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Love

Love for the sake of Allah


Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

46. Chapter: The excellence of love for the sake of Allah and encouraging it, and a man who loves another informing him of that and what he says to him when he informs him

Allah Almighty says, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are fierce to the unbelievers, merciful to one another…” (48:29) to the end of the sura,

and the Almighty says, “Those who were settled in the abode, and in belief, love those who have made hijra to them.” (59:9)

375. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who possesses three attributes will experience the sweetness of belief: that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than anything else; that he loves someone for the sake of Allah alone; and that he hates the idea of reverting to disbelief as much as he would hate being thrown into a fire.” [Agreed upon]

Commentary:

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.

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376. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there is no shade but His shade: a just Imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque, two men who love each other for the sake of Allah, meeting and parting for that reason alone, a man who refuses the advances of a noble and beautiful woman, saying, ‘I fear Allah’, a man who gives sadaqa and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives, and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears.” [Agreed upon]

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’.

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377. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah Almighty will say on the Day of Rising, ‘Where are those who loved one another for the sake of My majesty? Today, on the day when there is no shade but My shade, I will shade them.'” [Muslim]

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)

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378. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “By the one who has my soul in His hand, you will not enter the Garden until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I point out to you something which will make you love one another if you do it? Make the greeting widespread among you.” [Muslim]

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.

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379. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A man visited a brother of his in another village and Allah positioned an angel to wait for him on his way.” He mentioned the hadith to his words, “Allah loves you just as you love him for His sake.” [Muslim]

380. Al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said about the Ansar, “Only a believer loves them and only a hypocrite hates them. Allah loves anyone who loves them and Allah hates anyone who hates them.” [Agreed upon]

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.

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381. Mu’adh said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, says, “Those who love one another for My majesty will have minbars of lights. The Prophets and martyrs will envy them.”‘” [at-Tirmidhi]

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.

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382. Abu Idris al-Khawlani said, “I entered the mosque of Damascus and there was a young man with white teeth there with some other people. When they disagreed about something, they referred it to him and followed his opinion. I inquired about him and it was said, ‘That is Mu’adh ibn Jabal.’ The following day, I went early and I found that he had come earlier than me and I found him praying. I waited for him until he finished his prayer and then I approached him from the front. I greeted him and then said, ‘By Allah, I love you for the sake of Allah.’ He said, ‘By Allah?’ I said, ‘By Allah.’ He said, ‘By Allah?’ I said, ‘By Allah.’ He took hold of the upper part of my cloak and pulled me to him. He said, ‘Rejoice! I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “Allah Almighty says, ‘My love is mandatory for those who love one another in Me and sit together for My sake and who visit one another for My sake and who give generously to to one another for My sake.'”‘” [Muwatta’]

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.

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383. Abu Karima al-Miqdad ibn Ma’dikarib reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “If a man loves his brother, he should tell him that he loves him.” [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

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.

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384. Mu’adh reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took him by the hand and said, “O Mu’adh! By Allah, I love you.and I advise you not to fail to say after every prayer, ‘O Allah, help me to remember You and thank You and worship You well.” [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 reported that a man was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man passed by him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I love this man.” The Prophet said to him, “Have you informed him?” He said, “No.” He said, “Inform him,” and he caught up with him and said, “I love you for the sake of Allah.” He said, “The One for whom you love me has made me love you.” [Abu Dawud]

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