Signs of the Servants Love of Allah.

Shaykh ul Islam, Ahmad ibn Abdul Halim ibn Taymiyah (Rahimahullah) mentions in his monumental book: “Al Qaa’idah tu Fil Mahabbah” (“Principle of Love of Allah”)

Chapter: Signs of the Servants Love of Allah.

  1. Love of Death:

The slave loves to meet Allah and has an ardent desire to look at Him Subhannahu wa Ta’ala. It cannot be imagined that the heart can love Allah except that it desires to meet Him and to see Him. An ardent desire to meet Allah is a high and elevated station that emerges from a strong love of Allah Azza wa Jal and the Prophet (Sallahu alaihi wa salam) use to supplicate for this station,

“O Allah I ask you for a desire to meet you” (Hadeeth found in Nasaa’i).

What is being requested here is an ardent desire to meet Allah, which emerges from absolute sincere love of Allah. Many of the Salaf us Salih (i.e. Righteous Predecessors) used to wish for death out of a strong desire to meet Allah.

Abu Ad Darda’a (Radiyallahu anhu) used to say:

“I love death, desiring the meeting with my Lord. I love poverty, humbling myself to my Lord. And I love sickness in order that my sins might be expiated.”

Abu Utbah Al Khowlaani (Rahimahullah) said:

“Your brothers (i.e. the salaf) used to love to meet Allah more than honey” (which was something dear and beloved to the Arabs).

Thun Nun (Rahimahullah) said:

“A desire to meet Allah is the highest level one can attain in his love of Allah. When the slave reaches this level, he considers the approach of death to be too slow because of his longing to meet Allah and to see Him, for indeed your delight with something follows your love of it.”

On the authority of Muslim Ibn Yasaar (Rahimahullah), who said:

“Those who find pleasure, don’t find delight in anything like the happiness they find in seclusion and secrecy with Allah.”

And Fudhayl Ibnul Iyaadh (Rahimahullah) said:

“Tuba (i.e. a tree in paradise or success) is for the one who isolates himself from the people while making Allah his intimate companion.”

And Thun Nun (Rahimahullah) also said:

“Indeed from the signs that one loves Allah is his abandonment of anything that distances him from Allah, until he preoccupies himself totally with Allah alone.”

He also said:

“Indeed from the signs of those who truly love Allah is that they don’t find intimacy with anyone other than Allah and they don’t seek shelter with anyone other than Him.”

Then he said:

“When the love of Allah settles in the heart there is a level of intimacy between the slave and Allah; due to the fact that Allah means more to him than anything.”

  1. Intimacy with Allah while isolating himself from others:

This includes having a covert discourse with Him as well as recitation of His Book. Thus the slave is assiduous in performing Tahajud (i.e. night prayer) and takes advantage of the tranquility and stillness of the night as well as the purity of time that comes with separation from the rudimentary obstacles and hindrances of everyday life. The lowest level of love is to find delight in the one you love while in seclusion with Him.

So, whoever considers sleep and talking business to be more pleasurable to him than seclusion with Allah, then how could his claim to love Allah be authentic?!

Ibrahim Ibn Adhan (Rahimahullah) said:

“The highest level of loving Allah is to cut yourself off from everything that will distance you from Him, all for the sake of your Lord, to seek intimacy with Him with your heart, intellect and the rest of your limbs. Make your love of Him firm in your heart so that you give nothing precedence over it.  If you are fortunate enough to reach this point, then it won’t matter to you if you were on land or at sea or in ease or difficulty!”

  1. Busying oneself with the worship of Allah:

Having a demure love for being obedient to Him and seeking a closeness to Him while distancing himself from other than Him. If the love of Allah is sincere, then it would necessitate a love of obedience to Him and exemplifying His orders, while hating disobedience to Him and avoiding it at all costs. As for the one whom Allah loves, He will bestow on him gentleness like that of the ocean and humility like that of the earth.

Ahmad Ibn Abi Al-Hawari (Rahimahullah) said:

“The sign that the slave loves Allah is to love obedience to Allah.”

Thun Nun (Rahimahullah) said:

“From the signs of the slave’s love of Allah is to abandon everything and anyone that distracts him from Allah until all of his attention is for Allah alone.”

