Ar-Raghbah, Ar-Rahbah and al-Khushoo – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Bismillaah

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah : Lesson 23 Part B
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

[Souncloud Audio Link


Ar-Raghbah (fervent desire) and Ar-Rahbah (dread) and al-Khushoo‘ (reverence and humility), and the Proof for Each

Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:    

And the proof for Ar-Raghbah (fervent desire) and Ar-Rahbah (dread) and al-Khushoo‘ (reverence and humility), is His saying, He the Most High: 

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

They used to hasten to perform acts of devotion to Allaah, and they used to worship Us raghaban (upon love and desire), and rahaban (upon fear), and they were were reverent and humble before Allaah [21:90] 18


[18]: Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation:

Ar-Raghbah (fervent desire): it means seeking something which is praiseworthy.

Ar-Rahbah (dread): is fear of something which is dreaded.

He the Most High said:

 وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ

And have dread of Me [2:40]

And it is a type of Khawf (fear);

ar-Rahbah (dread) and al-Khawf (fear) have one and the same meaning.

al-Khushoo‘ (reverence and humility): it is a type of humbling oneself to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. And humbly submitting and humbling onself before Him, He the Perfect and Most High – it is from the greatest of levels of worship.

His saying, He the Most High, “Innahum”, (they): this pronoun refers back to the Prophets, since in Soorat-ul-Anbiyaa Allaah has mentioned the stories of the Prophets, and then He said:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

They used to hasten to perform acts of devotion to Allaah, and they used to worship Us raghaban (upon love and desire), and rahaban (upon fear), and they were were reverent and humble before Allaah [21:90]

So His saying, He the Most High:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ

They used to hasten upon doing acts of good [21:90]

Meaning: they would race to them, and they would hasten to them. This is the characteristic of the Prophets ‘alaihimussaalatu wassalaam, they would not be lazy and they would not behave as if they were powerless, rather they hastened to doing good deeds, and they raced towards them.

His saying, He the Most High:

وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا

And they invoked and worshipped us with Raghbah [21:90]

Meaning: desiring what lies with Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, desiring attainment of what they wished for.

وَرَهَبًا

And His saying, He the Most High, wa rahaban”, (with dread): meaning with fear of Us, so they called upon Allaah to have mercy upon them, and they called upon Him not to punish them, and not to bring them to account and not to seize them with punishment. So they had hope for the mercy of Allaah, and they feared His punishment, just as He the Most High said:

أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ ۚ إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا

Those whom they call upon, themselves seek a means of nearness to draw themselves closer to their Lord, to see which of them can draw closest to Him. They hope for His mercy and they fear His punishment [17:57]

So they call upon Allaah having fear of Him, and they worship and call upon Him desiring what lies with Him (from reward), they call upon Allaah so that He should ordain good for them and repel evil from them.

وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ

And they were reverent and humble towards Us [21:90]

Meaning: they were reverential, humbly submitting, humble before Allaah, the Mighty ad Majestic. So they gathered between three characteristics: Ar-Raghbah (fervent desire) and Ar-Rahbah (dread) and al-Khushoo‘ (reverence and humility). These are the characteristics of the Prophets sallallaahu ‘alaihim was allam and these three types are from the types of worship of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.

And it contains a refutation of Soofees, those who say, “We do not worship Allaah out of desire for His reward, nor out of fear of His punishment, we only worship Him out of love of Him alone”. This is false and futile speech, because the Prophets called upon and worshipped Allaah, raghaban wa rahaban (with fear and with hope) and they were the most complete of the creation.

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by  Daawood  Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series:
Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank

Book Study Resources – Three Fundamental Principles

Related Links:

Al-Ibaadah (Worship) centers on three things: Fear, Hope & Love – Sharh as-Sunnah | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

 

Bismillaah

Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 70 : Point 118
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:

Know that Allaah has not been worshipped with anything the like of fear of Allah, the Perfect. And the path of fear, sadness, having apprehension and feeling shy before Allah, the Exalted and the Most High.

