Love and Devotion to Allah

By Dr. Norlain Dindang Mababaya

 We have to love Allah, the Most High, and be devoted to Him Alone so that in return, He will love us. Only when we gain His love and mercy can we succeed in conveying the Message of Islam. We have to be devoted Muslims in order to seek Allah‘s help to bless us and be successful in our Da’wah. We have to earnestly pray to Him that the non-Muslims who listen to our Da’wah see the Truth. Verily, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala, meaning: the Most Glorious and the Exalted) is the One Who guides people to Islam. No matter how much we try to explain the Truth to non-Muslims, they will never accept it unless our Creator opens their hearts to it. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) tells us:

“Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam. Those whom He wills to leave straying, He makes their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies; thus does Allah lay abomination on those who refuse to believe.” (6:125)

For our guidance, we have to know how to earn Allah‘s love. In the Qur’an Allah Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) tells us two ways by which He bestows His love upon us:

“Say: ‘If you do love Allah follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.'” (3:31)

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love.” (19:96)

It is very clear that if we follow the Sunnah of
Prophet Muhammad
(sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam), Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will love us. Allah‘s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) invited people to believe (in Tawhîd and the six articles of Faith) and work deeds of righteousness, which he himself practiced with much devotion. We can show our love and devotion to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) by performing not only the obligatory deeds required upon us but also to do the supererogatory or voluntary deeds. This means to observe the obligatory five daily prayers, zakat, fasting in the month of Ramadan, and hajj in the House of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) in Makkah once in a lifetime for those who can afford it. In addition to these is to try as much as possible to perform the optional prayers, to give sadaqa (voluntary charity), to fast in other days and months, and to perform umrah. All these must be done in accordance with the Sunnah or Way of the Prophet (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The most important of these voluntary deeds is the qiyaam ul layl or tahajjud (after midnight prayer). Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) commanded His Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) to pray qiyaam ul layl, which the Prophet (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) regularly performed and which became part of his Sunnah. We read in the Qur’an :

O you (Muhammad) folded in garments! Stand (to prayer) by night, but not whole night, half of it, or a little less, or a little more; and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tone. Soon shall We send down to you a weighty Word. Truly the rising by night is a time when impression is more keen and speech more certain. True, there is for you by day prolonged occupation with ordinary duties: but keep in remembrance the name of your Rabb, and devote yourself to Him whole-heartily. He is the Rabb of the East and the West: there is no god but He. Take Him therefore for your Disposer of affairs. (73:1-9)

“Verily, your Rabb does know that you (O Muhammad) stand forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night or half the night, or a third of the night, and so does a party of those with you. And Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you are unable to pray the whole night. So He has turned to you (in mercy). Read therefore as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you). He knows that there will be some among you sick, others traveling through the land, seeking of Allah’s Bounty, and others fighting in Allah’s Cause. So, recite as much of the Qur’an as may be easy (for you) and perform regular prayer and give Zakat; and loan to Allah a beautiful loan. And whatever good you send forth for yourselves, you shall find it with Allah. Yes, better and greater in reward, and seek forgiveness of Allah, for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (73:20)

By making qiyaam ul layl as part of our practice, we become pious, a characteristic that will make us better Muslims. We must strive to be pious. We must know that Allah‘s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) encourages us to have such excellent character as narrated in the following Hâdîth:

Abu Dharr (radhiallâhu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said to him, “You are not better than people with red or black skins unless you excel them in piety.” (Tirmidhi 5198 and Ahmad)

Once we become pious, we earn Allah‘s love. Allah the Almighty will bless us with the best personality ¾ one that is loved by all the angels, and all the people, including non-Muslims. We read the following Ahâdîth Qudsi:

Abu Hurairah (radhiallâhu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah (Mighty and sublime be He) said: ‘Whoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. 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 refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about (seizing) the soul of my faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.'” (Bukhari 8/509)

Abu Hurairah (radhiallâhu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” (Bukhari 4/431 and 8/66, Muslimand Tirmidhi)

We should include in our supplications to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) during qiyaam ul layl, that He makes us effective Du’ât, so that those non-Muslims who listen to us will easily see the Light of Islam. When we do this, by Allah‘s Will, we will succeed as Du’ât because Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) listens and grants supplications from His devoted worshippers especially during qiyaam ul layl. Allah‘s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

Abu Hurairah (radhiallâhu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Our Rabb, the Blessed, the Superior, comes down every night to the nearest heaven to us during the last third of the night. Then, He says: ‘(Is there anyone) who invokes Me, (demands anything from Me) so that I respond to his invocation? (Is there anyone) who asks Me for something so that I may grant him his request? (Is there anyone) who seeks My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?'” (Bukhari 2/246)

It is a must that we should invite people to love Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for the favors that He has given to us. Verily, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) is our Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher. Everything comes from Him. He Alone deserves our love:

“Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah as equal (with Allah); they love them as they should love Allah. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see behold they would see the penalty that to Allah belongs all power and Allah will strongly enforce the penalty.” (2:165)

We should invite non-Muslims to love Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) so that the Almighty will love them in return. They can show their love to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) by being rational and sincere in their search for Truth. If they do so, they will find that verily, Islam is the True Religion from Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). Insha Allah, He will open their hearts to Islam as He is the One Who gives Islam to those whom He loves. Allah‘s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) says in the following Hâdîth:

‘Abdullah Bin Mas’ud (radhiallâhu anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallallâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah Most High has allotted you your characters just as He has allotted you your provisions. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He gives religion only to those whom He loves, so he who is given religion by Allah has been loved by Him. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, a man is not a Muslim till his heart and tongue are submissive, and he is not a believer till his neighbor is safe from injurious behavior on his part.” (Tirmidhi 4994)

 
 

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