Monday, June 16, 2014

Love in Islam

A man once came to the Prophet (puh) and asked him about the hereafter. The Prophet asked him, “And what have you prepared for that time?” The man replied, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and I love you.” The Prophet (puh) answered him, “You are with the ones you love.”
Dear brothers and sisters, the guidance of Islam is the guidance of love. The innate, natural and ancient religion that is Islam is the religion of love. The Prophet (puh) came to guide us to love and to make clear the love that is at the core of all religion. Our purpose as human beings is to consciously manifest Allah’s love in our lives. This is the most significant meaning of Khilafa and Ibada that can bring purpose to us and transform our lives. When we reflect upon the history of the Prophet (puh) and the spread of his message we will realize that Islam could not have taken root in the world without the love that filled the heart of the Prophet and was clearly manifest in his way of relating and interacting with people that brought out their own deep and profound love for him. Without this mutual and abiding love, none of us would be here today. Without this love Islam would not have been possible.
Today, it seems that we too often hear and read much that is harsh and heartless about Islam and not enough that is loving and beautiful. There seems to be too many messages of prejudice, literalism, legalism, violence, and oppression. The superficiality, ugliness and darkness that is too prevalent in today’s Islamic discourse is nothing like what the Prophet brought us.
This is what he had to say to his companions,
Verily, the best discourse is the Book of Allah. One is truly successful whose heart Allah has adorned with the love of His Book, and whom, after living in denial, Allah has caused to enter into submission to Him, and caused him to prefer His Book above any human discourse. The Book of Allah is the most beautiful and eloquent of discourses.
Love that which Allah loves! Love Allah with all your hearts! Grow not weary of hearing the Word of Allah. Do not stop remembering Him. Do not let your hearts grow hard toward Him. For verily, Allah has preferred His Book above all of Creation. Indeed, Allah has endowed it with guidance to the best of deeds, and made it an example for the elect of His servants, and filled it with righteous discourse, and has made clear in it what is lawful and unlawful for you.
So, serve Allah alone, and associate with Him no other. Be ever conscious of Him. Be truthful to Allah in what you utter from your mouths. Let the Spirit of Allah be the source of love between you.
Can you hear the love in his words? Can you hear his urgent call to our hearts? Can you sense the profound purpose in his teaching?
Love is so central to Islam that without it there can be no real faith.