The Humble "I"

Knowing, Doing, Becoming

Surely Loving God is Enough?

cycling_towards_the_morning_light_by_jchanders-d8e362vThe Qur’an states: There are among people those who set up equals besides God, and love them as [only] God should be loved. But those who believe are more ardent in their love of God. [2:165] One can often hear certain people puzzle over why Jews, Christians, Sikhs and others, are not considered believers – given that they all profess faith in One God and love of Him.

In his all important discussion, Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H/1350CE) explains that faith, or iman, does not just entail belief in God and love of Him. It also necessitates loving for His sake, and loving what He loves. Anything else just isn’t faith! He wrote:

‘Here there are four types of love (mahabbah) that are crucial to differentiate between: those who strayed did so because they did not make the necessary distinctions.

Firstly, love of God (mahabatu’Llah); which by itself is not sufficient for salvation from the Fire or gaining success through His reward. For the idolators, Jews, Christians and others, all love God.

Secondly, Love of what God loves (mahabbah ma yuhibbu’Llah); this is what brings one into Islam and removes him from disbelief (kufr). Those most beloved to God are the ones firmest and most committed to such love.

Thirdly, love for God’s sake and in Him (al-hubbu li’Llah wa fihi); which is a necessary upshot of loving what God loves. Loving what God loves will not be sound unless one loves for His sake too.

Fourthly, love of a thing alongside God (al-mahabbah ma‘a’Llah); this is the idolatrous type of love. Whoever loves something on par with God – not in God, for God, nor for God’s sake – has set-up a rival with God. This is the love of the idolators.

There remains a fifth type, which isn’t part of what we have been discussing; and that is the natural type of love (al-mahabbah al-tabi‘iyyah). This is where a person inclines, by nature, to whatever he finds agreeable, such as quenching thirst with cool water or satisfying hunger with food; or love of sleep, or marriage, or children. Such things are not blameworthy in and of themselves, unless they distract you from remembrance of God, or deflect you from love of Him. God says: ‘O you who believe! Let not your wealth nor your children distract you from God’s remembrance.’ [63:9] Also: By men whom neither wealth nor trade distract from remembrance of God. [24:37]’1

1. Al-Da’ wa’l-Dawa (Riyadh: Dar Ibn al-Jawzi, 1998), 292-3.

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

14 thoughts on “Surely Loving God is Enough?

  1. Lubna Ul-Hasan on said:

    By Allah’s Mercy may we all attain the highest love for Allah and love for His sake and love all that He loves – Ameen.

    Like

  2. Abdur-rahman on said:

    What a beautiful state to be in, longing for Allah’s love

    Like

  3. Under this second catagory: Love of what God loves (mahabbah ma yuhibbu’Llah). It is important to specifically point out that love for God necessitates love for and of the best of creation: Habibullah, Mustapha Mohammed (Sallahu alayhi wa salam). This love goes “hand in hand”. For without this, love is tainted and eeman is incomplete. This is the pinnacle of affair and what distinguishes us from the followers of faith!

    Like

  4. correction: “……what distinguishes us from the followers of other faiths”

    Like

  5. Lubna Ul-Hasan: Amin to your du‘a.

    Allahumma inna nas’aluk hubbaka wa hubba man yuhibbuka wa hubba amalin yuqarribuna ila hubbika – “O Allah, we ask You for your love, the love of those you love and the love of those deeds that draw us closer to your love.”

    Abdur-rahman: May Allah grant us its fragrance in this life and quench our longing in the life to come. Amin.

    Like

  6. Assalaamu ‘Alaiykum… just would like to know why you have added “By” in the last line when you gave reference of Aayat 24:37. I didn’t find this in an English translation nor in Urdu translation. Please advise. Jazaak Allaahu Khaiyra.

    Like

    • By men … has to do with the verse preceding it, which says: In houses which God has allowed to be raised up, where His name is remembered. In them is He glorified morning and evening. [24:36]

      Tafsir Jalalayn explains that “men” in this verse: ‘is the subject of an implied verb (fa‘il f‘il maqaddar) in response to an implied question, as if one has asked: who makes glorification of Him?’

      The answer, it is made: By men whom neither wealth nor trade distract from remembrance of God. Thus, though the word “by” is not there in the actual Arabic, it is implied.

      Cf. Tafsir Jalalayn (Saudi Arabia: Dar al-Salam, 2002), 366.

      Like

  7. According to a beautiful hadith, the Prophet, God bless and grant him peace, said that on the Last Day, when the last two souls are brought forth before God, they are both condemned to hell. As the angels escort them to their final fiery abode, one of them wistfully looks back. Thereupon, God commands the angels to bring him back and asks the man why he turned back. The man replies, “I was expecting something else from you.” God responds, commanding the angels, “Take him to My Garden.”

    Just brings tears to my eyes…..

    Like

  8. fahriye on said:

    does anyone know the source of this hadith, it is beautiful

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: