Living The Quran
From Issue: 511 [Read full issue]
Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
Chapter 2: Verse 165 (partial)
This is how Allah describes the true believers- i.e. those who Love Allah more than anything else and who make Allah their first priority.
The verse doesn't say, that one must love Allah only. Love is a blessing given to us by Allah and is manifested in many aspects of life. In Islam, however, it must be foremost for Allah, our Creator, and Merciful Sustainer.
What is Love?
Perhaps it cannot be defined in terms which adequately reflect its nature and importance in a person's life. It is not possible to define it by a formula in a manner we define a scientific fact. But still each one of us knows what love is and can tell from our experience the powerful force that it is.
It is the overpowering force in life. It captivates you, it grips you, it moves you and you are prepared to do anything for the sake of it. Once love is there, what you do is not something which has to be imposed upon you, because you need imposition only for things you do not love.
Nature of True Iman & Love for Allah
Iman (faith) is something which must penetrate deep into your heart and generate an intense love for Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him), more than anything else. Unless this happens, you cannot experience the real Iman.
To develop this love for Allah does not require us to retire to or seclude ourselves in a monastery / masjid. This love makes us do our duty to Allah, as His representatives, while we are out in the street, at home or in the office. With this love, we live as servants of Allah, everywhere willingly making every sacrifice required of us. In fact, it propels us to share actively in the service of Allah's other creatures. True love of Allah makes one care for people and their needs.
Your Barometer: Salah
Whether or not you have that love is something only for you to examine closely. If you love someone, one of your most intense desires will be to get closer to that person. In Islam, there are several ways of getting closer to Allah, foremost of which is Salah (daily prayers).
Once you are praying to Him, you are in front of Him, you are near to Him, you are speaking to Him, you are responding to Him in gratitude, and you are asking for His forgiveness. Prayer is not just a ritual in which you go through certain postures. The love generated through Salah, by submitting your soul exclusively to Allah, is like a seed which, as it grows, envelops the entire personality!
"In the Early Hours" - Khurram Murad, pp. 63-64