Story No. 124 – Love for Allah (SWT), Love for God is the foundation of Islamic belief
Love for God is the foundation of Islamic beliefThe Noble Qur’an says: “The believers are stronger in their love for Allah.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:165)
According to Islamic teaching, the minimum expectation from believers is that God should have the first place in their heart, in the sense that no other love may override one’s love for God; God should be the highest and foremost object of love. The Noble Qur’an says:
Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people. (Surah Al-Tawba, 9:24)
This verse clearly indicates that one’s love for God has to be superior to one’s love for everything else that one may come to love in one’s life. This superiority shows itself when the love for God and for His religion comes in conflict with one’s love for one’s personal belongings. In this case, a believer should be able to sacrifice his personal favourite things for the sake of God. For example, if God asks us to give our lives to protect innocent lives or our territorial integrity or the like, we should not let our love for this world or any other distraction i.e. family, wealth, power, etc. prevent us from striving in His way. And nothing should come into conflict with our love for God. The Noble Qur’an says:
Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body. (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:4)
Imam Ali (as) would always spend time with his children. Once he was sitting in his house with his young children. Sayyida Zainab (sa) then asked, “Dear, father, do you love me?” Imam Ali (as) said, “Yes, of course, my children are like a part of my heart”. On hearing this, she said, “You also love Allah (SWT). How can two loves be in one heart of a true believer, the love of Allah (SWT) and that of children?”
Imam Ali (as) smiled and replied, “Love Allah (SWT) and for the sake of His love, you love His creatures; children and fellow beings too. I love you for the sake of Allah (SWT).”
Hence love for God is the foundation of Islamic belief, the foundation on which man is to establish the principles of his faith (Iman). Hence with one heart one cannot choose two beloveds.
Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said once, “The heart is the sanctuary of God, therefore do not settle therein anything but God.”
Hadith Qudsi says, “Neither [the vastness of] My earth, nor [that of] My heaven can contain Me. Indeed it is the heart of the man of faith which can contain Me.”
Urdu Couplet says: Kaba Kitna Khush Kismat Hai, Ke Yeh Allah (SWT) Ka Ghar Hai, Lekin Is Mein Allah Nahi Rehta, Momin Kaba Se Bhi Ziada Khush Kismat Hai, Jis Ke Dil Mein Allah (SWT) Rehta Hai.
The history of Islam is full of memories of those who embodied a sincere and overwhelming love for God and His religion. One of those who full-heatedly devoted himself to Islam was Bilal al-Habashi, a black slave. The pagans of Quraysh in Makkah subjected him to torture asking him to mention names of their idols express his belief in them and disbelieve in Islam. They tormented him under the burning Sun by laying him on scorching sand and putting heavy rocks on his chest. Abu Bakr, a rich companion (Sahabi) of Prophet Muhammad (saw), was passing by when he heard the cry of Bilal. He went close and advised him to hide his belief, but Bilal was not prepared to do so; since “love was ever rebellious becomes deadly.”
Another example love for Islam is Imam Hussayn ibn Ali (sa), who said: “Oh God, I have left the world in Your love. Am ready to make my children orphans in Your love. My heart could not divert towards anybody but You. Even if You cut my body into pieces in Your love.”