[Souncloud Audio Link

Shaykh Fawzan:

He who worships Allaah with fear alone is Khaarijee.
Whoever worships Allaah with hope alone is a Murjee.
Whoever worships Allaah with love alone is a Soofi.

Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the full Audio Series of Sharhus Sunnah
Sharh-us-Sunnah – Shaykh Saalih Fawzaan – Dawood Burbank [Audio|En]

Visit : Book Study of Sharh as-Sunnah of Imaam Barbahaaree

Related Link:

https://abdurrahman.org/ibadah-worship

Loving Allaah & Loving and Hating for the Sake of Allaah (Al-Walaa wal-Baraa) – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah: Lesson 42  : Point [164]
Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

164. And we love the people of justice and trustworthiness, and
we have hatred for the people of injustice and treachery.

[Souncloud Audio Link]

At-Ta`leeqaat Al-Mukhtasarah `alaa Matn Al-`Aqeedah AtTahaawiyyah. By Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah, in 1426AH

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series of Aqeedah Tahaawiyyah:
Explanation of Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Book Study Resource : Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah – Imam at-Tahaawi

Sufi claim of worship through love alone – Permanent Committee

Q: What is the ruling on some people who say: “O Allah, I worship You out of my love for You. If I worship You fearing Your Hell, let me enter it and if I worship You seeking to enter Your Paradise, let me enter Your Hell”? 

A: Worshiping Allah just by loving Him is the Manhaj (methodology) of misguided Sufis, which is of their own invention.

Loving Allah is the highest degree of Ibadah (worship), but not the sole act of Ibadah.

The Manhaj of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) is to worship Allah through love, fear, hope and other expressive forms of `Ibadah.

Allah (Exalted be He) says:

Invoke your Lord withhumility and in secret.” [Surah Al-A`raf, 7: 55]

Allah says about His Prophets:

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” [Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21: 90]

Allah also says about the angels:

“And they stand in awe for fear of Him.” [Surah Al-Anbiya’, 21: 28]

And:

“They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.” [Surah Al-Nahl, 16: 50]

There are many Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) elaborating on this meaning.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Chairman : Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah ibn Baz

Fatwas of the Permanent Committee – Group 2 – Part 2 – Page 73

http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?languagename=en&View=Page&PageID=18&PageNo=1&BookID=24

Signs of Allah’s love for His slaves and the efforts for its Achievement

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 47
Signs of Allah’s love for His slaves and the efforts for its Achievement

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Say (O Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) to mankind): `If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e., accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”’ (3:31)

“O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah 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 Allah, and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.” (5:54)

386. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: `I will declare war against him who treats with hostility a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary prayers or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) until I love him, (so much so that) I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me something, I will surely give him, and if he seeks My Protection (refuge), I will surely protect him”.
[Al-Bukhari]

387. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When Allah loves a slave, calls out Jibril and says: `I love so-and-so; so love him’. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

 Another narration of Muslim is: Messenger of Allah, (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: “When Allah loves a slave, He calls Jibril (Gabriel) and says: `I love so-and-so; so love him.’ And then Jibril loves him. Then he (Jibril) announces in the heavens saying: Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; then the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him; and then people on earth love him. And when Allah hates a slave, He calls Jibril and says: `I hate so-and-so, so hate him.’ Then Jibril also hates him. He (Jibril) then announces amongst the inhabitants of heavens: `Verily, Allah hates so-and-so, so you also hate him.’ Thus they also start to hate him. Then he becomes the object of hatred on the earth also”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

388. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah, (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) appointed a man in charge of an army unit who led them in Salat (prayer); he always concluded his recitation with Surat Al-Ikhlas: “Say (O Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)): ‘He is Allah, (the) One. Allah-us-Samad (Allah – the Self-Sufficient). He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none equal or comparable to Him.”’ (112:1-4) Upon their return to Al-Madinah, they mentioned this to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), who said, “Ask him why he does so?” He was asked and he said, “This Surah contains the Attributes of Allah, the Gracious, and I love to recite it. Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) then told them, “Tell him that Allah loves him”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Love Fear and Hope : The Three Essential Ingredients for Eeman

