Now that we know what love actually is, how do we know that we actually love him? How do we know that our hearts are actually inclined to him and that we are not merely uttering words that do not resonate within us? There are signs that one can look for and strive for so that we may be sure to have this needed and craved love.
1. Itiba` (Following him) and ta`ah (Obeying him): In the Qur’an we are not only commanded to obey the Prophet ﷺ (May God peace and blessings be upon him), but also to follow him. There are many benefits that come from obeying him and following him aside from the great reward of it being a sign of loving him.
a. Obeying him is a means of becoming guided. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (Glorified is He) said in the Qur’an:
Say, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away – then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged. And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification.”
(Qur’an 24: 54)
b. Obeying him is a means of attaining the mercy of Allah (swt). Allah said in the Qur’an:
And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy. (Qur’an 3:132)
c. Obeying him is a means of entering Jannah (Paradise)
And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him – it is those who attain (of Jannah) (Qur’an 24: 52)
d. Following him is a sign of loving Allah and will actually cause Allah to love you and forgive your sins!
Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. [..].” (Qur’an 3: 31)
2. Preferring the law that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ brought over our own desire. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission (Qur’an 4: 65)
3. Constantly mentioning him: When we love something or someone, that thing becomes frequently mentioned in our conversations and becomes the thoughts we drift to when our minds wander.
4. Yearning for him: Every lover yearns for his/her beloved. If you find your heart yearning for him, and craving to see his face, know that this is a sign of true love for him, alayhisalam (Peace be upon him).
5. Respecting him and displaying humility at his mention
6. Loving those whom he loved: When we truly love someone we love those who brought happiness to the heart of our beloved. Of those the Prophet ﷺ truly loved were Khadija, Aisha, Hassan and Hussain, the companions, and the Ummah (Muslim community) as a whole.
7. Love for the Qur’an
8. Naseeha (sincere counsel) for His community
May these signs of love and compassion for our beloved Prophet ﷺ be prevalent in our daily lives, bringing us closer to drinking from his hands on the Day of Judgment and entering Jannah with him.