The Natural Inclination Of The Heart Is To Love Allah سبحانه و تعالى
Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله
The heart has only been created for the worship of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, and this is the natural disposition (fitrah) upon which Allah سبحانه و تعالى created His servants as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Every new-born child is born upon the natural disposition and it is his parents that make him a Jew, Christian or a Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal, do you see any part of its body amputated?"
Then Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه said, Recite if you wish the saying of Allah سبحانه و تعالى,
"So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah . That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know." [Soorah Room, 30:30] [Bukhari and Muslim]
So Allah سبحانه و تعالى has made the natural disposition of His servants to love Him and worship Him Alone, so if the natural disposition was to be left as it is without corrupting it, then it would be cognizant of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, loving Him Alone; but the natural disposition does become corrupted due to the sickness of the heart - such as the parents making it a Jew or a Christian - even though this be by the Will and Pre-decree of Allah سبحانه و تعالى, just like the body is altered by amputation. But, even after this, it is possible for the heart to return to the natural disposition if Allah سبحانه و تعالى makes this easy for the one who does his utmost to return it to the natural disposition.
The Messengers عليهم الصلاة والسلام were sent to affirm and re-establish the natural disposition and to perfect it, not to alter it. So when the heart loves Allah Alone سبحانه و تعالى, making the religion sincerely for Him, it will not be tried by the love of anyone else, not to mention be tried with passionate love because were it to be afflicted with passionate love then this would diminish its loving Allah سبحانه و تعالى alone. This is why when Yusuf عليه الصلاة و السلام was tried with this passionate love (directed to him) his love of Allah سبحانه و تعالى Alone, making the religion sincerely for him, did not allow him to be overcome by this, rather Allah سبحانه و تعالى said,
"And indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves." [Soorah Yoosuf, 12:24]
As for the wife of al-Aziz, it was because she and her nation were polytheists that she was afflicted with passionate love. No one, is afflicted with passionate love except that this diminishes his singling out Allah سبحانه و تعالى Alone for worship and his faith.
The heart that repents to Allah سبحانه و تعالى, fearing Him, has two routes by which it can remove this passionate love:
(1) Repenting to Allah سبحانه و تعالى and loving Him, for indeed this is more satisfying and purer than anything else, and nothing will be left to love alongside Allah.
(2) Fearing Allah سبحانه و تعالى, for indeed fear is the opposite of passionate love and removes it.
This love can also be removed by fearing the occurrence of a harm that is more hateful to one than leaving this love. So when Allah سبحانه و تعالى is more beloved to the servant than anything else, and more feared by him than anything else; then he will not fall into passionate love or find any love that would compete with his love of Allah, except in the case of negligence or at a time when this love and fear has become weak by his leaving some of the obligatory duties and by performing some of the prohibited actions. For indeed faith increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience, so each time a servant obeys Allah سبحانه و تعالى out of love and fear, and leaves a prohibited action out of love and fear, his love and fear becomes stronger, and any love or fear of anything else besides Allah سبحانه و تعالى will disappear from his heart.
[Extracted from the book- 'Diseases of The Heart and Their Cures' based on Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله]
"He (Allah Ta'ala) loves them and they love Him""Those who have Eimaan are strongest in love for Allah."
Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:
"He who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. And, he who detests the meeting with Allah, Allah detests meeting him."
The Nature Of Muhabbat
The inclining of the heart towards something which gives it pleasure is called Muhabbat (love). Muhabbat consists of two kinds:
Muhabbat-e-Tab'ee (physical love) and Muhabbat-e-Aqlee (intellectual love).
Muhabbat-e-Tab'ee is not a voluntary or volitional condition. Its occurrence and endurance are non-volitional. Sometimes non-volitional acts are not lasting and are merely transitory. It is for this reason that Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee is not commanded. On the contrary, the origination and endurance of Muhabbat-e-Aqlee are volitional. It is, therefore a state which can endure. Muhabbat -e-Aqlee is thus commanded. It is this kind of Love which is superior and preferable. Since the source of physical love is emotion, it is a passing state.