From ad-Dawah illaah Magazine

One of the most beautiful things about the concept of worship in Islaam is the truly unique way in which it incorporates the feeling of love, fear and hope within the hearts of the worshippers of Allah. Understanding how to combine these three qualities into the worship (ibaadah) of Allah is one of the most essential things that every Muslim must grasp, not least because every sect which has drifted from the Straight Path has strayed in the aspect of worship. The deviation of the other religions in this regard is clear for all to see: “God is love! Jesus is love!” say the Christians, denying the fact that Allah should be feared too. As for the Jews, their hearts were filled only with hope; hope that the Fire will never touch them, since they were the “Promised People”.

In Islaam however, no worship is complete without the presence of all three qualities: love of Allah, hope in His Mercy and fear of His Punishment. Contemplate the opening Soorah of the Qur’aan – Soorah al-Faatihah – and you will see this for yourself.

Aayah 1: “All praise [and thanks] is for Allah, Rabb of all the worlds.”

In this opening aayah (verse) of the Qur’aan, we have LOVE of Allah and every time we recite this aayah we are testifying to our love for Allah. How is that you ask?

It is because in the aayah, we are acknowledging that Allah is our Rabb and the Rabb of all the worlds. Rabb is usually translated as ‘the Lord’, but this translation does not do justification to this name of Allah and all the meanings this name carries. In reality, Rabb means that Allah is the Creator of everything; He sustains and nourishes everything; He gives life and Death; anything good that we have is from Him; everything is dependant on Him and nothing can happen unless He wills it. Furthermore, for the Muslims He – the Rabb – in the One who has guided us to the Truth and given us good morals and manners.

Thus when we testify that Allah is our Rabb, then we are acknowledging that He is the One who has given us so many blessings – so many that if we try to enumerate His blessings, we would be unable to do so. So how could we not but LOVE Him?

After all, we all love those who show kindness towards us or present us with gifts. And therefore the Messenger of Allah (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) encouraged the exchange of gifts between Muslims because it helps to strengthen ties and develop love for one another. He (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) said, “Give gifts to one another, you will come to love one another.”[1]

So imagine the LOVE we should have for our Rabb who has given us everything: nice families, shelter, security, food, health and above all the Guidance of Islaam and the Sunnah. We should be overwhelming in our love for Him. That is why we praise Him and thank Him and say, “All praise (and thanks) is for Allah, Rabbil-‘aalameen.”

Aayah 2: The Rahmaan (Merciful) and the Raheem (Mercy-Giving).”

In the first aayah of Soorah al-Faatihah, Allah mentioned He was the Rabb. In this aayah two more of His beautiful names are mentioned: ar-Rahmaan and ar-Raheem. Ar-Rahmaan means that He is the Most Merciful. Ar-Raheem means that He is the Giver of Mercy, in other words His actions are full of Mercy and He shows Mercy to His creation.[2]

When we mention these two names of Allah, then we have HOPE. Since He is the One who is full of Mercy, and we hope He will forgive our mistakes and shortcomings. We should never loose hope, because Allah says in the Qur’aan, “O My slaves, who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, Verily Allah forgives all sins (except sins). Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful” [39: 53]

The need to have FEAR in our worship is shown by the next aayah of Soorah al-Faatihah.

Aayah 3: “King/Master of the Day of Judgement.”

When we recite this aayah, we remind ourselves of the Day of Judgement – that awful Day, when all of humanity shall stand before Allah … naked, uncircumcised and barefooted. People will appear drunk though they are not. On that Day, every person will stand before Allah and account for his sins, knowing that not even the smallest action which he did is hidden from Allah: “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.” [Soorah 99 : 7-8]

So when we recite this third aayah of Soorah al-Faatihah, we remind ourselves of this Judgement and accountability and that should bring about in us a sense of fear – that maybe our evil actions will be too great and we will be responsible for them – May Allah protect us from such a fate. Then the next verse goes on to say: “You alone we worship.” i.e. we single out Allah for our worship. And how do we worship Him? With LOVE, HOPE and FEAR. And in order to achieve these qualities, we need Allah’s assistance, so we say then, “We seek Your Aid.”