Muhammad Ibn Sa’eed Al Khawarazmi (Rahimahullah) said:

Thun Nun Al Masri said when he was asked about the love of Allah:

“To love Allah means to love what Allah loves and hate what Allah hates, to perform good deeds for the sake of Allah and to avoid anything/anyone that diverts your attention from Allah, to speak the truth and not fear the criticism of those who find fault. Having love and sympathy for the believers and hatred and animosity for the disbelievers while following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Sallahu alaihi wa salam).”

Abu Yazeed (Rahimahullah) was asked about the signs of the one who loves Allah, so he said:

“Whoever loves Allah, then he finds himself preoccupied with the worship of Allah, prostrating and bowing and if he doesn’t have the ability to do so, he suffices himself with remembering Allah with his tongue along with praising Him. And if he doesn’t have the ability to do this, he remembers Him in his heart and contemplates about His magnificence. The one whom Allah loves, He gives him gentleness like that of the ocean and compassion like that of the sun when it sets and humility like the earth.”

  1. Remembering Him much:

He becomes passionately attached to the remembrance of Allah. His tongue never becomes feeble of it nor does his heart become void of it. Indeed he who loves something constantly remembers it and when he remembers that thing he becomes attached to it.

Ibrahim Ibn Adhan (Rahimahullah) said:

“The highest level of love of Allah is that the remembrance of Allah is to him sweeter then honey and more refreshing and tastier then pure fresh water when thirsty on a hot day.”

Ibrahim Ibn Ali (Rahimahullah) said:

“It is embarrassing to know Allah and then not to love Him! And it is equally embarrassing to love Him and then not to remember Him! To remember Him then fail to taste the sweetness that comes as a result of remembering Him! It is also embarrassing that you taste the sweetness of His remembrance however that sweetness doesn’t distract you away from other than Him!

  1. To love His speech:

If you want to know what your heart contains of love of Allah, then look at the love of the Qur’an in your heart. It is well known that if you love someone, his speech is the most beloved thing to you.

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radiyallahu anhu) said:

“If someone wants to know whether he loves Allah then let him consider his relationship with the Qur’an. For whosoever loves the Quran indeed loves Allah.”

Urwan Al-Ba’riqi (Rahimahullah) said:

“Loving Allah is loving the Qur’an and loving the Messenger of Allah (Sallahu alaihi wa salam) is acting upon his Sunnah.”

  1. Humbling yourself to Him:

In reference to this Al Fadhl Ar Raqaashi (Rahimahullah) said:

“By Allah! If all of the pleasures of this dunya (i.e. this world) were gathered together, to all of the devoted worshipers of Allah, humbling themselves to Allah in obedience would be more delightful to them! (i.e. than the all of the pleasures of this world”

Thun Nun (Rahimahullah) said:

“Every obedient slave of Allah seeks intimacy with Him and every disobedient slave of Allah seeks separation from Him. Everyone who loves Allah is humble to Him and everyone who fears Him flees from the things that bring about His punishment. Everyone who hopes for the mercy of Allah seeks His pleasure and reward. Everyone who is obedient to Allah makes himself content with what Allah has given him and suffices himself with obedience to Him from disobedience of Him.

Bisr (Rahimahullah) used to say in his dua’a (i.e. supplication) to Allah:

“O Allah! Indeed You know that ignominy is more beloved to me then prestige!”

And Yusuf Ibn Hussein (Rahimahullah) said:

“The case of those who love Allah is that they find contentment in ignominy in their love of Allah.

  1. Being pleased with His decree

Also being pleased with what he is afflicted with in the path of his beloved (i.e. Allah), instead he doesn’t even consider it! This is primarily due to the fact that he knows this is what his beloved (i.e. Allah) intended. So it becomes the most adored thing to him due to the fact that it encompasses the pleasure of his beloved, even if it includes obliteration of his own self!

Fudhayl Ibn ul Iyaadh (Rahimahullah) said:

“The status of being pleased with Allah is the rank of those who are close to Him, there being nothing between them and Him except rest, provision and gardens of delight.”

A man asked Fudhayl Ibn ul Iyaadh (Rahimahullah):

“When has a man reached the pinnacle in his love of Allah?”

So he (Rahimahullah) said to him:

“When you see his giving to you and withholding from you to be for the same reason (i.e. for the sake of Allah and not for personal reasons), then he has reached the pinnacle in his love of Allah.”

