Love for God in Islam – The Highest Attribute of Spiritual Attainment

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In Islam fear of God, obedience to God and sacrificing for God’s cause are stages (that should be maintained) on the spiritual path to something better; love for God.

There are many reasons people become Muslim. Among those reasons are feelings of the need to be a part of something better than what they have, believing that Islam holds more truth than other beliefs, or rejecting something once believed. Attributes that are obtained by the Muslim are fear of God, and love for God. The last being the highest reason to worship. Yet obtaining Love for God is a process. It is something to be achieved. One does not simply wake up loving God. But once love of God is had it is like no other type of love that has been experienced.

Those Who Love God

Love of God causes one to enjoy life more fully. It causes the Muslim to realize that God is the only non-changing reality. He is the Sure Reality and Truth (al-haqq).

“Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah): They love them as they should love Allah. But those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah.” (Quran 2:165)

Hence, faith is first mentioned as a necessary component of achieving Love for God. It is misplaced when feelings for created things, or beings, causes a diversion from focusing on the Conscious Reality that created all. The Conscious Reality that sustains all. Faith is the decision of the believer to worship that which is unseen and un-seeable in this life.

Developing Love for God

Developing love for God begins with the study of the divine. Science now tells us that there is a component in the brain that creates within humans the desire to believe in a higher power. When we intentionally work to develop that part of our being, new paths are created and opened within the person. The Muslim begins to feel the need to worship (Ibadda), pray (salat), and remember (Dhikr – a form of meditation) God. God begins to take precedence over the Muslim’s life. She/He begins to look on God with reverence and becomes a seeker on the path after God’s Greatness.

“Those that turn (to Allah) in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the cause of Allah,: that bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limit set by Allah;- (These do rejoice). So proclaim the glad tidings to the Believers”. (Quran 9:112)

Attributes of Those Who Love God

Love of God brings about the best in the individual whose actions benefit those around. Out of love for God the Muslim will do everything, from waking moment to sleep, courageously battling lower desires to please her/his lord. Sacrificing what she/he is in possession of for the sake of the Beloved.

“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.” (Quran 2:177)

Example of One Who Loves God

God rewards those who work to develop love for Him and who yearn for their meeting with Him. The Quran gives an example of one who strives and struggles through life while awaiting the final meeting with God. One who struggles to deal with the twist and turns that daily life presents. One who strives to keep his family intact while increasing their spiritual growth. In the Father of John (Yahya) the Baptist there is the following example of one pleading to his Lord out of Love in the midst of affliction and adversity.

So We listened to him: and We granted him Yahya: We cured his wife’s (Barrenness) for him. These (three) were ever quick in emulation in good works; they used to call on Us with love and reverence, and humble themselves before Us. (Quran 21:90)

When afflicted with pain, sorrow, and adversity, the Muslim turns to God with Love.

Khalil Green has obtained a Bachelors Degree with Departmental Honors in Religious Studies from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. His focus was, and remains, on Islamic and mystic traditions. He has held the title of Imam for the State of Kansas as its first Muslim Chaplain in a correctional institution.


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  1. Dear Khalil:
    Very nice article by you.
    i am taking the liberty of posting something which I recently wrote. It’s in a narrative form. Hope you like.

    Glimpses – The passage to Afterlife:
    “Dedicated to A Friend”…
    November 1st 2015. (Revised).

    What Is Afterlife:
    In the strife and brilliance of our transient life in this world – our main focus should be to spend a great amount of time and energy preparing for a more enduring existence which we know as the “Afterlife” (29:64). And to ensure success with that, we should carefully read and follow the meticulously planned “travel manual” (2:2), a gift by our Most Gracious & Most Merciful Friend, transmitted to us through our ever well-wishing benefactor. We should try to concentrate on the simple, usual stuff that we are required to do and see “which of us is best in deeds” (67:2). It was God’s wisdom to have created death before life (67:2) as a well-conceived plan, to ensure that we have a safe passage back – a passage that will lead the believing heart to true redemption, heightened consciousness, and a place of inconceivable joy (43:71). That is Afterlife.