The Causes Of Muhabbat
There are three factors giving rise to Muhabbat;
1. Ihsaan (Kindness and favour). Ihsaan shown gives rise to muhabbat.
2. Jamaal (Beauty). Beauty brings about attraction which gives rise to Muhabbat.
3. Kamaal (Perfection). Perfection in a thing also induces muhabbat.
These three attributes par excellence exist in only Allah Ta'aalaa. The Muhabbat endures as long as these attributes endure. In so far as the Object of True Love (Allah Ta'aalaa) is concerned, these attributes are eternal. They will endure forever, hence love for Him is perpetual. Since, the existence of attributes in the state of perfection is not found independently (biz-zaat) in any being other than Allah Ta'aalaa, the Kaamileen (the Saints who have attained spiritual perfection) cannot have Muhabbat-e-Aqlee (Intellectual Love for anyone besides Allah Ta'aalaa. Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee (physical love) is possible with others, but the love which has been commanded for Allah Ta'aalaa is Muhabbat-e-Aqlee. The terminology of the Qur’aan and Hadith describes this form of love as Hubb. This should not be understood to mean that the Kaamileen are devoid of Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee. However, in them (the Kaamileen), Muhabbat-e-Aqlee is dominant. At times Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee in the Kaamileen exceeds the love in those in whom Muhabbat Tab’ee is dominant, but Muhabbat-e-Aqlee remains dominant Inspite of this comparative higher degree of Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee. At times, Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee becomes dominant in even the Kaamileen, but this is not frequent.
In short, the Kaamileen are perfect in both Muhabbat-e-Aqlee and Muhabbat-e-Tab’e, the former being dominant while in others, Muhabbat-e-Tab’ee (physical love) is dominant. Although this attribute of excellence (in the kaamileen) is not a goal in itself, it nevertheless is praiseworthy. Those devoid of both these aspects of love are in danger. Muhabbat is thus essential. Obedience without muhabbat is not sufficient since there is no resolution and firmness in such acts of obedience devoid of love.
Aquiring The Muhabbat Of Allah
Constant remembrance and contemplation of the Attributes and Bounties of Allah Ta'aalaa will induce the desired Muhabbat for Him. Compliance with the Laws of the Shari'at and much Zikr of Allah expel the love of others from the heart, making way for the exclusive Love of Allah Ta'aalaa.
Hadhrat Maulana Adam Sahib DB mentioned,
that whenever anyone took the name of Allah SWT in the presence of Shaykh Shibli RA, the Shaykh would place sweets in that person's mouth.
Someone asked him why he did this, and he replied, 'If I cannot fill the mouth of a person who takes the name of my Beloved with sweetness, what else can I do?'
Patience is one of the most important qualities demanded of those who claim to love Allâh سبحانه و تعالى, as the degree of patience determines those who are sincere in their claim and those who are not. The degree of patience needed to endure hardship and difficulties in order to please the Beloved proves the sincerity of one’s love.
Many claim to love Allâh سبحانه و تعالى, but when Allâh سبحانه و تعالى tests them with hardship, they forget the true essence of love. No-one can adhere to the love of Allâh سبحانه و تعالى except those who are patient and persevering (as-sâbirûn). If it were not for the test of hardship and sincerity, there would be no proof of the sincerity of a person’s love of Allâh سبحانه و تعالى.
Tirmidhi narrated that Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, which of the people are most severely tested?” He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his religious commitment."
The one whose love of Allâh سبحانه و تعالى is greater, has a greater degree of patience. Therefore, Allâh سبحانه و تعالى has attributed the quality of patience to His close friends (awliyâ) and most beloved. He said about His beloved slave Ayyûb عليه السلام:
“…Truly We found him full of patience and constancy. How excellent in Our service! Ever did he turn (to Us)!” (Sâd 38:44)
Allâh سبحانه و تعالى instructed the most beloved to Him of everything He created to have patience in accepting His decree and told him that patience comes only by the help of Allâh سبحانه و تعالى.
He praised those who have patience and promised them the best of rewards: the rewards of others are defined and limited, but the reward of as-sâbirûn is without measure.
Allah سبحانه و تعالى says,
“…Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (az-Zumar 39:10).
Patience is vital at all levels of Islâm, îmân and ihsân, as well as being a major element in îmân (faith) and tawakkul (putting one’s trust in Allâh سبحانه و تعالى).
Allâh سبحانه و تعالى has made patience the means for attaining His love, His companionship, His help and support, and His good rewards. This is sufficient honour and blessings.
Extracts from: 'Patience and Gratitude' By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah رحمه الله. An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat ash-Shâkireen”]
"Allaah سبحانه و تعالى only created the creation for the purpose of worshipping Him, which consists of complete love for Him along with humbling oneself to Him and submitting to His Command. The foundation of worship is: Love for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, rather, it is singling Allaah سبحانه و تعالى out with regard to love, and that one's love be only for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. So (this means) that he doesn't love anyone along with Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Rather, he only loves because of Him and for His sake, such as loving His prophets, messengers, angels and close friends.
