Love is one of the greatest blessings Allah has bestowed on humanity. Allah has created human nature in such a way that a person will take pleasure from loving and being loved, from friendship and from intimacy.
Being with people who live by the moral values of the Qur’an, enjoying love and friendship with them, brings a believer greater pleasure than many other blessings. Therefore, the Paradise that Allah has promised to His servants whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased is a place of extraordinary beauty in which true love, friendship and intimacy will be experienced with enormous joy for ever. The information Allah provides about the life of Paradise in the Qur’an, always refers to joy, friendship, love, conversation, pleasing words and peace. Everything that might prove an obstacle to love and friendship has been kept far removed from the people of Paradise. In one verse, for example, Allah has revealed that He will strip away any rancour in the hearts of the companions of Paradise (Surat al-A‘raf, 43). All vices that might represent an obstacle to love and friendship, such as jealousy, enmity, rivalry, anger, discord and touchiness, will be excluded from Paradise.
PS. Christian Arabs call God Allah. Allah is the word in Arabic translation of God, but there is no plural to this unique word (no Gods, but single God)”
One of the main characteristics of believers, who have been given the glad tidings of Paradise, is that they love all believers who abide by Allah’s messengers, prophets and approval, in this world too. This bond of love and friendship between believers is revealed in these terms in the Qur’an:
Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe: those who perform prayer and give the alms, and bow. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 55)
The faithful feel a closeness to all devout believers who strive to earn Allah’s approval, and adopt them as their friends and guardians. They take great pleasure from being with them under all conditions. They are bound to all Muslims with great loyalty and devotion. This love is not based on any interest, or lineage or race. Money, rank, culture or material values are of no importance to them. They approve of the people of whom they expect Allah to approve; devout believers on the path of Allah are some of His most beloved servants. For that reason, believers also have great love and consideration for one another. Many verses of the Qur’an refer to the love, attachment, compassion and consideration that believers have for one another. Some of these verses read:
Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate. Remember Allah’s blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it. In this way Allah makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be guided. (Surah al ‘Imran, 103)
The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and heed Allah so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-Hujurat, 10)
Allah loves those who fight in His Way in ranks like well-built walls. (Surat as-Saff, 4)
In another verse Allah reveals this love among believers thus:
Those who were already settled in the abode [Madina], and in faith, before they came, love those who have migrated to them and do not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr, 9)
Believers regard all the faithful as their brothers. They do not hesitate to make any sacrifice for the good of another believer or to ensure his or her comfort. This conception of love possessed by believers can only be acquired through faith and living by the moral values of the Qur’an. Allah reveals in one verse that He will bestow love on those who believe and do devout works:
As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love on them. (Surah Maryam, 96)
Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has expressed the importance of love and the superior nature of believers who live by true love in one of his hadiths:
“Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) said: ‘Those who love one another for My glory, will have minbars of light, and the Prophets and martyrs will wish that they had the same.” (Reported by Tirmidhi, 4/24, Bab ma ja’a fi al-hubb fi-Allah)
The true source of this love that believers have for one another is their deep love of Allah. Believers whose purpose in the life of this world is to attain the approval, mercy and Paradise of Allah spend their entire lives for Him. As is revealed in the verse “Say: ‘My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds,'” (Surat al-An‘am, 162) they aim at attaining His approval in their every deed, in all their behaviour. The love of believers, who devote all they have to attaining the good pleasure of Allah, is again for Allah alone. The love of Allah of a believer who knows Allah by all His names, who witnesses His might and greatness at every moment, who feels His mercy, love and compassion throughout his life, is incomparably greater than any other love. Believers’ love for other believers is similarly powerful and deep because it is based on the love of Allah, and they love in order to attain the approval of Allah. Another reason why this love is strong and permanent is because they know that the friendship with the faithful will last for ever in the Hereafter.
In the Qur’an Allah has given the moral values of the Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) as an example of this sensitivity of believers regarding love:
[We said:] “Yahya, take hold of the Book with vigour.” We gave him judgement while still a child, and affection and purity from Us-he guarded against evil… (Surah Maryam, 12-13)
In the hadiths, our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has recalled that the love believers feel for one another is for the approval of Allah:
Whoever loves for Allah’s sake, hates for Allah’s sake, gives for Allah’s sake and withholds for God’s sake has a perfect faith. (Abu Dawud)
There are three qualities whosoever has them will taste the sweetness of Iman: loving Allah and His Messenger above all else, loving someone solely for the sake of Allah, and hating to return to disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as much as he would hate being thrown into Hellfire.” (Sahih Bukhari).
Believers who have great love of Allah, fear Allah, and make sincere endeavours so that He might approve of them, are auspicious individuals who bring beauty to the world. Due to these superior moral values, they also love the things that Allah has created, feel affection and compassion for them, and wish to protect them and bring them goodness and beauty. Allah has given the glad tidings that in return for this pleasing love stemming from the faith in believers’ hearts and their fear of Allah, and for their sincere loyalty to Him, He will reward them with Paradise, the most beautiful sphere of love and faithfulness.
It is an important religious observance for the faithful to remind one another of the importance of loving Allah and believers. Every believer must strive to live by the love to be experienced in Paradise while still in this world, and they must bind themselves to Allah, our only friend and guardian, and to other believers, with love and devotion.