Although we yearn for the love of our family and our close friends, the highest achievement has to be the love of Allah SWT.
The love of Allah SWT for his slave is the highest target by a slave, and a dream, as this would mean we would enter paradise and be protected from hellfire.
We know this because we have a recorded hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Allah does not throw those He loves in the Hellfire.
But before we embark on the topic of Allah SWT loving his slave, i.e. us, we need to understand the definition of slave as worldly definition has negative connotations. Firstly, to be a slave is to be completely under the whim of the master as is demonstrated in the worldly examples taught in history.
However, we need to remind ourselves of two key differences between the worldly definition of slave and the definition as stated by Allah SWT.
First one is that unlike slavery in this world, Allah SWT has stated that it is optional for you to be a slave of Allah SWT. You can choose to follow completely the orders of your master, Allah SWT, and thus to be a Muslim or you can choose to disobey Allah SWT and the consequences of that is a separate matter. The point is that unlike worldly slavery, this is done willingly by those who follow Allah SWT.
The second point is that unlike slavery that exists in the world, Allah SWT hasn’t put restrictions on you enjoying your life. He isn’t making you work to the point of exhaustion or taking away your dignity as is associated usually with slavery. In fact, the restrictions on life, if you look at the immeasurable things you can do during your life, is not that many.
And out of the restrictions Allah SWT has imposed upon you, unlike the slavery of this world, they are for your benefit. They are placed upon you out of love by Allah SWT.
Just like a child being asked to drink medicine when it is unwell, the parents in this room will know that the child can often play up. But we as parents know that this thing we are forcing our children to do without any say by the child, is for the benefit of the child.
These concepts are important to help us understand the concept of a slave of Allah SWT.
Dear brothers and sisters, we know that Allah SWT loves His slave but how do we know that we are falling under this category?
Surely, with the reward that is associated with this label, we all want to be returned to Him as His loved slaves?
This reminder concludes with 5 points that will help determine if we fall under this category.
Firstly, that you are guided to faith. This does not mean that we don’t have free will. As mentioned in the definition earlier, we are free to choose to accept this guidance. However, if we find that life is gearing us towards the life of a devout Muslim then this is a sign that Allah SWT loves us.
Secondly, that you care less for this world. The imam mentioned a hadith in relation to this point which said:
A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, direct me to an act which, if I do it, [will cause] Allah to love me and the people to love me.” So he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Renounce the world and Allah will love you, and renounce what the people possess and the people will love you.
Dear brothers and sisters, if you find yourselves increasingly disconnected with this world, take solace in the fact that it is a positive sign that your heart is yearning for the reality which is the next life and therefore work towards that in your efforts.
Next, that you are tested in worldy affairs and religion. Again, the hadith mentioned by the imam is translated in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.”
Dear brothers and sisters, look at it this way: Who is better equipped in work? Someone who drops out at high school or someone who completes a PhD? We need to understand that with the difficulty in test comes the greatest status and this status is the best status as it is with our Lord.
Fourthly, that you become able to help others and be of benefit to them. As mentioned today, someone asked the Prophet SAWS:
Oh Messenger of Allah who is most beloved to Allah? The Prophet SAWS said ‘ The most beloved people to Allah as of the most benefit to other people, and the most beloved work to Allah is to enter happiness on another Muslim, or remove an obstacle, or to pay their debt, or to remove their hunger, and to go and help my brother is better than staying I’tikaf in this Masjid, meaning the Masjid of Madina for one month………’
We have a great opportunity in this country to help others. Just in this masjid alone we have projects to help others so lets aim to be involved in some way with at least one act of charity.
And lastly, to end his/her life in good status, and on good actions. Dear brothers and sisters, none of us know when our time is up in this test. If we spend our whole time thinking we will improve tomorrow then tomorrow may never come. Make that change today and achieve that status so that if our time does come, we are not short-changing ourselves by being someone we weren’t meant to end our test as.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be aware that this life is not without limits. Those limits are placed for our benefit in this. By adhering to them, we stand the best chance of being a loved slave of Allah SWT and benefitting upon our return to Him in the next life .Read More
Islam is a religion of purity and decency. It is a religion of good manners and education. It is a religion that promotes the purification and cleansing of the heart.
Every Muslim needs to actively be of a sound mind and ability to self-audit and guide themselves to the righteous path. We need to be people who think for themselves and not follow the crowd so to speak, especially in the current time and place in which we live.
The imam reminds us of a hadith of the Prophet SAWS in which the key to this is indicated. It is translated to say:
“The disease of the nations before you is creeping towards you: Envy and hatred, it is the Haliqah. I do not speak of what cuts the hair, but what severs the religion. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I tell you about what will strengthen that for you? Spread the Salam among each other.”
