Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “When Allah loves a slave, calls out Jibril and says: ‘I love so-and-so; so love him.’ Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so- and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him”. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Apart from our earnest desire for paradise, as Muslims, we worship Allah out of fear, love, and hope. We fear His punishment, and wrath, we hope for His Mercy and forgiveness and we love Him for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. Loving Him is part of the perfection of our faith, we love what He loves and hates what He hates. We believe that Allah loves His servants.
We should seek out methods to attain Allah’s love, because His love guarantees success, and abundant rewards.
Here are some qualities favored by Allah.
1. Repentance: “Indeed Allah loves those who are constantly repentant.” (Holy Qur’an 2:222)
Allah loves the repentant slave, who constantly turns back to Him, knowing He is the All-Forgiving, Most-Forgiving, the Acceptor of Repentance, the Pardoner. No matter how often one repeats a sin, and no matter how grave the sin is, one should constantly turn back to Allah.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying, “If somebody commits a sin and then says, ‘O my Lord! I have sinned, please forgive me!’ and his Lord says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).’ Then he remains without committing any sin for a while and then again commits another sin and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin).’ Then he remains without Committing any another sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes.’” (Bukhari)
One should follow up a bad deed with seeking forgiveness and doing good deeds, so that the bad deed is wiped out. One should not tire of repenting to Allah.
It was narrated by Anas that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.” (Ibn Majah)
2. Purification: “Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (Holy Qur’an 2:222)
Allah loves when a slave purifies himself from impurities, both major and minor. Being pure also includes being pure from shirk and sinfulness etc…
3. God-consciousness: “Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].” (Holy Qur’an 09:04)
Often translated as God-consciousness or piety, taqwa is to protect oneself from the Hellfire by performing what has been commanded by Allah and abstaining from what has been prohibited.
4. Goodness and perfecting our good deeds: “And Allah loves the doers of good.” (Holy Qur’an 3:134) The complete verse reads, “Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good.”
There are four actions mentioned in this verse by which one can do good:
a) Spending in the cause of Allah in times of ease
b) Spending in the cause of Allah in times of difficulty
c) Restraining anger: Sufyan ibn ‘Abd-Allah al-Thaqafi said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something that will be of benefit to me, and make it brief and concise.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “Do not get angry, and Paradise will be yours.” (At-Tabarani)
d) Pardoning people, by overlooking their mistakes and faults. This is also related to restraining anger towards another person. And even better than that is to pardon people and to forgive them.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best of people are those who are most beneficial to people.” (Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, Hasan by Shaykh Al-Albaani)
We should strive to be good to others so that we can attain the love of Allah. Doing good in Islam is not limited to these four points, as there are many, many ways to do good.
5. Trust in Allah: “Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]”. (Holy Qur’an 3:159)
Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with the required reliance, then He would provide for you just as a bird is provided for, it goes out in the morning empty, and returns full.” (At-Tirmidhi)
We should take up the means necessary and not be lazy, expecting things to just happen. Allah created both causes and results, thus we should do what we can of the means, and leave the rest to Allah.
Anas ibn Malik reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.” (Tirnidhi)
6. Justice: “Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Holy Qur’an 05:42) The principle of justice in Islam applies to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, or status.
7. Patience: “And Allah loves the steadfast.” (Holy Qur’an 03:146)
There are three types of patience:
a) Patience in adversity: that one does not complain or feel despair at his situation. Rather he submits to the will of Allah and bears the difficulties and tests with patience. An example of this is the Prophet Ayyub peace be upon him, who was granted health, wealth, and offspring in abundance, then lost it all. Similarly, Ya’qub, who lost his two most beloved sons.
b) Patience in doing what Allah has commanded: patience in establishing the prayer, patience in fasting Ramadan, especially when the days are long, patience in giving zakat, and patience in performing Hajj.
c) Patience in abstaining from all that Allah has prohibited; be it usury, gambling, flesh of swine, alcohol, and other forbidden acts.
What characteristic will you develop within yourself to attain Allah’s love?