Striking the Balance

After understanding the need to have love, hope and fear in our worship, the next question that naturally arises is that, in what proportion should these qualities be present in our worship? Again we turn to the Qur’aan for the answer.

“Call upon Him with Fear and Hope.” [ Soorah (7): 56]

“Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in Fear and Hope.” [(32): 16]

So both fear and hope should be present in our hearts in equal proportions. Anas reported that the Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) entered upon a young boy who was dying. The Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) asked, “How are you?” The boy replied, “O Messenger of Allah, I am in between hoping in Allah and fearing for my sins.” The Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) said, “The like of these two qualities do not unite in the heart of a servant except that Allah gives him what he hopes for and protects him from what he feared.”[3]

Therefore whenever we do a good action, we should hope that it has been accepted by Allah, but at the same time we should also have fear that maybe it isn’t enough or that the good deed has not been worthy of acceptance. Likewise when we sin, we should have hope that Allah will accept our repentance and forgive us, but we should also fear that we may be accountable for it.

This balance should be reflected in our Dawah (which of course is also worship). So when we invite others to the Truth, we should not give them the impression that ‘they have nothing to worry about’, nor do we suggest that ‘they are doomed forever’. Rather we couple warnings with encouragement. We inform them of the horrors of the Fire and tell them about the bliss of Paradise. Just as we find Allah telling us in the Qur’aan: “Verily your Lord is Quick in Punishment and verily He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Giver of Mercy.” [(7): 167]

And the scholars of Islaam say, “He who worships Allah with hope only is a murji’ee. He who worships Him in fear only is a Harooree [Khaarijee]. And He who worships Allah in love only is a Zindeeq [eg. the Soofis, the Christians, etc]. But he who worships Allah in fear, love and hope is a Muwahhid Mu’min [a believer upon Tawheed].”[4]

The Murji’a were a sect that emerged within the first century of Islaam. The people of this sect (i.e. the murji’ees) believe that sins do not affect faith i.e. no matter what sins a person commits, his eeman (faith) is complete and perfect. They worship Allah only with hope because they believe that as long as one believed and testified to Islaam, they would enter Paradise regardless of their actions.

Unfortunately, all too often nowadays we find a similar attitude amongst many Muslims today, which is why we find that so often we try to advice someone to turn to the Deen and abandon sin, they just point to their hearts and say, “Allah knows what is in my heart”, or “Allah forgives”, or something else like that.

As for the Khawaarij, they worshipped Allah in fear only because they held that anyone who commits major sins was a disbeliever and would therefore dwell in Hellfire forever. This of course is gross extremism and straying from the correct path. The Prophet (salla-allahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “There were two men of Banoo Israa’eel who strove equally. One of then committed sins and the other strove hard in worship. And the one who strove in worship cto see the other in sin and kept saying to him: “Desist.” So one day he found him committing a sin and so said to him: “Desist” So he replied, “Leave me by my Lord, have you been sent as a watcher over me?”. He said, “By Allah, Allah will not forgive you, nor will Allah admit you to Paradise”. Then their souls were taken and they came together before the Lord of the Worlds. So Allah said to the one who strove in worship: “Did you have Knowledge of Me, or did you have any power in what is in my Hands?” And He said to the sinner: “Go and enter Paradise through My Mercy.” And He said to the other: “Take him to the fire.” Aboo Hurairah t said: “By Him in whose Hand is my soul! He spoke a word which destroyed this world and the hereafter for him.”[5]

Therefore we should never say of anyone that he or she is a ‘lost cause’ or ‘doomed’ or the like for this is a great sin. However, we fear for those who commit major sins because they have been threatened with punishment in the Qur’aan and the Hadeeth. However it is up to Allah whether He chooses to punish them or whether He will forgive them.

The Zindeeqs – or the heretics – are groups, such as many of the Soofis who have become like the Christians and reduced the religion to just ‘love’ and so all their talk and their mystical practices are centred around developing more ‘love’.

