Loving Allah: The Greatest Aspiration


How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart XPart XIPart XIIPart XIIIPart XIVPart XV | Part XVIPart XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX

Finally we come to the crux of the matter and what should be the pinnacle of our aspirations: Loving Allah. We need to put this love into perspective—why should we love Allah (swt) more than anything else? How can we do that? How do we know if we love Allah (swt)? What will this love give us?

What do people love?

It is probably impossible to find a human being who does not love. Most people love their families, spouses and friends. Others love status and money. You can tell a person’s love for something or someone by what they do and how they act.

And we love all of these things despite their temporary nature, despite the fact that they disappoint us sometimes. It is almost an intrinsic part of a human being. And we all love for similar reasons—we love people for the perceived good qualities that we see in a person or the way they treat us. We love things because of the way those things make us feel.

Why should we love Allah (swt)?

How can we not? If we put together all the reasons why we love other people or things, and then apply it to Allah (swt), we should see that truly it is Him that deserves our love. And because human beings are naturally inclined to love, it is only the love of Allah (swt) that can satisfy this need. Ibn Taymiyyah radi allah `anhu (may God be pleased with him) said: “The heart will not find complete happiness except by loving Allah and by striving towards what is dear to Him.”

Amongst the things to aspire to when striving for tranquility of the heart, loving Allah (swt) above all else is the greatest. When we direct our love and our emotions towards Allah (swt), everything else follows. Our actions follow because they reflect what is in our heart. It is liberating because our love is directed at the source of all our blessings, not merely the means. We see everything as coming from Allah (swt), and because we love Him and think well of Him, we know that everything is for a purpose.

The first thing the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said to the people of Madina was “O people! Love Allah with all of your hearts for what He has given you from blessings…” Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an: “And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them.” [14:34]

Try to count everything good in your life, and everything that seemed bad but turned out to be good. All that is from Allah (swt). The fact that you are Muslim. The fact that, as the Prophet ﷺ told us, everything that happens in the life of a Muslim is good, and this is only for the believers. If you are given blessings, then it is an opportunity to be thankful, and if you are tested, it is for you to be patient. And what is amazing is that we have been guaranteed things for patience in the face of calamity, and we know that nothing will go to waste insha` Allah (God willing).

If we find that we don’t love Allah (swt), it is because we don’t know Him. All the pleasures of the world are not an ounce of what the pleasure of what Allah (swt) has prepared in jannah (paradise), and the greatest pleasure is to see Him and be with Him.

Are we true in our love for Allah (swt)?

Many of us would say without hesitation that we love Allah (swt). But there are different levels of love. Some of us may love our parents more than our siblings. We love all of them, but our love for our parents is over and above the love for our siblings. Yet the love that will give us true tranquility in our hearts is the love that prefers Allah (swt) over all else. Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an:

“Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad [struggle] in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [9:24]

Allah in this verse is not telling us we should not love. On the contrary, Allah (swt) tells us in another verse that He has made between spouses “love and mercy”. We are encouraged to love each other. The Prophet ﷺ told us, “When one of you has love for his brother, he should inform him that he loves him,” [Bukhari]. But we should not love them more than Allah (swt), because love tends to mean preference. We do things for our loved ones because we know that they will like it or appreciate it. And when we prefer others over Allah (swt), or make them equal to Allah (swt), that is when we find difficulty because we are putting our hope in something finite and fallible. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:

“And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah [...]” [2:165].

This doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes. We will, because the children of Adam constantly make mistakes. And sometimes we will choose things over Allah (swt). The key is to seek forgiveness. The key is to realize and work on improving. It is that act that is so beloved to Allah (swt).

There are some ways for us to know if we truly love Allah (swt). We are told in the Qur’an:

“Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur'an 3:31]
We know that the Prophet ﷺ is the best example and he is the beloved of Allah (swt). How far do we follow the Prophet ﷺ? And we shouldn’t only think of the outward things, such as the way he dressed or growing a beard. Rather we should look at who the Prophet ﷺ was, what was the essence of his character and how he treated people. Once the love for Allah (swt) and His Messenger grows, we will want to follow everything.

Another way to test ourselves is to look at all of the different types of people that Allah (swt) loves in the Qur’an—for example, Allah (swt) says that He loves the patient. Then we should ask ourselves—Do we strive to be that person to receive the love of Allah (swt)?

Sweetness of Faith

Moreover, if we find that Islam is difficult, know that loving Allah (swt) is the key to tasting the sweetness of faith.  The Prophet ﷺ told us, “There are three things which if a person finds them, he has found the sweetness of faith: when Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than all else; when he loves a person for no other reason than for the sake of Allah; and when he hates to return to kufr after Allah has saved him from it as he would hate to be thrown into fire,” [Bukhari].

How can I make my heart love Allah (swt)?

  • Read the Qur’an with reflection;
  • Perform more nawaafil (voluntary acts of worship): “Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with the supererogatory [nawaafil] so that I shall love him.” [Bukhari]
  • Always remember Allah (swt): The righteous used to say that if you awake and sleep remembering Allah (swt), then you awake and sleep without a sin. Not that we will not make mistakes, but sins are erased by constant dhikr; (remembrance of Allah, swt) and good deeds, insha’Allah.
  • Choose what Allah (swt) prefers over what you prefer.

This is the last article in this series, and I pray we have all benefited. May Allah (swt) enable us to find tranquility through loving Him. Ameen.

