Question: How should we love Allahu taālā?
The love of Allah is of two kinds:
1. The love which is fard (obligatory),
2. The love which is not fard.
The love which is fard is to observe His commandments, to avoid His prohibitions, and to be content with His decree. To commit what is prohibited (harām) and not to perform what is commanded (fard) betoken laxity in this kind of love.
The love which is not fard is to observe acts of worship which are nāfila (acts of worship that are supererogatory, optional, and non-compulsory in contrast to fards and wājibs) as well, which will result in avoiding what is dubious. Allahu taālā declares in a hadīth-i qudsī:
(Among the things [deeds] which get My born servant closer to Me, I like the fards best. By making acts of worship which are nāfila, My born servant comes closer to Me so much so that I like him very much. I will be the ears which hear, the eyes which see, the hands which hold things, and the feet which walk, of My born servant whom I like very much. I will give him whatever he wants. When he asks help from Me, I help him.) [Bukhārī]
Then the act of worship which Allahu taālā likes most is to perform fards. The nāfila acts of worship stated in the above-mentioned hadīth-i qudsī are the ones performed together with the fards.
Hadrat Umar bin Ali Fākihānī declares:
This hadīth-i qudsī indicates that a person who does the supererogatory acts of worship together with the fard ones will earn Allahu taālās love.
Hadrat Abū Sulaiman Hattābī declares:
This hadīth-i qudsī shows that just as the prayers of such people are accepted, so when such people pray for others, people for whom they pray get what they wish. (Mawāhib)
Question: What does marifatullah mean?
Marifatullah means knowing Allahu taālās Dhāt (Person, Essence) and Attributes. Knowing His Dhāt means realizing the fact that He is incomprehensible. Knowing His Attributes means realizing the fact that His Attributes are unlike the attributes of creatures. The purport of a verse is as follows:
(There is nothing like Him. He does not resemble anything.) [Sūrat-ush-Shūrā, 11]