So our love for them compliments and completes our love for Him. It is not considered loving someone along with Him such as the love that is held by those who take rivals besides Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, for they love them just as they love Him.
Since love for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is the reality and essence of worshipping Him, it can only be achieved by following His commandments and abstaining from His prohibitions. For when one follows His orders and avoids His prohibitions, the true nature of worship and love becomes clear. This is why Allaah, the Most High, made following His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم a sign that indicates love for Him and a witness for the one who claims this (type of) love. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى says:
"Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): 'If you really love Allaah, then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:31)
So He made following His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم a requirement for their love for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and a condition for Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى love for them. The presence of something required is not possible without the presence of its condition, and it (the requirement) can only be achieved by achieving that (i.e. the condition). So it is understood from this that a lack of love (from Allaah سبحانه و تعالى) is due to a lack of following (the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم ). Therefore, a lack of their love for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is required for a lack of their following His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, while a lack of following (the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم) obligates a lack of Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى love for them. So therefore, it is impossible to establish their love for Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and to establish Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى love for them without their being the following (of Allaah's Messenger, may Allaah exalt his mention and grant him peace)."
"As for 'ibaadah (worship), its original meaning also denotes lowliness and submission. One says, 'a pathway that is mu'abbad,' i.e. it has become smoothed out because of being treaded upon.
However, the 'ibaadah that has been enjoined (upon us) encompasses the meaning of submission along with the meaning of love. It embodies the utmost degree of submission to Allaah سبحانه و تعالى through the utmost degree of love of Him.
One who submits to a person whilst possessing hatred for him is not an 'aabid (worshipper) of him and (in contrast) if he was to love someone and at the same time does not submit to him, he is likewise not an 'aabid of him, as is the case of a man who loves his child and friend.
Consequently, only one of the two (qualities) is not sufficient as far as the 'ibaadah of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is concerned. Rather, it is necessary that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى be the most beloved above all else to the 'abd (slave) and that he holds Allaah سبحانه و تعالى to be the greatest of all. Indeed, none other than Allaah سبحانه و تعالى deserves total love and submission."
"And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Loving." (Sooratul-Burooj, 85:14)
It is said that the Name al-Wadood is an emphatic noun - on the morphological pattern of fu'ool that takes the meaning of the subject-doer noun, similar to the Names Saboor and Shakoor.
It is also said that al-Wadood is an object-noun (i.e., the One Who is Loved).
It means that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى loves the believers and that they love Him. Allaah Most High says,
"O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islaam), Allaah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allaah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allaah is AllSufficient for His creatures' needs, AllKnower." (Sooratul-Maa'idah, 5:54)
He also says,
"Verily, for those who believe and perform righteous works, the All-Merciful shall bestow them with love." (Soorah Maryam, 19:96)
It is said [concerning this latter verse] that [Allaah سبحانه و تعالى shall bestow] them with love between them and Him. It is also said that He will bestow love between them and His servants. According to the former interpretation this verse means that the All-Merciful shall create love within the believers' hearts. And according to the second interpretation this verse means that He shall place love for them in the hearts of His servants.
As for Allaah's love for His servants, it means that He graces them with His excellence and wills what is good for them, and praises them.
As for the servants' love for Allaah Most High, it is by the servant hastening to that which pleases Allaah: by fulfilling His commands, remembering Him often, submitting to His decree, exalting Him, and being in absolute awe of Him. These are the signs of love; so whoever is most obedient and reverent and most frequent in remembering Allaah سبحانه و تعالى will be strongest in his love. And every love that is for the sake of ulterior motives is tainted. Real love must be pure, free of every extraneous desire.
He who knows that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is the Loving will forget all love besides His love, and will exert his utmost efforts to attain His love.
You should connect with this Name by seeking Allaah's love as much as possible. This entails that Allaah is obeyed and not disobeyed, and that He be remembered and not forgotten. But this love must not be for any motive or external cause. Nay, rather it should be so that Allaah's Lordship is given its due, as it says in a tradition: 'Verily, Allaah Most High says, "The most beloved of the lovers in My sight is the one who worships Me not for the obtainment of a gift but in order to give [My] Lordship its due!"'
You should cultivate this Name in your character by loving all created things. That is by lovingly desiring faith [eemaan] for the disbeliever; lovingly desiring repentance for the sinner; lovingly desiring firmness for the rightious; and lovingly desiring for all of creation - in general and in particular - what you love for yourself."
[Allah - An Explanation of the Divine Names, pp. 112-114]
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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