Thun Nun (Rahimahullah) said:

“Three things are from the signs of Mahabbah (i.e. love of Allah): Being pleased with the things that you dislike (i.e. from the things that were decreed by Allah) having a good opinion of Allah (e.g. in that He will reward you for the efforts you have put forth) and to consider those things Allah has forbidden to be beneficial (i.e. it is a benefit for you that they are prohibited).”

Abdul Wahid Ibn Zaid (Rahimahullah) said:

“I don’t give any deed precedence over patience except being pleased with Allah, and I don’t know a level higher and more noble than being pleased with Allah, which is the axis of Mahabbah (i.e. love of Allah).”

  1. Simplifying the obligations of Allah:

Being patient with them while hastening to do righteous actions.

Al Hulaymi (Rahimahullah) said: “Indeed the one who loves Allah does not consider the afflictions He has decreed for him to be an act of evil done to him and he doesn’t consider the acts of Ibaadah (i.e. worship) and the responsibilities prescribed for him to be difficult and burdensome.”

So from the signs of the slave’s love of Allah is his hastening to be obedient to Him and not considering the acts of obedience and responsibilities to be burdensome and difficult, because the one whose heart is filled with love of Allah loves what Allah loves, even if it is difficult upon him and finds some complexity  in it.  Just as it is said:

“Love changes those things which are normally difficult into ease!”

And some of the Salaf (i.e. Pious Predecessors) used to say when they were sick:

“What is most beloved to me is that which is most beloved to Him (i.e. Allah)!”

They would also say:

“Whoever attends to the one he loves, finds pleasure in the difficulties that he encounters in his service of him!”

And some of them used to say:

“The heart that loves Allah, loves to exhaust itself for Him.”

And others even went so far to say that they found a sweetness in the punishment of Allah!

  1. To love whom He loves:

The slave gives precedence to that which Allah loves over what he, himself loves, both explicitly and secretly.  He avoids following his desires as well as those things that causes indolence. He is continuously persistent in obedience to Allah seeking a closeness to Him with the Nawaafil (i.e. supererogatory). The heart is not filled with anything like the love of Allah coupled with magnification and extolment of Him. These are some of the most excellent gifts that Allah can bestow upon His slave and this is the bounty of Allah that He gives to whomever He pleases.

Thun Nun (Rahimahullah) was asked about Mahabbah (i.e. love of Allah) and he said:

“To love what Allah loves and to hate what Allah hates and to do acts of good for the sake of Allah and to avoid everything that busies you from the remembrance of Allah and not to fear, in the cause of Allah, the criticism of those who find fault.”

Abu Hussein Ibn Malik as Soofi (Rahimahullah) was asked:

What are the signs of Mahabbah (i.e. love of Allah)?

He said:

“To abandon what you love for the one you love (i.e. Allah)!”

And Bishr ibn Sirri (Rahimahullah) said:

“It is not from the signs of love (i.e. of Allah) that you love what your beloved (i.e. Allah) hates!”

Ruwaym (Rahimahullah) said:

“Mahabbah (i.e. true love of Allah) is to agree with the one you love in all situations!”

  1. Working diligently to achieve His pleasure:

The objective of loving Allah is that He is pleased with you. Have you ever seen someone love someone except he strives to obtain his pleasure?

  1. Fear of Him and weeping over his sins:

Fear of Allah is from the most intrinsic signs to show the slave’s true love of Allah.

Abu Uthman (Rahimahullah) said:

“Depending on the degree of happiness with Allah that reaches the heart of the slave will determine how much he desires to meet Allah and  depending on the degree of his desire to meet Allah, will he will fear being distant from Allah and the abandonment of Allah.”

Fudhayl Ibn ul Iyaadh (Rahimahullah) said:

“Tuba’ (i.e. a tree in paradise or success) is for the one who isolates himself from the people, seeks intimacy with his Lord and weeps over his sins.”

  1. Avoiding Shahawaat (i.e. lowly desires and pleasures) and abstinence from the dunya:

As well as finding pleasure and sweetness in drawing near to Him. This is a direct result of the diligence the slave exercises in seeking the pleasure of Allah. It was said to Thun Nun:

“When does the slave become intimate with his Lord?”

He said:

“When he fears Allah, then he has become intimate with Him! Don’t you know that he who is continuous in committing sin will be far removed from the door of his beloved (i.e. Allah)”