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Love you, Love You Not, Love You….For Him


By Maria Karim

‘I love you for the sake of Allah,’ my classmate at the markaz said to me, smiling warmly.  It was the first time I had heard this and having no knowledge of what the expression implied I gave her a meek smile, not knowing how to reply, while feeling awkward. It sounded unrealistic because how can someone who hardly knows you, ‘love’ you?

As a person brought up in a society where religion occupies only a little niche in your life that is separated from your ‘actual’ life, I couldn’t understand this new concept of loving someone for the sake of Allah. Anyway, soon I adapted to the terminology, but was still unable to relate to the feeling deep down in myself.

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Once, I even asked my teacher about what it meant and she explained, “Loving for the sake of Allah means that you don’t expect any reward from the person you love, but Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) only and their negativity doesn’t affect you because you have no expectations from them. You continue to love them regardless of their attitude towards you”.

I understood the theory behind this expression, but I still couldn’t grasp the feeling personally. I often asked myself how you can love someone without expecting them to love you in return and how can you not show or feel the reaction at someone’s misconduct.

SubhanAllah, as always, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) sent a sign, a reminder in the form of a Hadith.

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“Among Allah’s servants are people who are neither Prophets nor martyrs, but whom the Prophets and martyrs will deem fortunate because of their high status with Allah.”
They asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Inform us of who they are.”
He said: “They are people who loved each other for Allah’s sake, without being related to one another or being tied to one another by the exchange of wealth. By Allah, their faces will be luminous and they will be upon light. They will feel no fear when the people will be feeling fear and they will feel no grief when the people will be grieving.” Sunan Abî Dâwûd (3527)

The hadith left me wondering about “…. whom the Prophets and martyrs will deem fortunate because of their high status with Allah.” Why such a big reward?

I comprehended that the reward for this feeling was abundant because it’s not easy to acquire.  It requires rising above one’s own self, curbing one’s desires and giving preference to others. It involves self-control, placing one’s self in other people’s shoes, understanding them, wanting for them what one would want for one’s own self and forgiving them if they have wronged you. In short wishing well for them in all circumstances.

It means feeling happiness for someone, without the contaminating feelings of jealousy and other negative elements regarding one’s brother or sister. It also includes trying to feel and share their pain, worrying for their well being without expecting any form of acknowledgement, not even a smile, and hoping to be rewarded only by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) 

Okay, understood! But the process involved going through pain and why would anyone want to deliberately experience that? My inner self was bombarding me with questions that I couldn’t find the answers to. One thing I was sure about was that there had to be something vital attached, for it to have such an enormous reward. I now know that certain things cannot be taught, but only felt. One can understand the logic behind a concept but it can only truly be grasped after having experienced it.

Although I haven’t attained that high level of imaan, in the process of recognizing the Greatness of my Creator and by being around a group of practicing sisters, I realized what loving for the sake of Allah actually feels like and why there is such an immense jazaa (reward) for it.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) due to His Infinite Mercy, has attached great rewards to such deeds that are seemingly difficult to acquire, to encourage us to pursue them. And when we do take the initiative He helps us throughout the struggle while strengthening our belief with conviction.

In my quest I realized that loving for the sake of Allah unburdens your soul. It untangles the chaos in your life created by your expectations from different relationships. It is a reliance that gives you a sense of being taken care of by The Sustainer Himself. He elevates you from being needy to being a caregiver. He pulls you up from the dungeons of self-pity, as you realize the criteria of true significance.

You learn to rise above your ego and take control of the part of your nafs that previously wanted constant acknowledgement from people, because your focus is not to please them anymore. Your focus then, is to please only Allah. And this love makes everything fall perfectly into place. You are able to detach yourself from the surrounding shadows only to zoom out and appreciate the khair bestowed upon you.

He helps you look at the bigger picture as you strive to achieve the higher goal of acquiring eternal bliss. The more I realized it, the more I fell in love with Allah all over again.