Dear brothers and sisters, we are being told of a warning. A disease that is creeping towards us. A disease of envy and hatred. And the dire consequences of this is then stated later by informing us that it will sever our religion. We are then told of its consequences not only on us as a community but also on us as individuals. And then if that wasn’t warning enough, we are told of its effect on this life and the severe consequences on the next life.
However, as with all things in relation to our beautiful faith, this warning comes with a clear remedy. A treatment of this disease and that is the spread of love and peace between one another. This, we are told, is the cure to the envy and hatred that we are may have in our hearts.
Before we look into this further, it is worth noting that there is a distinction made between envy and jealousy. Sometimes, we use the words as synonyms for one another but the truth of the matter is that there is a key difference in the two words that we need to know of.
The definition of envy is simply looking at something someone else has and wishing for it to be removed or wishing for us to have it instead. Examples of this may be wealth, happy family home, health, even imaan in the other person.
This is a severe disease of the heart as this can manifest into wishing bad on others or the evil eye which we have discussed in previous reminders.
In comparison the definition of jealousy is wishing you had something that someone else has. Again the examples can be the same things such as wealth, family, heath but the key difference between the two may be that you do not wish bad for the other person nor want that person to no longer have it.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is human nature to compare and want. If we don’t have references in others then how will we know it is something that is desirable within us? In other words, jealousy can be a positive thing if it is understood and dealt with in the correct way.
For example, in our career we may wish we had the job of someone else. This is an example of being jealous but if we following this up by asking Allah SWT of a promotion, not wishing bad for the person we were jealous of and working hard to achieve that status, then this is a positive example.
We may wish to have the energy of our friend. Rather than wish he or she no longer has that energy, we supplicate to Allah SWT, a dua every night in which we wish even more health for our neighbour, telling them that they are an inspiration to us and we work hard to exercise and be fit like they are so that we can have the energy they have. This is a positive example of being jealous.
And the main one we are taught in Islam to compete with one another is in our level of worship to Allah SWT. So this may come about when we see someone doing an act of worship we wish we did. This is jealousy. But again, if we follow the thought with Mash’Allah first for that person and compliment that person, seek advice from that person in doing the same, doing dua to be like that person then this is an example of positivity from jealousy. This is a positive demonstration of love for that person and peace towards that person. Our heart remains pure and free of disease.
Dear brothers and sisters, the bigger lesson from this reminder is the need to correct one’s heart. If we are not reacting to similar examples in our lives to the ones given today then an MOT of the heart is overdue.
The imam reminded us of Sura An-Nisa, ayat 32 which is translated to say:
And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of His bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, Knowing.
In this ayat,, Allah SWT is giving us a number of lessons and one reminder can never do justice to the ayat but to summarise one lesson, we are being told that in life we will always encounter something we wish we had in others.
But it’s our heart, and how we deal with this scenario that is the key. Allah SWT is telling us not to wish for that by which he has made the other exceed you. But in the same ayat we are being told to ask Allah SWT from His bounty. Therefore, if we ponder over this, how can the two statements co-exist?
They co-exist because the first is an example of envy, a warning not to want the thing the other person has. That’s envy because you are wanting that thing for yourself. You are wanting it removed from that person who has exceeded you. This breeds hatred and a heart in need of repair.
The second is a positive reaction to jealousy as discussed earlier. And this is directly answered by Allah SWT in that we are told to ask Allah SWT of it. To be like the person we compared ourselves to. He tells us to ask Allah SWT of His bounty. This takes nothing away from the person that exceeds us but gives us a reason to return to our Lord in prayer.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we ponder over this ayat further, we can see that through jealousy we have been given a reason to ask of Allah SWT, to increase of level of worship. To ignore the human nature to compare is not the answer, this is part of who we are. However, it is how we deal with that characteristic is what will make us successful in this life and the next.
By wishing only the best for those who exceed us, by returning to our Lord in sincere dua and asking for something like what we have seen in others whilst wishing for their blessing to continue, we are fulfilling our obligations and we are reacting to our heart in a way that will rid it of the disease of envy and hatred for others and promote love for one another instead.
May Allah SWT enable us to be rid of envy. May Allah SWT enable us to deal positively to jealousy and may Allah SWT reward us for our efforts in healing our hearts of any negativity towards others.Read More
It’s hard, living away from a man we love so much. It’s hard, not being able to see his blessed face ourselves, or smell the sweet smell that he was famous for emitting.
It is hard not having witnessed the epitome of human mercy. It is hard not being able to hear his blessed voice reciting the Quran. But most of all, it is hard not knowing – would he love me if he knew me? My brothers, take comfort in the fact that he loved you more than you can even imagine.
We know that the relationship between the messenger (peace be upon him) and the companions was a very unique relationship. They loved him greatly and it was easy to see that he loved them as well.
There are plentiful examples of the mercy he showed upon the people in his time. One of the examples is at Eid-ul-Adha, he would sacrifice on his behalf and upon the behalf of people who could not afford to sacrifice.
