Two aspects of having a close relationship with anyone is love and a well ingrained desire to do what makes them happy.
The more you know someone and the more you like about what you know about them are the two factors which decide how much love you will have for him or her. When talking about God we have previously discussed all of the compassion He shows us without us having done one thing for Him. God refers to Himself by the word Al-Wadud which we can try to translate as the deeply loving and affectionate.
And He is the Forgiving and the Loving (Al-Wadud). (Al-Buruj 85:14)
Secondly, He has sent prophets with revelation that we may properly know Him and how to earn His love. For example God says:
Say, If you really love God then follow me (Muhammad) and God will love you and forgive you your sins and God is Most Forgiving and Most Merciful. (Aal `Imran 3:31)
We can get an idea of how to earn the love of God in many other verses. Here are some of them:
…And (sincerely) do good deeds. Indeed God loves those who do good deeds. (Al-Baqarah 2:195)
…Surely God loves those who repent as well as those who purify themselves. (Al-Baqarah 2:222)
And of course, whoever fulfills his commitment and is conscious of God (and his responsibility to Him) then indeed, God loves the God-Conscious. (Aal `Imran 3:76)
…And God loves the patient and steadfast. (Aal `Imran 3:146)
And consult with your companions (in decision making). Then when you have made a decision rely upon God. Certainly, God loves those who rely upon Him. (Aal `Imran 3:159)
And if you judge, judge between them with justice. Indeed, God loves the just. (Al-Ma’idah 5:42)
God Almighty also teaches us who He doesn’t love so that we will know how to avoid His anger and punishment in this life and the Hereafter:
Fight for the sake of God those who fight you. And do not transgress. Indeed God does not like the transgressors. (Al-Baqarah 2:190)
…God does not like corruption. (Al-Baqarah 2:205)
God calls for the abolishment of usury and interest and gives increase (in reward) to charities. Indeed, God doesn’t like all sinful disbelievers. (Al-Baqarah 2:276)
Say, obey God and His Messenger and if they turn away then (know) God doesn’t like the ungrateful. (Aal `Imran 3:32)
God Almighty makes it the key aspect of His relationship between Him and us and He warns that those who would leave Islam are those who obviously don’t love Him. Their leaving His message will not affect him at all it is just them failing the test of life by giving into their ignorance and desires. Indeed God will bring another group whom He love and who love Him:
O you who believe, whoever among you turns away from Islam, then know that God will bring forth in place of them a people He will love and they will love Him. (Al-Ma’idah 5:54)
God told us in the Qur’an that our relationship with Him and our purpose/test in life is based upon knowing Him and living a life of dedicated service to Him:
And I did not create the Jinn and Mankind except that they would worship/serve Me. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)
The whole universe is in submission to the will of the Almighty. The trait that raises Mankind’s status above the rest is in the gift of intelligence.
He will have to use that intelligence to submit to God by his own choice and reject his own personal (animalistic desires). If he does submit, then he has truly put God before himself and realized the ultimate reality and purpose in life. That is to come to know God and serve Him. Then we will begin to shine the light of God upon the earth so that the rest of mankind may realize it.
In glorifying His remembrance and living a life of constant worship, we fulfill the purpose of life which will lead to a state of peace and tranquility.
The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “The Foundations of Islamic Faith”, Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait (2008).
Islam is built on rights and responsibilities, and it is one of the beautiful features of Islam.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
O you who believe! fulfill (all) obligations. (Al-Ma’idah 5:1)
So, what are our responsibilities as Muslims? And what right do we have?
Sheikh Tim Humble speaks about this in the video below…
Source: Digital Mimbar
By Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi
The `ibadah (worship) for which God has created you and which He has enjoined upon you is this: you must follow at every step in your lives the law of God and refuse to obey all laws which conflict with His law. Everything you do must accord with the guidance given by God. Only then will your entire lives turn into lives of worship.
Life of Worship
In such a life, everything is `ibadah: whether you sleep or are awake, whether you eat or drink, whether you work or rest, whether you are silent or talk, are all acts of worship. So much so that in going to your wives and kissing your children, too, you serve God.
All these actions which are usually considered secular and worldly become religious, provided that during their performance you observe the limits laid down by God and remain conscious every moment and at every step of what is approved by God (halal) and what is forbidden by Him (haram), what is a duty and what must be avoided, which actions please God and which displease Him.