His promise of amplified rewards in the hereafter are an incentive for us to be liberated and contented in dunia under all circumstances so that we may be able to make the most of our life and be eligible for eternal blessings. His Love is beyond comprehension and the deeper we attempt to understand it the more we realize how little we can grasp.

Then which of the favors of your Lord do you doubt? Surah Najm: 55

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  1. BK

    December 18, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Jazakillah khair sister,

    I keep worrying about where I would stand amongst the muslims . On seeing scholars , hearing stories of the pious , I worry How can Allah love me as much as them , for they are far far better than me.

    But the Hadith you shared and your article means hope for ordinary people like us .

    May Allah put love and mercy in our hearts so we may be successful

  2. Uzair

    December 18, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    JazakAllahu khairan.

    Before reading this article, I misunderstood this hadith and applied it only to those who ‘deserved’ to be loved.
    Loving people even if you think they least deserve your love and care only for the sake of Allah is an amazing thing to do and a difficult one.
    No wonder it has been placed superior to prophet hood and martyrdom.

    • fathima

      December 25, 2013 at 5:28 AM

      Does the above mentioned hadith means loving for the sake of Allah is superior to prophethood or martydm ??

      • Said Hasan

        December 26, 2013 at 4:23 AM

        I don’t think so. It means they are admired by the prophets and the martryies who have high status with their Lord.
        Alhamdulillah this article is uplifting and inspiring giving us a chance to gain high status before Allah (swt).
        Allah knows best.

  3. Riz Khan

    December 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    But I would add that the term “love for the sake of Allah” also have an aspect which acts like a filter when expressing or showing love for someone. All loves must pass through this filter whether it is the love for your parents, children, other muslims and all human beings. Any love which contradict or not in conformity with this filter (love for the sake of Allah) have to be changed/stopped/terminated etc. Any love which is not in conformity with this filter is not a love but something from the shaitan (devil).

  4. Junaid

    December 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    MashAllah, beautifully written and explained. Jazaak Allah

  5. saba

    December 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Alhamdulillah.This is just what I needed to read :) Sister maria can I stay in contact with you somehow?:)

  6. Umm BilalZ

    December 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Jazak Allahu khair wa barak Allahu feeki sister for such a detailed insight n for sharing of ur struggle of understanding this concept of Loving for His sake it will save many from all those questions.ay He grant us, as an ummah, this status of loving each other for His sake. Ameen

  7. Sharmila maharoof

    December 18, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Jazakallaahu khairan Maria
    Since we know it’s importance in a Muslim’s life, now it’s high time to practice it unconditionally. With the reminder of this let’s unite to support our brothers and sisters who are really need us desperately .

  8. Umara Tanwer

    December 18, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    JazakAllah Khair ukhti Maria!

    Your beautiful struggle and the words you’ve shared with us have made me love you for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala <3

    May Allah Swt. reunite this Ummah and place true love in our hearts, Ameen!

    • Maria

      December 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

      Salams Ukhti,
      May He for whose sake you love me, love you. ameen.
      Jazakillah o Khairan for the kind words and your dua’a.

  9. Khudaija

    December 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Assalam o Alaikum wa Rehmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

    I totally love this article. Sister Maria, your struggle seems to he my story as well. Every word that you gave said has hit the bull’s eye. It’s strangely duplicate feelings that I had when I first heard this expression. Then, it became my second nature. I also came to know the reply to this phrase: “Love you for the sake of Allah swt.” ” May for whose sake you love me, love you.” SUBHANALLAH! No feeling in the world can be so beautiful as the fact that you are reminded ech time you say this beautiful phrase, that your Creator loves you. Beautifully expressed and wonderfully explained unique topic. Please keep the enlightenment coming. Will love to read more articles from you InshAllah.