It is thus clear how imbalances in any of the three qualities of worship can lead to major deviation and straying to the True Guidance. It is therefore important for every Muslim to combine all three of them in his heart properly. As was mentioned before, the fear and hope should be in equal proportions[6], but as for love then that should be uppermost. As Fudayl ibn-‘Iyaad – rahimahullah – (d.187H) said, “The love is better than the fear. The fear checks us from sinning, and the love makes us do what is prescribed with an open heart.”[7]

May Allah grant us what we hope for and protect us from what we fear. And may the Blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammed, upon his family, his Companions and upon all those who follow Guidance until the Last Day.

[1] Collected by Imaam Bukhari in al-Adabul-Mufrad and declared hasan by al-Albaanee in al-Irwaa (1601)

[2] As explained by Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H) in Badaa’I ul-Fawaa’id.

[3] Collected in Sunan at-Tirmidhi and Sunan Ibn Majah and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in Ahkam al-Janaa’iz (no.2)

[4] Quoted by Ibn Rajjab in al-Takhweef minan-Naar.

[5] Collected in Sunan Abu Dawood (english trans. vol.3, p.1365, no.4883). See Saheehul-Jaami (4455) by Sheikh al-Albani.

[6] This was the opinion of most of the Salaf. Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyaad said that, when one is healthy and well, then fear should predominate, but when terminally ill then hpoe should predominate – so that one should strive to do good when well and not despair of Allah’s Mercy when terminally ill. [Al-Takhweef minan-Naar]

[7] Reported in Al-Takhweef minan-Naar of Ibn Rajab. Note that some scholars hold that the fear is better than love, and Allah knows best.

From ad-Dawah illaah Magazine

Foundations of True Faith : Love for Allah : Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahman ibn Hasan Alush-Shaykh

Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.1
By Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahman ibn Hasan Alush-Shaykh [1] , (d.1285H) – rahimahullâh
Source: Fathul-Majîd Sharh Kitâbit-Tawhîd (pp.470-473).

Love for Allâh

Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmân ibn Hasan said: [1]

“Allâh – the Most High – says:

Say: If you truly love Allâh, then follow me, and Allâh will love you.” [2]

This âyah is also known as Ayatul-Muhabbah (the âyah about love). Some of the Salaf have said, “The people claimed that they loved Allâh, so Allâh the Most High revealed the âyah about muhabbah (love), Say: If you truly love Allâh, then follow me, and Allâh will love you.” [3] So this âyah indicates the proofs and evidences for muhabbah and its fruits and benefits. So from the proofs of muhabbah and its clear signs is: to follow the Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam; and from its fruits and its benefits is: that Allâh will love you. So whosoever does not seek to follow the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam, then such a person will not attain the love of Allâh.

Characteristics of True Love

Allâh – the Most High – also says:

O you who believe! If any of you turns back from his religion (then wait) Allâh will create a people who will love Him and He will love them, who will be soft and gentle with the Believers and harsh with the disbelievers, who will fight in the path of Allâh, and will not be afraid of the blame from the blamers.” [4]

Here, Allâh has mentioned four characteristics of those who love Him:

Firstly and Secondly: they are gentle and soft towards the Believers. It is said that this means: to be merciful, compassionate and kind. ’Atâ‘ (d.114H) – rahimahullâh – said, “A Believer’s gentleness for another Believer is like that of a child towards his father, or a slave towards his beloved master; and against the disbeliever, it is like that of a lion towards its prey: Strong against the disbelievers, and merciful towards each other.

[5] ”

Thirdly, Jihâd in the Path of Allâh with the soul, the hand, the tongue, and with wealth and property. This is the characteristic by which the true muhabbah is ascertained.

Fourthly, they are not afraid of the blame and reproach of the blamers. This being the truest characteristic of muhabbah.