    What Is Death:
    We know that there is not one single living thing in this universe that will not go through the process of death (29:57). And it can be the most beautiful journey that can lead us to our Greatest Friend. If God had not created death, then we would have had no chance of meeting Him again (29:5). What a misadventure that would have been. It would be like getting stuck on an Island forever, specially after having made a commitment of loyalty to our Creator in our initial stage of existence in a different dimension (7:172). But because of our worldly attachments, we are unable to recall that commitment and get so engrossed here, that we can not look past our own creation, ending up thinking “it is all about us”. The matter of fact is, our creation is but a smaller miracle in God’s cosmic scheme of things (40:57). It is actually about our Magnificent Friend’s infinite “Signs” (31:27). So, in order to move forward with transcending our consciousness to be in the presence of our Creator, we must go through the process of liberating our soul from our physical body in this world, leaving the latter behind. That is death.

    Reflecting On Our Life Here:
    Well, moving on with our own matters here, the trick is to understand what it is that can lead us to success in Afterlife. We should be mindful of these simple steps (2:3-2:195-3:17-3:31-6:151/2-63:9)…. of doing the right thing during the very brief period of our existence here. This period will actually feel like a “day or less” to us upon our resurrection (23:112/3). So, woven with the preceding tips, what we really need to immerse ourselves in completely, is to be kind to the entire creation (human beings, animals, earth, plants etc). Irrespective of different beliefs, class or creed people have – we should just reach out to the entire humanity with compassion, kindness, sympathy and love. This should be the guiding principle of one’s life here. The rest, our Creator can handle for us. All He wants from us is to, Believe, be Grateful, Reflect on why we are sent here (38:29), and fix our missteps by asking Him to forego them (2:286).

    Planning For Afterlife:
    Now about our journey to Afterlife, we already recognize that all of us must to return to our Maker (6:60), after orbiting through so many realms (spirit world – mother’s womb – current world – intercession – day of reckoning). And we know that nobody likes one-way-tickets and that everyone likes to come home from the journeys they take. So while we prepare to head back home, we should try to spend a worthy life in this world – full of virtue – shrouded in humanism, and try to do things which will please our Friend the most. Be it as it may, our Itinerary was already planned and written in a “preserved tablet” (22:70-43:4-54:49) much in advance. Though there is still some flexibility there for it to be altered (2:186-13:11-13:39). If we can be mindful of all that, then it would help us greatly in planning a successful transition to Afterlife.

    Preparing For Those Moments:
    Another big tip for this successful transition is to be fully prepared to recognize and welcome those visitors with sparkling auras, who will escort us to the next realm in our final hour (32:11). These fleeting moments can be the most decisive and defining moments in one’s life. If we are steadfast at that time and are found yearning to meet our Majestic Friend on the other side, then we have it made (89:27/30). We will be treated as the most preferred guests. But if we feel sorry that we are leaving this glamorous world with all things precious, then we will find that moment difficult to grasp and will feel forced to leave (6:93). And we know that friends are generally not happy to see us when we visit them half-heartedly. So let’s nurture and strengthen that bond with our Gracious Friend in this world, to ensure ease during those moments.

    What Should We Concern Ourselves With:
    It’s not the death that we should really worry about – It’s what we will leave behind, and what we send ahead (82:5) – is what we should concern ourselves most. One of the most noted Sufi mystics of 7th century, known for her quick-wit and eloquent oratory, approached the phenomenon of Afterlife by stating “O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty”. So, any which way we see it, Afterlife can be the most beautiful experience of togetherness and eternal bliss – devoid of any space-time – completely enshrouded with our Friend’s inexpressible “Light” (24:35). That is why we should anxiously try do “good” here that can be taken to the next world when we cross over. Our time here in this impermanent life provides us exactly with that – an opportunity to be able to do an endless number of things that can help us transcend our relationship with our Friend to the next level.