  10. Maria

    December 19, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Jazakallah o Khairan Katheeran to all my sisters and brothers here for their kind words and beautiful dua’as. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala purify our intentions, enlighten our hearts, strengthen our iman, beautify our ‘amal and be pleased with us till we meet Him in Jannat al Firdaus, ameen yaa Rabbi. :)

  11. Tamanna

    December 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

    I need a suggestion to the situation I m going through right now.

    I am in love with a man who is six months younger than me (I realised that he is younger than me after I fell in love with him when I asked him about his age.)
    I love him also for the sake of Allah. He told me that he loves me too. But. i don’t know if its for real or not
    However, few weeks after he proposed me, he started to ignore all sorts of messages that I used to send him. I was worried if something has happened to him. After a few more days passed, he started to apologise and started to converse like before. I forgave him selflessly. When I asked him about why he has been ignoring me, he changed the topic to something else deliberately. After chatting for a week approximately like this, he started to ignore me again for a few weeks. After a few weeks, he comes and asks if he cheated on me, would I give him another chance. I said well, if he has already cheated someone in his life, probably I m his 2nd chance. Then again we had good communication and suddenly again after ignoring me for another two weeks, he finally told me that , he used to love this girl and she left him for another guy. Then, after a while she came back now, and when my loved one met her , he could still feel the love for her. Suddenly, after two weeks, she left for that guy again. He then felt broken hearted and (probably felt like a last resort) started to talk to me and said if i can give him another chance or not. He started saying that he loves me. He doesn’t love her anymore. He apologised again for what he has been doing and he would like to start the relationship from start again. I smiled and agreed to it. We decided to meet for the very first time and he looked into my eyes and said that he loves me. However, I felt as if he has a lot of pain inside and he actually doesn’t mean to say that he loves me. He wanted to touch me but i rejected as he was not halal for me. After we returned to our own places, he again stopped chatting with me for the last four days. I still love him ofr the sake of Allah.

    Can you kindly suggest me of what should I do?

  12. Maria

    December 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Walaikum Assalam wa Rahmat Allah e Wabarakatahu,

    Dear Sister,
    I am not the best person to give a suggestion regarding this matter, as I am not a scholar. However, since the issue requires a straightforward answer I would give you my opinion as per what I’ve learned as a student of knowledge.

    A believer is not allowed to indulge in any type of relationship with a non-mahram outside the sacred bond of Nikah on any level and under any circumstances. Hence, we cannot deem to love someone (non mahram) for the sake of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), as this act implies that we love someone (mahram and /or halal) selflessly in order to seek Allah’s Pleasure. How can we possibly hope to seek His Pleasure through the acts forbidden by Him (subhanahu wa ta’alaa)?

    Rasool Allah (salalahu alaihi wasallam) said: “No man is alone with a woman but the Shaytaan is the third one present.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1171) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.

    What is meant by the “being alone with” (khalwah) that is forbidden in sharee‘ah is not only when a man is alone with a woman who is not his mahram in a place where they cannot be seen; rather it also includes situations in which he is alone with her in a place where she can converse with him and he can converse with her, even if they can be seen by other people, but their words cannot be heard, whether that is out in the open or in a car or on the roof of a house, and so on. That is because khalwah has been forbidden because it is the harbinger of zina and the means that leads to it. So everything that could lead to that, even making an arrangement to do that later, comes under the ruling of physical khalwah or being alone in a place where they cannot be seen.

    If you are seeking a life partner, I would sincerely advice you to try and seek the pleasure of Allah by striving to get closer to Him through your acts of Obedience and put your trust in Your Rabb, alone. Make sincere dua’a to Him to give you a righteous husband, who loves and respects you for the sake of Your Rabb and helps you to get closer to Him (subhanahu wa ta’alaa) so that you both can escort each other to Jannah, bi ithn Allah (by the will of Allah) and live there happily ever after.

    Jazakillah o Khairan,


    • Tamanna

      December 21, 2013 at 5:04 AM

      Thank you so much. May Allah help us all.

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