cannot do (righteous) deeds as they do [so what is his ruling?]. He said: O Abu Dhar you are with whomever you love. He said: I love Allah and His Messenger. He said: You are with whomever you love. The narrator said: Abu Dhar repeated the question and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) repeated the answer. [Reported by Abu Dawud].
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: I have not seen the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) glad at something more than this: A man said: O Messenger of Allah, a person loves someone but does not do (righteous) deeds like him [What is his ruling?], thereupon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "A person shall be gathered with the one whomever he loves." [Reported by Abu Dawud].
When a person loves someone, he likes to be like him, so he competes with him in righteous deeds which make him loveable to his Muslim brothers and exhort him to search for the things which Allah loves.
When a person loves his Muslim brothers, love prevails in the society and they urge one another to obey Allah and compete in loving Him.
Of the virtues of love:
Protecting Muslims' honors which will result in decreasing backbiting and tale bearing in the society as well as preventing the insult of Muslims as was reported in the Hadith.
A Muslim does not like that someone would insult his Muslim brother even if the insulted person is sinful.
The person whose heart is full of love lives peacefully with others unlike the person who does not love people.
Look at yourself when you differ with someone, can you sleep at night? Can you eat well? Can you enjoy life? What about if the disagreement is with someone whom you meet every day?! It will be part of Hell.
It was reported that when `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) remembered a Muslim brother at night, he said: What a long night! And when the Fajr Salah is performed, he used to visit that Muslim brother and hugged him.
It was reported that `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "When Allah (Glory be to Him) grant you the love of a person, stick to it." When Ibn Mas`ud met his friends, he said: You are the happiness of my life. Bilal ibn Sa`d used to say: A brother who always reminds you of Allah is better than a brother you meet and puts one dinar in your hand.
7- The virtues of love in the Hereafter:
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, will say on the Day of Recompense: "Where are those who loved each other for My majesty? Today I will shade them in My shade on the day when there is no shade except My shade." [Sahih Al Jami`].
Mu`adh (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Allah (Glory be to Him) 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." [Sahih Al Jami`].
`Ubadah ibn As-Samit (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Allah (Glory be to Him) said: "I have given My Love to those who love people and My Love is entitled for those who maintain relationships with one another for My Sake. My Love is given to those who advise one another for My Sake and My Love is given for those who visit one another for My Sake. And My Love is given to those who spend their monies for My Sake. Indeed, those who love one another for My Sake are on pulpits of light and the Prophets, the truthful, and the martyrs shall envy them for that status." [Sahih Al Jami`].
We all memorize the Hadith of the seven kinds of people whom Allah will shade on the Day of Recompense which contains: "And two men love each other for the sake of Allah." Of the virtues of love in the Hereafter is that the believers intercede for their Muslim brothers as was reported in the long Hadith which reads: "By the One in Whose hand is my soul, none of you can be more insistent in asking Allah to restore his rights against his opponent than the believers who will ask Allah, on the Day of Resurrection, (to grant them the power of intercession) for their brothers who are in the Fire. They will say, 'Our Lord, they used to fast with us and pray and perform Hajj.' It will be said to them, 'Bring out those whom you recognize, so the Fire will be forbidden to burn them.' So they will bring out many people… And Allah will say: 'The angels have interceded, and the Prophets have interceded, and the believers have interceded. There is none left but the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.' Then He will seize a handful of the Fire and bring forth from it people who never did anything good." [Sahih Al Jami` 7031].
Therefore, be careful to befriend righteous people whom you love for the sake of Allah because you shall benefit from them in this world when they remind you of good and invoke Allah for you, and perhaps you need their intercession on the Day of Recompense.
Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Choose righteous friends, for they are the provision of the world and the Hereafter.
Do not you hear the call of the Hell residents: "Now we have no intercessors, nor a close friend (to help us)." I call you and myself to be of those whom the people need, but they do not need anyone? Is not that possible?
8- The rights of brotherhood:
Brothers have many rights which Imam Ash-Shafi`y (may Allah be pleased with him) summarized by saying: One of the signs of true brotherhood is to accept the defects of your Muslim brother, correct him, and forgive his mistakes.
It was said that the best among your companions is the one who supports you when everyone forsakes you, many people may forgive those who do not share his joys, but few are those who forgive the people who do not share their sorrows.
9- Practical example for loving for the sake of Allah:
Abu Muslim Al Khawalany said: I said to Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him): By Allah, I love you for a purpose other than the world and there is no relationship of kinship between you and me. He said: Why do you love me? I said: For the sake of Allah.
Abu Muslim said: He grabbed my garment then said: Rejoice if you are truthful because I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: Those who love each other for the sake of Allah are under the shade of Allah's Throne, on a day when there will be no shade except His: the Prophets and martyrs envy them for that.
Then he said: I went to `Ubadah ibn As-Samit and narrated to him the Hadith of Mu`adh, then `Ubadah ibn As-Samit said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) reported from the Lord (Glory be to Him): "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. They will be on pulpits of light and the Prophets and the truthful shall envy them for that status." [Sahih ibn Hibban, Shu`ayb Al Arna'ut said: Its chain of narration is good].
Abu Hatim said: Abu Muslim Al Khawalany is `Abdullah ibn Thawb who was a Yemenite follower from their best and he is the one to whom Al `Ansy said: Do you testify that I am the Messenger of Allah? He said: No. He said: I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah? He said: Yes. Thereupon, he commanded that a huge fire is lit and frightened him by throwing him into fire if he does not agree to his claim.
He refused, then Al `Ansy threw him into it, but it did not harm him. He commanded that he should leave Yemen. Then he left Yemen for Medina and met `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) who asked him where have you come from? He told him, then he asked about the boy who was burnt? He said: He was not burnt. `Umar felt that he is the man, so he said: By Allah, are you Abu Muslim? He said: Yes. `Umar took him by hand and went to Abu Bakr and narrated the story to him. Abu Bakr said: Praise be to Allah who has made see the one who was not burnt like Abraham (peace be upon him).
It was said that he had a beautiful wife but her neighbor separated between him and his wife, therefore he invoked Allah against the neighbor saying: O Allah, make the neighbor blind for she corrupted the relationship between me and my wife.
While she was having dinner with her husband one night, she said to him: lit the lamp. Her husband said: It is on. She said: Then I became blind. When she knew about the invocation of Abu Muslim against her, she went to him and confessed to him and said: Invoke Allah to return my sight to me. He invoked Allah for her, and her sight returned to her.
10- After we knew the virtue of loving someone for the sake of Allah, should not we increase our love for our relatives?
Do not withhold love from your relatives and friends because love increases our family relationships.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us love one another, perhaps that we would be on pulpits of light on the Day of Recompense where there will be no shade but His. O Allah, I love every righteous person.
Truly, we need love and intimacy in our families. Children have neglected their parents and parents have neglected their children and the conditions are messy.
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