Let’s talk about love✨
I love you. What does that mean? I love you because you are my family, I love you because you are beautiful, or I love you because you help me out? How many people actually love simply for the sake of Allah?
Have you seen a passionate gardener, who not only looks after the plants, but also talks and sings to them? He is always concerned about the plants’ health and yield. He ties the weak stems to a metal rod in order to make them upright and strong. He uses herbicides to diminish undesirable plants which harms his garden. Whenever he sees the feeble plant becoming productive, he is filled with happiness, gives thanks to Allah for it and shares the fruit with his family and friends.
Well, you are the gardener of your own body and soul; the knowledge you feed your body is the water and fertilizers, which are essential for the soul, fasting and consciousness of Allah are the herbicides for eradicating desires, the metal rod is the food and drink for strengthening the healthy body. When the weak plant is well taken care of, the fruits would be loving yourself and others for the sake of Allah
To love others, we must first love ourselves; and the more we love others for the sake of Allah, our love for ourselves for the sake of Allah also increases. Thus, it’s important to know if we love ourselves enough or not.
Prof. Hendricks, Ph.D., a leader in the fields of relationship transformation and body-mind therapies, says that if throughout the day, every day, we find ourselves silently criticizing others, then it’s the biggest clue that we are not loving ourselves enough
Early Muslims were cognizant of this fact and Hamdun al-Qassar had said,
If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves [Shu’ab al-Iman]
As always, we’re going to take a look at the science behind it;
Our brain has a default position when we are not thinking about a specific task or concentrating on something in the present moment. We all have mind wandering…this we probably all know…BUT did you know that our brain’s default, whilst mind wandering, is to critique ourselves (or others) to pick & focus on what is WRONG with us. We default to think about the negative aspects of either;
- What we could have done better in the past,
- The things we don’t like about ourselves in the present
- Or what could go wrong in a situation in the future.
The truth is, we are not our thoughts or our feelings; we are the space in which our thoughts and feelings occur. If we make our ‘space’ (our mind, our body, our spirit) a compassionate one, we can experience self-love. Again, as selfish as it may seem, in order for you to love others unconditionally, you have to love yourself first.
LOVING OTHERS FOR HIS SAKE;
Romantic love is notoriously fleeting in modern society; it has even been reduced to a right or left swipe on a smartphone app.
We love to suit ourselves. We love only if the love being returned is good enough for us. If it isn’t, we move on. Love is rarely unconditional. The best example we can give in this world is the love a parent has for their child. No matter what they do for us, they don’t expect anything in return except our happiness.
Whether we admit it or not, we expect something back. If we do a favor for someone, we expect a favor back. At the very least, we expect thanks. But this should not be the nature of love between Muslims.
We can earn the love of Allah if we can love each other for His sake. Could it really be that easy?
Loving for the sake of Allah is a selfless love. It’s doing something for someone with no wish for anything in return. Better still, it’s doing something for someone we don’t even particularly like but doing it solely for the pleasure of Allah.
Not for acknowledgment, not for applause, purely for the sake of earning the reward of Allah.
Again let’s look at the science behind it;
“Of the entire gamut of possible human emotions, when one chooses to be in a state of expectation-free love in any given situation, it is said it has the power to change one’s chemistry, physiology, perception, why altogether the DNA! This renewed positive energy is bound to have its ripple effect, impacting your environment and people around you for better.”
When you love without any expectations, neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin flood our brains in areas associated with pleasure and rewards, producing physical and psychological responses like less perceived pain
If that isn’t enough for you, Loving for the sake of Allah has so many rewards like;
- Being among those who will enjoy the shade of Allah
- Getting envied by the Prophets & Martyrs Subhanallah
The Messenger of Allah S.A.W Said; Allah, the Exalted, has said: For those who love one another for the sake of My Glory, there will be seats of light (on the Day of Resurrection), and they will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs. (At-Tirmidhi)
- Having a High Rank with Him
TIPS TO LOVE FOR HIS SAKE;
Make excuses for people
Promote the greeting of peace
Pray for others in their absence
Let them know you love them
Love is not fair. Fairness implies quid-pro-quo. Love is not reciprocal. When you love someone, you give without expecting anything in return. Love cannot be betrayed. Love has no expectations, so betrayal is not possible. Betrayal is only possible when an exchange is expected. Love is not blind. It is acute awareness and acceptance of oneself and the other; it is communication and exchange of energy. Love is honest, not compromising or restricting. Love, for the sake of Allah.
Oh Allah Al-Wadood, We ask you for Your love and the love of those who love You and the love of every action that will bring me closer to Your love.