Also when he ascended to the heavens, he took the opportunity in his meeting with Allah SWT to reduce the burden of prayers from 50 daily to 5 daily all the while keeping the reward for us of the original 50 prayers.
Further examples of his mercy towards his people was when the suffering of the muslims was too much to bear in Mecca, the prophet, peace be upon him, instructed his companions to go to Abysinnia to escape the suffering.
The companions believed in the message that he brought from Allah SWT whilst many of his tribe mocked and ridiculed him. They were by his side in the tough times, willing to sacrifice their very own lives for him. One can often wish and crave that we were in their shoes, loving the prophet (peace be upon him) wholeheartedly and being loved by him.
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) love for his people is described by Allah SWT in Sura Toba, ayat 128:
Verily, there has come unto you a messenger from amongst yourselves. It grieves him when you suffer; he is concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.
Our beloved messenger, peace be upon him, a few days before the greatest calamity, his own death, was walking by his companions and spoke the following words which fill any Muslim’s heart with joy and comfort. He said to his companions:
I wish that I could meet my brothers
Upon first hearing this statement, it can be easy to assume that the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, is talking about the previous prophets or messengers from the past. The companions with him were also confused and so they asked him:
Are we not your brothers?
To which our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied:
You are my companions, my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me.
My brothers, think about the above for a moment. He yearned to meet each and every one of us. His heart was filled with true love for us; the ones who believe in him yet have not seen him, and if there is one thing we know about the love of the Prophet, peace be upon him, it is that it was not superficial love.
There is no greater feeling in this world than to love and be loved back. Now imagine loving the best of all creation and knowing for a fact that he loved you right back.
One final example of this demonstration of love and probably the most valuable for you and I is a Sahih Bukhari hadith in which Abu Hurairah narrated:
The beloved messenger stated “Each and every messenger had one duaa or supplication accepted and I am saving mine for the Day of Judgement to use to help my people”
May Allah SWT generate that undiminishing love for our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, in our hearts. May we be included in those whom he speaks about when he says ‘my brothers are those who will believe in me, without having seen me’. And may we be blessed with his blessed companionship in Jannah and never again have to be separated from our beloved sal Allahu alayhi wa salam.
Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameenRead More
Allah (SWT) says in sura Al Maidah ayat 54
O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the blame of a critic. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
It is probably impossible to find a human being who does not love. Most people love their families, spouses and friends. Others love status and money. You can tell a person’s love for something or someone by what they do and how they act.
And we love all of these things despite their temporary nature, despite the fact that they disappoint us sometimes. It is almost an intrinsic part of a human being. And we all love for similar reasons—we love people for the perceived good qualities that we see in a person or the way they treat us. We love things because of the way those things make us feel.
In sura Al Fusilat aya 17
And as for Thamud, We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance, so the thunderbolt of humiliating punishment seized them for what they used to earn.
The Glorious Quran clearly demonstrates the danger of pursuing the love of this Dunya, of this life.
So what does it mean when we say we should we love Allah SWT?
How can we not? If we put together all the reasons why we love other people or things, and then apply it to Allah (swt), we should see that truly it is Him that deserves our love. And because human beings are naturally inclined to love, it is only the love of Allah (swt) that can satisfy this need.
Try to count everything good in your life, and everything that seemed bad but turned out to be good. All that is from Allah (swt).
The fact that you are Muslim. The fact that, as the Prophet ﷺtold us, everything that happens in the life of a Muslim is good, and this is only for the believers.
If you are given blessings, then it is an opportunity to be thankful, and if you are tested, it is for you to be patient and to be rewarded for that patience. Nothing a believer does goes to waste inshallah.
So how does one make one’s heart love Allah SWT? One’s heart begins to feel the love for Allah SWT through:
Reading the Quran with reflection
Performance of more voluntary prayers
The remembrance of Allah SWT through Zikr
Choose what Allah SWT prefers over what you prefer
There is a Hadith which demonstrates how the best of Creation performed such a requirement and is an example for us all once more:
‘A’isha reported: One night I missed Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) from the bed, and when I sought him my hand touched the soles of his feet while he was in the state of prostration; they (feet) were raised and he was saying:” O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your anger, and in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, and I seek refuge in You from You. I can’t do justice to praise You. Only You can praise Yourself as you deserve”
We should all aim to strive to match this level of devotion and love for Allah SWT. True happiness and contentment from this life can only come when our hearts feel this love for Allah SWT.
One last reminder is a dua that was recited by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him):
“Oh Allah I ask you for your love, and love of those who love you, and love of any action that will make me close to loving you”
We ask Allah swt to be from the people who love him and he loves us. We ask Allah to help us to remember him. We ask Allah to help us to thank him. and we ask Allah to help us to worship him.
We ask for his forgiveness, his mercy on ourselves and our family and ummah.
Ameen. Alhamdullilahi rabill alaminRead More