Who Loves Who?
BY HARUN YAHYA
Love is one of the greatest blessings Allah has bestowed on humanity. Allah has created human nature in such a way that a person will take pleasure from loving and being loved, from friendship and from intimacy. Being with people who live by the moral values of the Qur’an, enjoying love and friendship with them, brings a believer greater pleasure than many other blessings. Therefore, the Paradise that Allah has promised to His servants whom He loves and with whom He is well pleased is a place of extraordinary beauty in which true love, friendship and intimacy will be experienced with enormous joy for ever. The information Allah provides about the life of Paradise in the Qur’an, always refers to joy, friendship, love, conversation, pleasing words and peace. Everything that might prove an obstacle to love and friendship has been kept far removed from the people of Paradise. In one verse, for example, Allah has revealed that He will strip away any rancour in the hearts of the companions of Paradise (Surat al-A‘raf, 43). All vices that might represent an obstacle to love and friendship, such as jealousy, enmity, rivalry, anger, discord and touchiness, will be excluded from Paradise.
One of the main characteristics of Muslims, who have been given the glad tidings of Paradise, is that they love all Muslims who abide by Allah’s messengers, prophets and approval, in this world too. This bond of love and friendship between believers is revealed in these terms in the Qur’an:
Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe: those who perform prayer and give the alms, and bow. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 55)
The faithful feel a closeness to all devout believers who strive to earn Allah’s approval, and adopt them as their friends and guardians. They take great pleasure from being with them under all conditions. They are bound to all Muslims with great loyalty and devotion. This love is not based on any interest, or lineage or race. Money, rank, culture or material values are of no importance to them. They approve of the people of whom they expect Allah to approve; devout believers on the path of Allah are some of His most beloved servants. For that reason, believers also have great love and consideration for one another. Many verses of the Qur’an refer to the love, attachment, compassion and consideration that believers have for one another. Some of these verses read:
Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate. Remember Allah’s blessing to you when you were enemies and He joined your hearts together so that you became brothers by His blessing. You were on the very brink of a pit of the Fire and He rescued you from it. In this way Allah makes His Signs clear to you, so that hopefully you will be guided. (Surah al ‘Imran, 103)
The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and heed Allah so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-Hujurat, 10)
Allah loves those who fight in His Way in ranks like well-built walls. (Surat as-Saff, 4)
In another verse Allah reveals this love among believers thus:
Those who were already settled in the abode [Madina], and in faith, before they came, love those who have migrated to them and do not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr, 9)
Believers regard all the faithful as their brothers. They do not hesitate to make any sacrifice for the good of another believer or to ensure his or her comfort. This conception of love possessed by believers can only be acquired through faith and living by the moral values of the Qur’an. Allah reveals in one verse that He will bestow love on those who believe and do devout works:
As for those who believe and do right actions, the All-Merciful will bestow His love on them. (Surah Maryam, 96)
Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has expressed the importance of love and the superior nature of believers who live by true love in one of his hadiths:
"Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) said: 'Those who love one another for My glory, will have minbars of light, and the Prophets and martyrs will wish that they had the same." (Reported by Tirmidhi, 4/24, Bab ma ja'a fi al-hubb fi-Allah)
The true source of this love that believers have for one another is their deep love of Allah. Believers whose purpose in the life of this world is to attain the approval, mercy and Paradise of Allah spend their entire lives for Him. As is revealed in the verse “Say: ‘My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds,’” (Surat al-An‘am, 162) they aim at attaining His approval in their every deed, in all their behaviour. The love of believers, who devote all they have to attaining the good pleasure of Allah, is again for Allah alone. The love of Allah of a believer who knows Allah by all His names, who witnesses His might and greatness at every moment, who feels His mercy, love and compassion throughout his life, is incomparably greater than any other love. Believers’ love for other believers is similarly powerful and deep because it is based on the love of Allah, and they love in order to attain the approval of Allah. Another reason why this love is strong and permanent is because they know that the friendship with the faithful will last for ever in the Hereafter.
In the Qur’an Allah has given the moral values of the Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him) as an example of this sensitivity of believers regarding love:
[We said:] “Yahya, take hold of the Book with vigour.” We gave him judgement while still a child, and affection and purity from Us—he guarded against evil... (Surah Maryam, 12-13)
In the hadiths, our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has recalled that the love believers feel for one another is for the approval of Allah:
Whoever loves for Allah's sake, hates for Allah's sake, gives for Allah’s sake and withholds for God's sake has a perfect faith. (Abu Dawud)
There are three qualities whosoever has them will taste the sweetness of Iman: loving Allah and His Messenger above all else, loving someone solely for the sake of Allah, and hating to return to disbelief after Allah has rescued him from it, as much as he would hate being thrown into Hellfire.” (Sahih Bukhari).
Believers who have great love of Allah, fear Allah, and make sincere endeavours so that He might approve of them, are auspicious individuals who bring beauty to the world. Due to these superior moral values, they also love the things that Allah has created, feel affection and compassion for them, and wish to protect them and bring them goodness and beauty. Allah has given the glad tidings that in return for this pleasing love stemming from the faith in believers’ hearts and their fear of Allah, and for their sincere loyalty to Him, He will reward them with Paradise, the most beautiful sphere of love and faithfulness.
