By: Kashif Naseem Dilkusha
Some days ago, I was studying Sharah Al-Aqeeda Al-Wastiya with my sheikh, and upon reaching the topic of 'Love of Allāh', my sheikh told me that a lot–if not all–of Muslims claim to love Allāh (SWT); however the best Mu'min is the one who Allāh loves in return.
My sheikh further quoted Shiekh Ibn Uthaymeen once saying that there are three ways to acquire the love of Allāh (SWT) and this is indeed a great lesson for us all.
1. Pondering upon the blessings of Allāh (SWT):
Just look around and observe the blessings which Allāh (SWT) has showered upon each of us. Just imagine for a moment how things would be if we were to lose any of them. How would it be if we lost our eyesight? Can we even imagine how difficult it would be to move around without our legs? And the blessings of Allāh (SWT) go on and on, too many to name.
I remember once during Jum'ah khutbah, the khateeb mentioned that a sick person had requested a du‘ā’ for himself during Jum'ah prayer. The man asked the khateeb to make du‘ā’ that Allāh either cures him or grants him death! Obviously, the khateeb was shocked and asked him why? What is the reason for such a du‘ā’? The man responded:
“I have a problem with my eyes. I am unable to close them when I feel sleepy and so I have to force them closed with a tool, and this is very painful. Then, when I wake up and I want to open my eyes I cannot, and I have to force them open with another tool. It is so painful that I cannot bear this pain anymore! So please pray to Allāh that He either grants me death or that He cures me!”
Have we ever considered how many similar blessings we have been granted by Allāh (SWT) and have we taken a second to thank Allāh for them?
So ponder and reflect upon the numerous blessings of Allāh upon each of us and be grateful to Him and love Him for his countless favors. As Allāh (SWT) mentions in the Qur'an:
وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآۗ
“You cannot count my blessings if you want to.”
2. Love those acts which Allāh (SWT) loves:
In Surah Al Baqarah, vs. 222 Allāh (SWT) says:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلتَّوَّٲبِينَ وَيُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
“Truly, Allâh loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.”
Each of us, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, cleanses him/herself multiple times during the day, whether it is by taking a morning shower, brushing one's teeth, washing our hands after using the bathroom, or washing our hands after touching something dirty. As a Muslim, we are further required to perform ablution before performing our prayers. However, one of the great favors of Allāh upon us as Muslims is that if we even perform an everyday act with the intention of pleasing Allāh, it is counted as an act of worship, and brings us closer to Allāh. So, when purifying ourselves during the day, if we just make the intention that we are purifying ourselves because Allāh loves those who purify themselves and we want Allāh to love us, we – Insha Allāh – will become one of those whom Allāh (SWT) loves.
And the same is the case with all those other acts which Allāh (SWT) loves, in light of the Qurʾān and Sunnah.
3. Keeping the Tongue Wet with Dhikr:
Dhikr is another way of acquiring Allāh's love. However, we need to be cautious here and ensure that whenever we are doing Allāh's dhikr we should be doing it wholeheartedly and with complete focus.
There are two major mistakes people make while doing Dhikr of Allāh:
- We do the dhikr without understanding the meaning of those Adhkaar.
- We do dhikr absent-mindedly, meaning our tongue is moving with Allāh's remembrance, but we don't know when we began the dhikr or when we finished it.
Still, many scholars say that even if one makes the above mistakes in his/her dhikr, they will still be rewarded, but not with the same level of reward as someone who performed the dhikr consciously and with complete Ihsaan (Allahu A'lam).
Finally, I pray that Allāh (SWT) grants each of us the tawfiq to act upon all the above mentioned ways of earning His love.