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30 Comments

  1. suha says:

    Aswrwb. This is the first of the articles I have read ..Jazakklahh :) I have a personal question to ask you – it is very important – is it possible??
    Jazaklah
    Suha

  2. Amatullah says:

    Jazaki Allahu khayran for this fantastic series Jinan! May Allah ta’ala accept it from you and benefit you and others with it. Ameen.

  3. Navroz says:

    JazakAllahu Khayrn for this beautiful series of articles. May Allah(S) provide you goodness in this life and in the akhira, ameen.

  4. sister says:

    M/A. Beautifully written article.

    Ibn Taymiyyah radi allah `anhu (may God be pleased with him) said: “The heart will not find complete happiness except by loving Allah and by striving towards what is dear to Him.”

    When we chase duniya, we will never be satisfied. Moreover, our love for Allah (swt) will draw further away.

    May we all establish a love so true and clear towards our Sustainer. Ameen.

  5. Fez says:

    Salam. Any chance of the archived articles ever being placed into a sinple pdf file so that we can download/print for reading on the go?

  6. mehmudah says:

    Jazak Allahu Khair Jinan for another lovely piece! This series has been great Masha Allah

  7. Abdul Baten says:

    This is an excellent article, I like it a lot. I saved this article in my desktop & printed a copy for myself to read it frequently. This will definitely help me to go closer to Allah (swt) and bring peace in my life. Thank you.
    Abdul Baten.

  8. This was beautiful.
    I’m always told that if I start loving Allah TRULY then everything else in my life will fall into place.
    However, developing that sense of taqwa is really hard. :/

  9. sister says:

    subhanallah this came at the perfect time for me. i was just thinking this morning, how do i know if Allah (swt) loves me? How can i be sure? Moreover, how can i feel the love of Allah everyday? I was sitting and thinking and thinking about Allah, and realized that his love is surrounding us, protecting us, guiding us everyday in every way. we just need to remember Allah, so He will remember us. And remember Allah’s mercy is greater than the love for a mother for its child. Allah loves us, we just have to love him back. He is our creator and sustainer, how can we not believe that he loves us? Realizing He loves us makes me want to love Him.

  10. Abdul Haseeb says:

    Asalamualikum…
    Thanks a lot for this article.This is really eye opening article..May allah reward you for this work … and may allah bless you… Ameen
    Jazakalalh hu Khair
    Abdul Haseeb

  11. Shaifa says:

    Jazakhallah khair, was a great read… Consider the idea of making this never ending?? Please? :)

  12. Shaifa says:

    This series*

  13. Ahmed Mourad says:

    May Allah reward you abundantly for this series.Over months,I followed these articles and enjoyed them very much.They helped my heart to be more tranquil.Jazak Allahu Khair.

  14. Mariam says:

    MashAllah this series is remarkable. May Allah guide us all to follow it inshAllah.

    May Allah Bless you sister and your family for helping us in understanding this beautiful concept. It truly made a difference in my life.

    I want to thank you sincerely for your efforts. Jazakullah Kair.

  15. Shaheeda says:

    Jazakullah Khair, Superb article!!! May Allah help us all put the learning from this article into practice.

  16. Ahmed says:

    Another great series Sr. Jinan – this and the salah series were superb (ok just noticed Sr. Shaheeda used this word, didn’t steal it though!). Jazak’Allahu Khairan for your efforts and for enlightening us once again. Indeed, all the Good from the series came from Allah, but it’s through your explanation and language that we came to have a more tranquil heart insha’allah. :-)

  17. Meryem says:

    Thank you for these beautiful articles…

  18. Fez says:

    Thank you Webbsite team for continuing to leave these older articles online for us to all benefit

    JZK.

  19. Sonya says:

    Selam!
    I’ve translated the articles of tranquility of the heart into Bulgarian and I would like to congratulate Jinan Bastaki and also to get to know her personally by e-mail, for example. Selam!

  20. Aaliya says:

    I hate to see this series end :( are there more?it gives you peace of the heart..MA ..just love it

  21. john harry says:

    Thankyou so much for this God bless u MASHALLAH…..

  22. mehdi says:

    Beautiful article! But I don’t think you should love Allah more than everything else! If you love anything more than Allah that only means you don’t know what “Love” is .The true “love” is immeasurable!
    We are only here to practice. Is impossible to “love” something that is mortal.

  23. Mostafa says:

    human love Allah SWT according to their knowledge. Allah swt beyond human thinking power. so one should realize that his love according to his understanding. please try
    Follow Prophat (S). that is best. Allah will love us. all problems solved. Alhamdulillah.

  24. binatehawwa says:

    Beautiful!!! MashaALLAH!

  25. binatehawwa says:

    i have added this article on our blog., alongwith the reference of your site.

  26. Ishmael Arquiza says:

    It’s very nice article can i share it with my facebook account. Thank you

  27. Abdisamed says:

    Masha allah, thanks a lot !!!

  28. Ayah says:

    Salaam Aleykoum wa Rahmatoullah wa Barakatouhou dear Jinan,

    I would like to thank you for this wonderful series. I’ve read it several times by now and every time I read it, it helps me gain tranquility.

    May Allah reward you with al-Firdaws al-Alaa and may He keep inspiring you to write and inspire others for His sake. Amien.

    DjazakAllahoe ghairan,
    Ayah

  29. Kareema says:

    As salam alaykum. I am a new Muslim and I really appreciate this article. Insha’ Allah, you will write more.

  30. AssalamuAlaykum, Article on Loving Allah, in suhaibwebb, guides us to review our worldly line of thinking, to truthful thinking, leading us to nearness to Allah, swt. Jazakallah Khairun. Khwaja Mohiddin.

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