For instance, easy opportunities to earn money in a forbidden way may occur during your life. If you resist this temptation and, in obedience to God, confine yourselves to earning money in approved ways only, then your work is itself worship.
And you deserve rewards. And the earnings you bring home for yourselves, your wives, your children and other have-nots will be blessed by Allah.
Indeed whatever you do and whatever time you spend in doing His will and in pleasing Him, you worship Him: when you remove from the road a stone or other obstacle which might hurt people; when you nurse an ill person or guide a blind man or help a person in distress; when you avoid lying, gossiping about people behind their backs, making sarcastic remarks and slandering; when you refrain from hurting people; when you talk truthfully and justly.
Real worship of God, therefore, is to follow the way laid down by God and lead lives according to His commandments from childhood to death. There can be no fixed time for this worship; it must be performed all the time. Nor does it have one particular form; in everything you say and do, you must serve God.
Since you cannot say: ‘I am a servant of God at such a time and 1 am not a servant of God at such a time’, you cannot say that such and such a time is earmarked for God’s service and the remaining time is not. If you truly honour and adore, love and fear God, all your actions will be motivated by these feelings and they will all constitute worship.
Why Worship Rituals?
Brothers! You may now ask: What then is the position of prescribed worship rituals like the prayer (salah), alms-giving (zakah), Fasting (sawm), pilgrimage (hajj) and so on?
These acts of worship, which Allah has enjoined upon us, in reality prepare us for that greater overall `ibadah that we have to perform throughout our lives. They are the means which turn our lives into lives of worship. Prayer reminds you five times a day that you are slaves of Allah and that Him alone you must serve.
Fasting prepares you, for an entire month once every year, for this very service. Alms-giving repeatedly brings home to you the truth that the money you have earned is a gift of God. Do not just spend it on physical pleasures or even solely on material needs; you must render what is due to your Master.
Pilgrimage engraves on your hearts such a love and awareness of the majesty of God that once they take root, they remain with you all your lives. If, by performing all these acts of worship, you grasp their true inner significance and your entire lives are transformed into an unceasing act of worship, then undoubtedly your Prayer is real prayer, your Fast is real fast, your Alms-giving is real charity and your Pilgrimage is real pilgrimage.
But if you do not, no purpose is possibly served by merely bowing, kneeling and prostrating yourselves (ruku` and sujud), by spending days in hunger and thirst, by going through the formalities of the Pilgrimage and by setting aside money for the Alms-giving. These worship rituals are like a human body: it is a living human being so long as it has a soul and moves about and does work; but if it is soulless, it is no more than a corpse.
A corpse has hands and feet, eyes and nose, but you bury it under the earth because it is devoid of soul. So are worship rites if they are devoid of meaning, if they do not generate love and fear of God, loyalty and obedience to Him.
We should try to find out how each act of ritual worship prepares us for a life spent totally in worship; what a great and wonderful difference each can make to our lives if we perform them in full understanding of their meaning and purpose.
The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s Let Us Be Muslims.
The love of God is the highest of all things. Human perfection resides in this, that the love of God should conquer a man’s heart and possess it wholly, and even if it does not possess it wholly it should predominate in the heart over the love of all other things.
The love of God should conquer a man’s heart and possess it wholly.
Nevertheless, rightly to understand the love of God is so difficult a matter that one sect of theologians have altogether denied that man can love a Being who is not of his own species, and they have defined the love of God as consisting merely in obedience. Those who hold such views do not know what real religion is.
All Muslims are agreed that the love of God is a duty. God says concerning the believers, “He loves them and they love Him,” (Al-Ma’idah 5:54) and the Prophet said, “Till a man loves God and His Prophet more than anything else he has not the right faith.”
When the angel of death came to take the soul of Abraham the latter said, “Have you ever seen a friend take his friend’s life?” God answered him, “Have you ever seen a friend unwilling to see his friend?” Then Abraham said, “O `Azrael! take my soul!”
The following prayer was taught by the Prophet to his companions, “O God, grant me to love You and to love those who love You, and whatsoever brings me nearer to Your love, and make Your love more precious to me than cold water to the thirsty.” Hassan Basri used to say, “He who knows God loves Him, and he who knows the world hates it.”
