Question: Why is it necessary to love Allah?
There are five reasons for feeling love for Allah:
1. All people want to mature and to be in existence without ever ceasing to exist. Those who know their Rabb and themselves realize that their continuing to exist is beyond their power and that they are in existence only by Allahu ta’âlâ’s will. All beings exist by Allahu ta’âlâ’s power. No one can create himself or herself and stay in existence.
Therefore, it is impossible for people not to love the Rabb, who has created them, has given various blessings, and keeps them in existence. If they do not love Him, it results from their ignorance and their not knowing how they were created, for love is the fruit of ma’rifa (knowing, understanding).
One feels love for something after knowing and understanding it. That is, if there is no ma’rifa, there is no love, either. Love is in accordance with ma’rifa; the degree of love is in direct proportion to the degree of ma’rifa.
Those who know their Rabb love Him because it is out of the question for people who love themselves not to love the One who has created them and who gives various blessings.
A person who has been out in the searing heat of the sun loves shade, which inevitably necessitates loving the trees giving shade. The relation between Allah and all that is in the universe is like the relation between a tree and shade. Just as the existence of shade is dependent upon the existence of a tree, so the existence of all beings, which are Allah’s creations, is dependent upon the existence of Him.
2. People love those who do them kindnesses. For instance, if a rich man gave all his wealth to you and said, “All of it belongs to you. Spend it however you like,” it would be wrong to believe this favor to be from this man. Who is the Creator of the rich person and his wealth, the One who has made him love you, and the One who has given the rich man the thought that it will be to his advantage to donate his property to you?
If the rich man did not love you and knew that he would earn nothing in this world and the next by giving his property to you, would he then donate an iota of property to you?
Then Allah creates these causes. This means to say that the One who has done you this favor in reality is the One who has made the rich man instrumental in this kindness. The rich man aims to derive benefit from his donation on the spot or in the long term. Your being burdened with a feeling of indebtedness toward him, his being praised by you, his making a name for generosity, his attaching people’s hearts to himself, and his being loved and respected by everyone are his benefits in the first place. In addition, planning to earn much thawâb in the Hereafter, he makes an investment for the future in this way. Otherwise, nobody gives his or her property for nothing. It is given for some purpose, but the purpose is not you. You are instrumental in his achieving his goal.
This means to say that those who do a kindness to you have in reality done a kindness to themselves. Furthermore, they hope to gain more in return for what they have donated because they know that Allah will reward them with a tenfold recompense at the very least or with a seven hundredfold recompense or with recompense even more than this. If he did not have such a hope, would he give you all his property?
3. People love benevolent ones, even if they do not benefit from benevolent people. They detest evil ones, even if evil people do not cause them any harm. It is Allahu ta’âlâ alone who has created all kinds of beings and has bestowed various blessings upon them. The One who does everybody favors is loved, too.
4. People love what is beautiful because of its beauty, even if it is of no benefit to them. There are other sorts of beauty which cannot be perceived through the five senses but can be seen through the eye of the heart. So is the case with good morals. We love Hadrat Imâm-i A’zam, for example, by reason of his beautiful attributes.
As it is seen, what is beautiful is loved. It is Allahu ta’âlâ alone who is the possessor of absolute beauty, who does not have a partner, match, or like, and who does whatever He wills.
5. People incline towards the ones with whom they share common attributes and interests. Children make friend with children; adults with adults. Scholars love scholars more than they love artists. Those who have ‘ilm (knowledge), on the other hand, love Allah, the Omniscient. People of insight states that the One who is worthy of true love is only Allah.