Who Do You Love? (And Have You Told Them?)

Who do you love?

Who does the heart within your chest pull you in the direction of? And by this I do not mean a “love for their good looks” or any other type of worldly love; this love is way beneath the type of love I am talking about here.

Who does your heart long to be around because when you are in their company they remind you of who you truly want to be in life and who delights you with encouraging words about what you are doing well right now?

Who do you have around you that you long to be around because you enjoy their good character? Or, you enjoy the way they treat you and how they make you feel?

Maybe they have recently reminded you of something that you are good at, or of something you care about.

Who is it that, were you to be in distress, you would want their company? Who is it that, were you to say something that hurt them it would also cause you deep pain and remorse?

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam:  Who do you love?

And have you told them?

Saying “I love you”

Saying “I love you for the sake of Allah” is no small thing. And when we hear it our hearts feel touched; often times growing in love and appreciation for the person who said it to us.

And, yet it is not always easy to express our love to people. In fact, sometimes we may even express things that hurt the feelings of those we love. Just because we love someone does not mean that we will always say the right thing, or that “they will understand.” When we love someone, we need to love them the way that they want to be loved and cared for.

We all desire to be loved and cared for in particular ways. These little ways are like signals that we are, indeed, loved.

Whether that means receiving a little text message every now and again from someone checking in on us, perhaps from a parent, spouse, or friend; or for someone to call us out of the blue for no other reason but they have missed us, or thought about us and wanted to say “salams;” or perhaps upon walking into our kitchen we see that our favourite breakfast, lunch or dinner is being prepared by someone who just wanted to put a smile on our face, alhumdulillah.

Did Our Prophet Teach Us to Love?

Now, some of you may be thinking: “When was the last time that I heard an imam talk about love? Or, is love really part of what our Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us?”

Yes, absolutely YES!

Our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) did not shy away from telling his companions that he loved them for the sake of Allah, or his wives that he loved them whether in private or public.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was once publicly asked who he loved most, to which he replied without hesitation: “Aisha”. And then he was immediately asked who he loved most of men, to which he replied: “her father,” Abu Bakr (may Allah be well-pleased with them both).

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) has also informed us that the believers most loved by him, and those who will be seated closest to him on Yawm al-Qiyamah, are those with the best manners and conduct, who are on good terms with others, and who are humble. (Tirmidhi)

May Allah make us among them. Ameen.

And, our Lord, Allah, subhanahu wa ta ‘Ala, Himself, does not shy away from mentioning who He loves amongst humanity, such as:

  • the steadfast (3:146)
  • those who place their trust in Him (3:159)
  • those who keep their pledges and are mindful of Him (3:76)
  • those seek to purify themselves (9:108).
  • those who turn to Him and keep themselves clean (2:222)
  • and those who do good (2:195)

And so my dear and noble brothers and sisters in Islam: Who do you love?

And, have you told them?

Telling Others You Love Them

Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us that: “If any of you loves his brother then he should inform him.” (Tirmidhi)

What a beautiful and yet simply way to spread harmony and love amongst family, friends, and within our community: simply tell those you love that you love them.

When was the last time that you did this?

When was the last time you told your mother, your father, your spouse, your brother or sister, that family member who always treats you so well, and that friend that feels like a family member that you love them?

The great servant of the Messenger (peace by upon him), Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be well-pleased with him), once related:

“I was sitting with the Prophet when a man came passing by, and he said, ‘Oh Prophet of Allah, indeed I love this man (for the sake of Allah)’; so he (the Prophet) said, ‘Have you informed him of this?’; the man said, ‘No.’; so the Prophet said, ‘Get up and go tell him.’; so he got up and went to him and said, ‘Oh so-and-so, by Allah, indeed I love you for the sake of Allah’; [to which the man replied], ‘May the One for whom you have loved me, love you (in return).” (Ahmad & Abu Dawud)

And so, my brothers and sisters in Islam: Who do you love?

And, have you told them?

 

Finding Shade and the Sweetness of Faith

Among the signs that someone has found the sweetness of faith, as our Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us, is that “someone loves a person for no other reason than for the sake of Allah.” (Bukhari)

And so, my brothers and sisters in Islam: Who do you love?

And, have you told them?

Will you and I be ready to answer Allah by saying “We have loved each other for Your sake O Allah” when on the Day of Judgment Allah asks: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.”? (Muslim)

And hasn’t our Prophet (peace be upon him) sworn by Allah, stating, “By Him in Whose Hand is my very soul!” that none of us will enter Jannah until we believe, and that we shall not believe until we love one another. (Bukhari & Muslim)

And so, my brothers and sisters in Islam: Who do you love?

And, have you told them?

Allah’s Love

Our Beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) has informed us that Allah ta’Ala has said that “My love is obligatory…”

Whose love? Allah’s Love.

He, Allah ta’Ala, said: “My love is obligatory for those who love each other for My sake, who sit together for My sake, who visit each other for My sake, and who spend on each other for My sake.” (Ahmad)

And the Beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) has informed us of a unique story which provides further example to this above truth:

He (peace be upon him) informed us that one day a “man set out to visit a brother (in faith) in another town and Allah sent an angel [to meet him along his way]. When the man met the angel, [who appeared to him as a man, the angel asked him], ‘Where do you intend to go?’ He said, ‘I intend to visit my brother in this town.’ [To which the angel asked, ‘Do you have any business with him?’] He said, ‘No, I have no desire except to visit him because I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious.’ Thereupon the angel [revealed to the man that he was an angel and] said, ‘I am a messenger to you from Allah (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love [this man for His sake].” (Muslim)

And so, my brothers and sisters in Islam: Who do you love?

And, have you told them?

Consider closely this above example: Allah sent a messenger, an angel, to inform this man that He, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’Ala, loved him. May we, too, share notice of our love to those around us for His sake. Ameen.

Tell Them

And so my noble, caring and loving brothers and sisters in Islam, let us increase in our love for each other, for the Messenger of Mercy (peace be upon him) has said that none of us will enter Jannah until we love one another.

And, our Beloved Messenger (peace be upon him) has also advised us to inform those who we love that we love them for the sake of Allah. For this reason, Allah may love us for He, subhanahu wa ta’Ala, has promised His love for those who love each other for His sake.

So, whether that be a phone call we need to make, an email we need to write, or a person we need to visit, let us follow our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) by spreading news of our love to those around us so that we may increase in our love and gain thereby the Love of Allah.

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