We come now to treat of love in its essential nature. Love may be defined as an inclination to that which is pleasant. This is apparent in the case of the five senses, each of which may be said to love that which gives it delight; thus the eye loves beautiful forms, the ear music, etc. This is a kind of love we share with the animals. But there is a sixth sense, or faculty of perception, implanted in the heart, which animals do not possess, through which we become aware of spiritual beauty and excellence.
Thus, a man who is only acquainted with sensuous delights cannot understand what the Prophet meant when he said he loved prayer more than perfumes or women, though the last two were also pleasant to him. But he whose inner eye is opened to behold the beauty and perfection of God will despise all outward sights in comparison, however fair they may be.
The former kind of man will say that beauty resides in red-and-white complexions, well-proportioned limbs, and so forth, but he will be blind to moral beauty, such as men refer to when they speak of such and such a man as possessing a “beautiful” character. But those possessed of inner perception find it quite possible to love the departed great, such as the Caliphs `Umar and Abu Bakr, on account of their noble qualities, though their bodies have long been mingled with the dust.
Such love is directed not towards any outward form, but towards the inner character. Even when we wish to excite love in a child towards any one, we do not describe their outward beauty of form, etc., but their inner excellences.
Causes of Such Love
When we apply this principle to the love of God we shall find that He alone is worthy of our love, and that, if any one loves Him not, it is because he does not know Him. Whatever we love in any one we love because it is a reflection of Him. It is for this reason that we love Muhammad (peace be upon him) because he is the Prophet and the Beloved of God, and the love of learned and pious men is really the love of God. We shall see this more clearly if we consider what are the causes which excite love.
The first cause is this, that man loves himself and the perfection of his own nature. This leads him directly to the love of God, for man’s very existence and man’s attributes are nothing else but the gift of God, but for whose grace and kindness man would never have emerged from behind the curtain of non-existence into the visible world.
Man’s preservation and eventual attainment to perfection are also, entirely dependent upon the grace of God. It would indeed be a wonder, if one should take refuge from the heat of the sun under the shadow of a tree and not be grateful to the tree, without which there would be no shadow at all. Precisely in the same way, were it not for God, man would have no existence nor attributes at all; wherefore, then, should he not love God, unless he be ignorant of Him? Doubtless fools cannot love Him, for the lover of Him springs directly from the knowledge of Him, and whence should a fool have knowledge?
The second cause of this love is that man loves his benefactor, and in truth his only Benefactor is God, for whatever kindness he receives from any fellow-creature is due to the immediate instigation of God. Whatever motive may have prompted the kindness he receives from another, whether the desire to gain religious merit or a good name, God is the Agent who set that motive to work.
The third cause is the love that is aroused by contemplation of the attributes of God, His power and wisdom, of which human power and wisdom are but the feeblest reflections. This love is akin to that we feel to the great and good men of the past, such as the Imam Malik and the Imam Shafi`i, though we never expect to receive any personal benefits from them, and, is therefore a more disinterested kind of love.
God said to the Prophet David, “That servant is dearest to Me who does not seek Me from fear of punishment or hope of reward, but to pay the debt due to My Deity.” And in the Psalms it is written, “Who is a greater transgressor than he who worships Me from fear of hell or hope of heaven? If I had created neither, should I not then have deserved to be worshiped?”
The fourth cause of this love is the affinity between man and God, which is referred to in the saying of the Prophet, “Verily God created man in His own likeness.” Furthermore, God has said, “My servant seeks proximity to Me, that I may make him My friend, and when I have made him My friend I become his ear, his eye, his tongue.” Again, God said to Moses, “I was sick, and you didn’t not visit Me?” Moses replied, “O God! You are Lord of heaven and earth: how could You be sick?”
God said, “A certain servant of Mine was sick; had you visited, him, you would have visited Me.”
This is a somewhat dangerous topic to dwell upon, as it is beyond the understanding of common people, and even intelligent men have stumbled in treating of it, and come to believe in incarnation and union with God.
Still, the affinity which does exist between man and God disposes of the objection of those theologians mentioned above, who maintain that man cannot love a Being who is not of his own species.
However great the distance between them, man can love God because of the affinity indicated in the saying, “God created man in His own likeness.” (Genesis 1:27)
The article is excerpted from The Alchemy of Happiness by Al-Ghazzali, translated from the Hindustani by Claud Field (1909). This edition was created and published by Global Grey ©GlobalGrey 2017.