It is our earnest desire as Muslims to gain Allah’s love. It is only necessary therefore that we become acquainted with characteristics that merit His love in order to nurture them within ourselves and allow them to bloom in order to be amongst those whom He loves. Let’s jump right in:
- Tawbah (Repentance): ❝For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly (in repentance)❞ (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:222)
Meaning that Allah loves the repentant slave, who constantly turns back to Him, knowing He is the All-Forgiving, Most-Forgiving, the Acceptor of Repententance, The Pardoner. No matter how often one repeats a sin, and no matter how grave the sin is, one should constantly turn back to Allah.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “If somebody commits a sin and then says, ‘O my Lord! I have sinned, please forgive me!’ and his Lord says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).’ Then he remains without committing any sin for a while and then again commits another sin and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin). Then he remains without Committing any another sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for it I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes.” (Bukhari)
One should follow up a bad deed with istighfaar and good deeds so that it is wiped out. One should not tire of repenting to Allah,
‘Ali said: “The best of you is every tempted one who repents (i.e., every time he is tempted by this world, he repents).” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “What if he sins again?” He said, “He should ask Allah for forgiveness and repent.” It was said, “For how long?” He said, “Until the Shaytaan is defeated.” (Narrated by Ibn Abi Dunya)
It was narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said “Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.’” (Ibn Majah, Hasan)
- Taharah (Purification): ❝Allah loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.❞ (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:222)
Allah loves when a slave purifies himself from impurities, both major and minor. Being pure also includes being pure from shirk and sinfulness etc…thus purification from sin by means of tawbah is a double shot.
- Taqwa (God-consciousness): ❝For Allah loves the righteous (the pious).❞ (Surah At-Tawbah 09:04)
Often translated as god-consciousness or piety, Taqwa is to protect oneself from the fire by performing what has been commanded and abstaining from what has been prohibited.
- Ihsan (Goodness & Perfection): ❝For Allah loves those who do good❞ (Surah Aal-Imran 3:134) The complete verse reads, “Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;” Thus there four actions mentioned in this verse by which one can do good;
- Spending in the cause of Allah in times of ease
- Spending in the cause of Allah in times of difficulty
- Restraining anger: There are great rewards for restraining one’s anger when in a fit of rage,
Sufyan ibn ‘Abd-Allah al-Thaqafi: I said, O Messenger of Allah, tell me something that will be of benefit to me, and make it brief and concise. He said, “Do not get angry, and Paradise will be yours.” (At-Tabarani)
- Pardoning people: by overlooking their mistakes and faults. This is in connection to the previous point; restraining anger towards another person is the first level, and even greater than that is to pardon them, to forgive them.
These four actions involve doing good towards others, and it is reported that the Prophet peace be upon him said, “The best of people are those who are most beneficial to people.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, Hasan by Sh Al-Albaani)
We should strive to be good to others so that we can attain the love of Allah. Nevertheless, doing good in Islam is not limited to these four, and there are many ways by which one can do good.
- Tawakkul (Trust in Allah): ❝For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).❞ (Surah Aal- Imran 3:159)
Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with the required reliance, then He would provide for you just as a bird is provided for, it goes out in the morning empty, and returns full.” (Tirmidhi, Hasan)
We should take up the means necessary and not be lazy expecting things to just happen. Allah created both causes and results, thus we should do what we can of means, and leave the rest to Allah.
Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.” (Tirnidhi, Hasan)
- Adl (Justice): ❝For Allah loves those who judge in equity.❞ (Surah Al-Ma’idah 05:42) ❝For Allah loves those who are fair (and just).❞ (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:09) The principle of justice in Islam applies to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, status etc…
- Sabr (Patience): ❝And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast (As-Sabirin (the patient)).❞ (Surah Aal-Imran 03:146)
There are three types of patience:
- Patience in adversity: that one does not complain or feel despair at his situation. Rather he submits to the will of Allah and bears the difficulties and tests with patience. An example of this is the Prophet Ayyub peace be upon him, who was granted health, wealth and offspring in abundance, then lost it all. Similarly, Ya’qub, who lost his two most beloved sons.
- Patience in doing what Allah has commanded: patience in establishing the prayer, patience in fasting Ramadaan, especially when the days are long, patience in giving zakat, and performing Hajj
- Patience in abstaining from all that Allah has prohibited; be it usury, gambling, flesh of swine, alcohol etc…
May Allah aid us to attain His love.