If the one claiming muhabbah, whilst loving his beloved, fears the blames and reproaches or others, then this is in reality, not considered to be true muhabbah. Allâh the Most High says:

Those whom they call upon, themselves desire the wasîlah (means of approach) to their Lord to which of them should be nearest. They hope for His mercy and fear His punishment.” [6]

Here, three levels which are linked to muhabbah have been mentioned, [i] Love, which is desiring to seek nearness to Him; [ii] at-Tawassul (seeking the means of approach) to Him, through righteous and correct actions; [iii] Hope and fear, a proof of desiring the means of approach to Him through righteous and correct actions is that such actions are done hoping in His mercy and also fearing His punishment.

And it is known with necessity that seeking nearness (to Allâh) can only be achieved when there is a desire and love for this, and the desire and love for seeking nearness (to Him) stems from love of Him. Indeed, true love for Him necessitates desiring to draw near to Him. However, the Jahmiyyah and the Mu’attilah, none of this has any value. Since, in their (false) view, Allâh does not draw near to anyone, nor does anyone draw near to Him, nor does He love anyone. So they deny life for the hearts, bliss for the souls, coolness for the eyes and highlights the delights of this world and the Hereafter. And due to this denial, their hearts became hardened, and between them and Allâh there came barriers and obstacles from knowing Him and loving Him. They do not know Him, nor do they seek to love Him, nor do they mention Him, except by negating and denying His Names and Attributes. They criticize and condemn those who make mention of the perfect and majestic Names and the Attributes of Allâh, accusing them of that which is more befitting to be attributed to themselves! And sufficient is it for one possessing knowledge and possessing a heart with life, that they view the sayings of such people with harshness, contempt and hatred; knowing that such people have disassociated themselves from the love of Allâh the Most High and from knowing and understanding His Uniqueness and Oneness (with respect to His Names, Attributes and Actions).

A Comprehensive Definition

Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullâh – says:
“There cannot be clearer recognition of mahabbah than this, and this recognition in itself increases love for Allâh. And people have discussed (at lengths) about mahabbah – its causes, its signs, its fruits, its supports and its rulings. The most comprehensive of what has been said about this is what Abû Bakr al-Katânî relates from al-Junayd (d.297H):

Abû Bakr al-Katânî said:
A discussion about mahabbah took place in Makkah, during pilgrimage season. The Shaykhs who were present spoke about this topic, and al-Junayd being the youngest of them. They said to him: What do you say, O ’Irâqî? So al-Junayd lowered his head and tears were gushing from his eyes, then he said:

“A servant should overcome his soul,
And be continuous in the remembrance of his Lord,
Establishing the rights of his Lord,
Focusing upon Him with his heart,
The light of fear setting ablaze his heart,
Whilst drinking from the vessel of pure love,
And certain hidden realities being unveiled for him.
So when he talks, it is due to Allâh,
When he speaks, it is from Allâh,
When he moves, it is by the Command of Allâh,
And when he is serene, then it is from Allâh,
He belongs to Allâh, is for Allâh and is with Allâh.

Upon hearing, the Shaykhs all started weeping, and they said: There is nothing left to add to that, may Allâh reward you O Crown of the Knowledgeable Ones.”

Developing Love for Allâh

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – says:

“The reasons which cause mahabbah of Allâh to develop, are ten:

Firstly: Reciting the Qur‘ân, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.

Secondly: Drawing closer to Allâh – the Most High – through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.

Thirdly: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allâh, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more constant the dhikr, the more mahabbah develops and intensifies.

Fourthly: Giving precedence to what Allâh loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.

Fifthly: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allâh.

Sixthly: Recognising and remembering the favours and bounties of Allâh – both the manifest and hidden.

Seventhly: To be humble and submissive before Allâh – and this is the greatest matter.

Eightly: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur‘ân, during that time in which Allâh descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allâh’s forgiveness and repenting to Him.

Ninthly: To sit in the gatherings of true and sincere lovers of Allâh, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefits others as well.

Tenthly: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic.