It is an important religious observance for the faithful to remind one another of the importance of loving Allah and believers. Every believer must strive to live by the love to be experienced in Paradise while still in this world, and they must bind themselves to Allah, our only friend and guardian, and to other believers, with love and devotion.
THE SPIRITUAL STRENGTH THAT COMES FROM BELIEVERS’ LOVE AND SOLIDARITY
What lies behind the attachment of people who do not believe in Allah and the Hereafter is generally the importance imputed to worldly values and expectations directed towards worldly interests. By coming together, these people in one sense make a mutual agreement of interests; the parties support one another and thus seek to achieve mutual advantages. The people in that alliance know that their togetherness is not based on trust or friendship, and that, even though this is not openly stated, the alliance is dependent on a number of conditions. When the element of either party that provides the other with these advantages is eliminated, the alliance also falls apart. Whether this leaves the other person in difficulties or needing support is of no interest to other. That is because the alliance formed has stemmed solely from a joining of forces and an expectation of benefits. For that reason, when these expectations are removed, it is perfectly natural that the alliance should also fall apart. As revealed by Allah in the verse “Their hostility towards each other is intense. You consider them united but their hearts are scattered wide. That is because they are people who do not use their intellect,” (Surat al-Hashr, 14) no matter how much those who do not believe may appear to enjoy unity and solidarity, fundamentally they cannot actually be united.
The only force on Earth that can establish true friendship and alliance among human beings is “faith.” With their friendships, believers who fear the Day of Judgement have laid the foundations of a sound alliance that begins in this world and that will continue for ever in the Hereafter. They love one another with no expectation of benefit or advantage, out of pure intentions and solely for Allah’s approval, and are one another’s friends for that approval. It is impossible for this bond, based on love of Allah and fear of Allah, to be loosed unless Allah so wills.
The faithful constitute a great spiritual force with the strength their love for one another for Allah’s approval gives them. As revealed in the words of one verse, “But those who were sure that they were going to meet Allah said, ‘How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission! Allah is with the steadfast,” (Surat al-Baqara, 249), even if they are few in number, with the faith in their hearts they acquire great enthusiasm and will with which to overcome terrible difficulties and troubles. They obtain the assistance and support of Allah because of the moral values they display. As Allah has revealed in the verse, “You shall be uppermost if you are believers,” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 139), they constitute such a spiritual force that nobody can turn them against one another, and that nobody can break.
Since they sincerely seek Allah’s approval, they never engage in any confusion, disagreement or dispute among themselves. That is because the word of Allah is one; the verses of the Qur’an are clear. Since all believers abide unconditionally by the Qur’an and always act with a view to gaining as much approval from Allah as possible, a great harmony and order ensues. All matters can be easily resolved within a harmonious order. A powerful solidarity is formed because they behave in the light of the moral values of the Qur’an and the interests of believers, even when they conflict with their own interests, and hold their brothers’ desires above their own.
Since believers intend to be one another’s eternal friends in the Hereafter they are bound to one another with a deep love, respect and loyalty. Therefore, they know no rivalry, disagreement or dispute. Due to their fear of and sincere faith in Allah, no matter what difficulties or troubles they may encounter they never fall into defeatism, moral relativism or lack of will. If there is a flaw in one of them, the others will support him with proper moral values and encourage him towards goodness. Since they constantly command one another to perform what is good and to avoid evil, their faith and strength constantly grow. This spiritual strength possessed by believers, whose objectives, endeavours and prayers are always the same, which stems from faith and love, has been described by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi with the following example: “For just as one of man’s hands cannot compete with the other, neither can one of his eyes criticize the other, nor his tongue object to his ear, nor his heart see his spirit’s faults. Each of his members completes the deficiencies of the others, veils their faults, assists their needs, and helps them out in their duties. Otherwise man’s life would be extinguished, his spirit flee, and his body be dispersed. Similarly, the components of machinery in a factory cannot compete with one another in rivalry, take precedence over each other, or dominate each other. They cannot spy out one another’s faults and criticize each other, destroy the other’s eagerness for work, and cause them to become idle. They rather assist each other’s motions with all their capacity in order to achieve the common goal; they march towards the aim of their creation in true solidarity and unity. Should even the slightest aggression or desire to dominate interfere, it would throw the factory into confusion, causing it to be without product or result. Then the factory’s owner would demolish the factory entirely.” (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, TheTwenty-First Flash)
This example given by Bediuzzaman is of great importance with regard to being able to comprehend the union and unity stemming from the love among believers. On account of the sincere love and devotion that stem from their faith, in the same way that the machinery in a factory comes together to constitute a great force, so they acquire an unshakable spiritual strength with their mutual love and devotion.
Your friend is only Allah and His Messenger and those who believe: those who perform prayer and give the alms, and bow. (Surat al Ma’ida, 55)
Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks like well-built walls. (Surat as-Saff, 4)
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