    The Judgment Day:
    Trumpet, Resurrection, Bridge – (39:68-75:1-19:71): These are the most inevitable & startling actualities that we will witness and go through, in order to enter the everlasting realm. And to reach there in good shape – near the “tree” (53:14/15), to our immortality – we need to make a concerted effort to choose wisely among the two paths (90:10) shown in the manual. The rest, we will have to trust and rely on our All Powerful Friend, who will set up the Scales for us (21:47). We should recognize the fact that this world is a place of “trial & work” and if we can be a little cautious in making some glaring errors here, then our smaller blunders will be erased from our book (4:31-29:7). Even if our weights do not tilt the Scales in our favour, we should hope that our ever Protecting Friend will come to our rescue (2:163-2:284-25:70). After all, if He can keep our universe in perfect balance by “unifying the opposites”, it would not be difficult for Him to bring a balance with our scales, despite the so many contradictions that we would have lived with in this world. That day, we will be able to perceive & comprehend things that we found hard to believe in this world, and perhaps even denied them – the Signs, the Tips, as the veil from our sight will be lifted (50:22). We would feel sorry why we did not recognize and respond to the unrequited love of our Friend, who kept calling us to Him in this world. Well, the good news is that we can fix all that right here, by following the guidelines in the manual and seeing things from our “third eye” to believe in the unseen, rather than being caught off-guard later.

    Some Encouraging Points To Ponder:
    It’s unfortunate that, in spite of so much compassion, forgiveness and hope promised to us by our Most Gracious Friend, some intolerant religious scholars and narrow-minded folks, with their rigid opinions and scathing criticism, make it sound all very difficult for people to make it there in one piece. They lay claim to the ownership of God, doing a great disservice both to our Creator and the humanity. Little do they realize that God doesn’t play favourites and He belongs to His entire living creation, and that everyone has their own unique and special ways of recognizing Him – just as He recognizes them all. Purity of the heart of His believer overwhelms Him, it pleases Him to no extent. We also know that His characteristic of “love” reigns supreme in the affairs of the universe – and if we can appreciate and try to emulate it – then “indeed we can all make it there – looking good”.

    Wishing everyone best of luck with their efforts for a one-on-one meeting with our Most Compassionate Friend in the Afterlife…

    Blessings on all.
    Murad Jamil
    Islamabad – Pakistan

  2. Everyone can claim that he/she loves God but is only the sincerity which matters not the claim itself which may be false especially when it comes to a test from God which we don’t ask for but pray for afiyah safety and success. The Prophet says near meaning one who wakes up in safety with good health and has a day’s provision as if he has been given the whole world. So we should be making dua zikr and shukr all the time for the uncountable blessings Allah has bestowed on us which we don’t even realise not to speak of acknowledging them which is very unfortunate. So this is why the Prophet advised the Companion Muaz (RA) not to forget to make this dua after every Salah “Alahmumma a’ainni ala zikirika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatika”. Oh Allah help me to remember you and make shukr (thanks) to you and worship you in the best manner. So we have to pray to Allah to give us the ability to do it as we are all in need of it and its Gods decision to give (taufiq) that ability to do anything and everything. No body can do anything without the help and taufiq of Allah and His Infinite Mercy which He has been showering on us every day. Therefore Alhamdu Lillahi as we are like dead without His help. The highest spiritual attainment I think is the Remembrance of God as He said in His Holy Book Wa la Zikirillahi Akbar.May Allah give us taufiq to make effort to attain the pleasure of Allah through sincere devotion,dua worship and daawah and all other activities that can connect us and bring us closer to our Creator Amen.

  3. I think Love word has meaning in human emotions only. How can a human

    love someone when a human being has very limited knowledge and

    comprehension of magnitude, nature and attributes of Allah, creator of

    all. I think loving God creator is copy cat from Chritianity and idol

    worshiper because only they have defined the creator, Chritians by

    accepting Roman idea of Isa being a god deity and Idol worshippers has

    defination of God in form of Idol

  4. Thank you for this article which I enjoyed reading. Love for Allah SWT transcends all

    other love, once you ponder and comprehend His immense love for all His

    creations. Glory be to Him for the love and mercy He has shown mankind, despite

    all the indifferent behaviour, cruelty to one’s own kind and other living things on

    earth, greed to the extent of destroying, pillaging and ransacking the planet that

    Allah SWT has stocked with all necessities in abundance. May Allah Lead us

    through the right path, Ameen.

  5. Well thoughtful and inciteful article that leads the Mu’minun on the

    path to the complete spiritual attainment; ultimately embracing Allah,

    subhana wa ta allah, with supreme love.