So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allâh and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.” [7]


References 

1. In Fathul-Majîd Sharh Kitâbit-Tawhîd (pp.470-473).
2. Sûrah Âli-’Imrân 3:31
3. This is the saying of al-Hasan al-Basrî, as is reported by Ibn Kathîr in his Tafsîr (1/366).
4. Sûrah Mâ‘idah 5:54
5. Sûrah al-Fath 48:29
6. Sûrah Mâ‘idah 5:54
7. Madârijus-Sâlikîn (3/17-18).

Abû Hurayrah – radiallâhu ’anhu – relates that the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said:

“Allâh – the Most High – has said: Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, I shall be at war with him. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the obligatory duties. And My servant continues to draw near to Me with the optional actions, so that I shall love him. So when I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to ask Me for shelter, I would surely grant him it.

”Related by al-Bukhârî (11/340-341)

 

Allah’s Love is Attained by Following the Messenger : Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Tafseer Ibn Kathir – Surah 3 : Ale Imraan :

(31. Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. Muhammad), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”) (32. Say: “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers.)

This honorable Ayah judges against those who claim to love Allah, yet do not follow the way of Muhammad . Such people are not true in their claim until they follow the Shari`ah (Law) of Muhammad and his religion in all his statements, actions and conditions. It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Whoever commits an act that does not conform with our matter (religion), then it will be rejected of him.)

This is why Allah said here,

(Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you…”) meaning, what you will earn is much more than what you sought in loving Him, for Allah will love you. Al-Hasan Al-Basri and several scholars among the Salaf commented, “Some people claimed that they love Allah. So Allah tested them with this Ayah;

(Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you…”). ”

Allah then said,

(“And forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”) meaning, by your following the Messenger , you will earn all this with the blessing of his mission. Allah next commands everyone,

(Say: “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away) by defying the Prophet ,

(then Allah does not like the disbelievers.) thus, testifying that defiance of the Messenger’s way constitutes Kufr. Indeed, Allah does not like whoever does this, even if he claims that he loves Allah and seeks a means of approach to Him, unless, and until, he follows the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger from Allah to the two creations: mankind and the Jinn. This is the Prophet who, if the previous Prophets and mighty Messengers were to have been alive during his time, they would have no choice but to follow, obey him, and to abide by his Law.

The Reasons Which Cause Mahabbah (Love) of Allâh – Ibn Al Qayyim (rahimahullaah)

Mahabbah (Love) of Allâh

Ibn Al Qayyimrahimahullâh – says:

“The reasons which cause mahabbah of Allâh to develop, are ten:

Firstly: Reciting the Qur‘ân, reflecting and understanding its meaning and its intent.

Secondly: Drawing closer to Allâh – the Most High – through optional deeds, after fulfilling the obligatory duties.

Thirdly: Being continuous in the dhikr (remembrance) of Allâh, with the tongue, the heart and the limbs – under all circumstances. The more constant the dhikr, the more mahabbah develops and intensifies.

Fourthly: Giving precedence to what Allâh loves over personal loves, when being overcome by desires.

Fifthly: Contemplating and deliberating over the Names and Attributes of Allâh.

Sixthly: Recognising and remembering the favours and bounties of Allâh – both the manifest and hidden.

Seventhly: To be humble and submissive before Allâh – and this is the greatest matter.

Eightly: To be in seclusion reciting the Qur‘ân, during that time in which Allâh descends to the lowest heaven (which is the last third of every night), finishing this recitation with seeking Allâh’s forgiveness and repenting to Him.

Ninthly: To sit in the gatherings of true and sincere lovers of Allâh, reaping the fruits of their speech, and not to speak except if there is benefit in it and that you know that such talk will increase you in goodness and that it will benefits others as well.

Tenthly: To stay clear of all those causes which distances the heart from Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic.

So these are the ten reasons which cause the person to develop true love for Allâh and to reach the rank of al-muhabbah, by which he reaches his Beloved.” [Madârijus-Sâlikîn (3/17-18).]

Source: Foundations of True Faith : Love for Allah – Al-Ibaanah Magazine , Issue No.1 – By Shaykh ’Abdur-Rahmân ibn Hasan Âlush-Shaykh , Fathul-Majîd Sharh Kitâbit-Tawhîd (pp.470-473).