By Zahra Anjum
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
True believers are very strong in their love for Allah. They love Him more than anything else, as described by the Quran: “…But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah…” (Surah Baqarah 2: 165)
When we love someone, we wish that they love us too. We are constantly on the go to find what our loved ones like and strive to make them happy with those kind little gestures. Similarly, in the heart of every believer lies a pungent desire to earn the love and pleasure of Allah, the Fashioner of the heavens and the earth.
Allah (swt) is Al-Wadood (The Ever Loving and Most Affectionate); He loves all His creation. However, those who obey and perform righteous deeds will surely have a special place with Him. Allah (swt) says in Surah Maryam: “Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection.” (Surah Maryam 19: 96)
In the Quran, Allah (swt) has mentioned some specific qualities of the believers that He loves. If we wish to earn Allah’s love, we must strive to adorn ourselves with these eight characteristics:
1. Ihsan (excellence)
The word Ihsan means ‘perfection, excellence, and goodness’. In general, Ihsan means to perform good deeds. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” (Surah Baqarah 2: 195)
Prophet Muhammad (sa) described Ihsan as “that you fear Allah as if you are seeing Him, and though you see Him not, verily He is seeing you.” (Muslim)
To practice Ihsan means to show our faith through actions, race to do good deeds, and never miss an opportunity to please Allah. We must strive to achieve excellence in all our deeds; performing them with sincerity and according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (sa). For instance, Prophet Muhammad (sa) instructed the believers to be kind to animals while slaughtering them. He said: “Verily Allah has prescribed Ihsan in all things. So if you kill, kill well; if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” (Muslim)
When we sin, Shaitan makes us lose hope in the mercy of Allah and deludes us into going further away from the straight path. However, the verses of Quran and the hadiths of the Prophet (sa) reassure us; Allah loves those who repent to Him. They encourage us to return to a state of righteousness. Prophet Muhammad (sa) told us: “Were you to not commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)
The Quran states: “Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (Surah Baqarah 2: 222)
Cleanliness is half of faith. As mentioned in the above verse, Allah (swt) loves those who purify themselves. This purification comes automatically by being in a state of ablution five times each day. Moreover, we should know and follow the guidelines of the Quran and Sunnah that teach us how to maintain a state of purity.
4. Trust in Allah
Allah (swt) loves that His people trust Him, for He is the One worthy of our complete trust. After we have tied our camel, utilized all possible means, referred to the Quran and Sunnah, and sought advice from others, we must put our trust in Allah in all our matters and decisions.
Allah (swt) mentions in the Quran: “Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].” (Surah Al-Imran 3: 159)
Allah (swt) is just and loves those who are just in their dealings with their family, friends, employees, and people in general. They give the due share to everyone and do not transgress in the land. These are the people who speak the truth even if it goes against their personal interests. It is said in the Quran: “Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah 60: 8)
Prophet Muhammad (sa) gave glad tidings: “Behold! The dispensers of justice will be seated on the pulpits of light beside Allah on the right side of the Merciful, Exalted and Glorious. Either side of the Being is the right side both being equally meritorious. (The dispensers of justice are) those who do justice in their rules, in matters relating to their families and in all that they undertake to do.” (Muslim)
Piety means to remember Allah and be conscious of His presence at all times. It also means to walk on the narrow pathway of life, while saving ourselves from the thorns of sins. Piety further means to rein our souls against false desires and the whispers of Shaitan and race forward whenever there is an opportunity to please Allah. “Indeed, Allah loves the pious [who fear Him].” (Surah Tawbah 9: 4)
7. Fight in His cause
If someone defends me, I will surely love them. Allah loves those who defend His religion and strive to spread it far and wide, not caring if their own life, wealth, and resources are used up in the process. Allah (swt) loves for us to willing sacrifice ourselves for His sake. It is said in the Quran: “Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in rows (ranks) as if they were a solid structure.” (Surah Saff 61: 4)
“And Allah loves the patient.” (Surah Al-Imran 3: 146) Allah (swt) tests us with different trials to see whether we remain patient. In order to be loved by Allah, we must exercise patience in both good and bad times. It is a quality that develops and grows with practice and carries a great reward.
“Whatever you have will end, but what Allah has is lasting. And We will surely give those who were patient their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” (Surah Nahl 16: 96)
Zahra Anjum is a freelance writer, editor and translator based in Islamabad, Pakistan.
© IIPH 2015