by Frasat Ahmad, Missionary, USA
Does God love you? Do you truly love Him? How can you ignite the fire of divine love in your heart? What steps should you take to magnetise the love of Allah? Luckily, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has answered these immensely difficult questions, and has provided practical solutions and steps to fall in love with Allah so that He may fall in Love with you.
In his own words, here are Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s(ra) 10 ways to achieve Allah’s love (taken from his speech entitled Ta‘alluq Billah, delivered on 28 December 1952 at Jalsa Salana Rabwah).
1. Zikr: Remembrance of Allah
To repeat the divine attributes, or, in other words, the remembrance of Allah, inculcates love for God. In other words, it is to recite:
سُبْحَانَ اللّٰہِ، اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ، اَللّٰہُ اَکْبَرُ
and in the same manner:
یَا حَیُّ، یَا قَیُّوْمُ، یَا سَتَّارُ، یَا غَفَّارُ
and other invocations. We may invoke Allah’s name and continuously recite His Attributes, but merely invoking His Name does not increase our faith or certainty.
For this reason, zikr is founded upon love that is based on artificiality. At this stage, only one’s mind accepts Allah as Holy, as the Concealer of sins and as Extremely Forgiving. Such a person does not truly have a genuine relationship with Allah the Almighty, but when he begins to recite یَا سَتَّارُ، یَا غَفَّارُ, a droplet of divine love begins to descend upon him.
It is akin to throwing mud in the air; inevitably, some mud falls back upon oneself. In like manner, artificial love can take the colour of true love. Allah the Almighty indicates towards this in the Quranic verse:
Meaning, “Therefore remember Me, and I will remember you.” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.153)
This means that if you continue to remember Him, then you will eventually attain a status in which Allah will begin to remember you. (Ta‘alluq Billah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 23, pp. 186-187)
2. Fikr: Reflection
The second means to attract divine love is to reflect and deliberate upon the divine attributes, which, in Sufi terminology, is called fikr. It is one thing to recite:
سُبْحَانَ اللّٰہِ، اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ، اَللّٰہُ اَکْبَرُ
but it is entirely different to reflect upon how Allah is Holy, how Allah is the Greatest and how Allah is deserving of all praise and admiration.
“Imagine that a certain individual is going through a jungle and is afflicted with an ailment which requires immediate operation. If, in this situation, a doctor suddenly appears riding a horse towards him and treats him causing him to heal, then everyone will realise that this was not merely a doctor, but was God Himself coming to save His servant.
“These are signs which magnetise one towards the court of Allah the Almighty and lift him from the ground towards His throne. Reflecting upon these signs inculcates love for God in man’s heart.” (Ibid., pp. 188-189)
3. Compassion for God’s creation
“Sympathy and love for Allah’s creation and loving humanity also ignites divine Love … If you treat Allah’s creation well in order to gain His love, then Allah Himself will speak to you, saying, ‘Come, be near me’ …
“You must imagine the creation of Allah before your eyes and think, ‘These people are beloved to my God. If I am unable to behold and experience Allah the Almighty, then I will love His creation, knowing that it is the source of gaining His love. To love the creation in such a way suddenly and rapidly ignites the fire of divine Love …
“The following Quranic verse in regard to the Holy Prophet(sa) serves to prove this point:
لَعَلَّکَ بَاخِعٌ نَّفۡسَکَ اَلَّا یَکُوۡنُوۡا مُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ
“Meaning, ‘Haply thou wilt grieve thyself to death because they believe not’. (Surah al-Shu‘ara, Ch.26: V.4)
“[In other words] while thinking that these people are distant from Him and are a means of unhappiness for Him, you are killing yourself. The intent of this verse is to convey, ‘How can I not love you when you are dying in grief at My people’s condition?” (Ibid., pp. 189-191)
“To build the habit of feeling regret at committing a sin, meaning that there should be no sin after which regret is not felt, also attracts divine love.
“One who regrets committing a sin demonstrates that he has the feeling to perceive and recognise that which is ugly and wicked. And if he can recognise what is wicked, then he must surely be able to recognise what is beautiful.
“When one is able to attain this and he starts recognising beauty, then God Himself reveals the pathways to His Love, for God is the Greatest Benefactor and is the Most Beautiful. For this reason, He declares:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِیۡنَ
“Meaning, ‘Allah loves those who turn to Him’. (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.223)” (Ibid., pp. 192-193)
“Whoso attempts to instil certainty in their heart that nothing in their life can be resolved without prayer, is one whose heart will attain love for Allah the Almighty …
“To have an attention towards prayers also inculcates love for Allah. No doubt, one’s prayers may certainly comprise of artificiality at the start, but when man continuously turns to prayer, his prayers shall certainly be accepted and some shall be accepted in a miraculous manner. “Due to the acceptance of their prayers, benevolence, which nourishes love, shall descend upon them and their heart will inculcate love for God. The aforementioned verse:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِیۡنَ
“indicates towards this. تَّوَّابِیۡنَ holds two meanings. One meaning is he who repents and secondly, تَوَّاب means a person who continuously enters Allah’s court. Hence, he who continuously attends to His Court shall surely inculcate love for God in his heart.” (Ibid., pp. 193)
6. Place your trust in Allah
“One who exerts all possible effort, but inevitably remains certain that only Allah the Almighty will produce results, will instil divine love in their heart.
“For the person who, at the very least, superficially entrusts their affairs to Allah, acknowledges Allah’s powers and favours; this superficiality eventually becomes genuine, as is the case with most matters in the world.
“This is indicated in the following Quranic verse:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ الۡمُتَوَکِّلِیۡنَ
“Meaning, ‘Surely, Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.’ (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.160)
“Whoso entrusts their affair to God Almighty and states, ‘I cannot resolve this matter; please resolve this’, fills their heart with divine love.” (Ibid., pp. 194)
7. Act with justice
“One who attempts to establish justice in this world for the sake of Allah the Almighty also ignites divine love in his heart …
“There are often two reasons for perpetuating injustice: one either holds love for a party or bears enmity against the other. He who does not care for his own love, or the love of his relatives and friends, and also does not allow hostility against enemies to turn him away from justice, is one whose heart has a greater love than that, or a greater fear than the hostility they bear against enemies …
“If injustice does not exist within their heart, then surely they acknowledge a Greater Power or desire nearness to this Greater Power. When one obtains this status, then certainly, they will begin to love Allah the Almighty and when they do so, God Almighty will also begin to love them. Thus, Allah the Almighty states in this regard:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ الۡمُقۡسِطِیۡنَ
Meaning, ‘Surely, Allah loves those who are just’. (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.43)” (Ibid., pp. 194-195)
8. Taqwa: Make Allah your shield
“One means to attain divine love is that one should try to make Allah a shield in every matter and issue. One should forsake evil, not for the sake of it being evil, but rather for Allah’s sake. This is the definition of taqwa [true fear of Allah].
“When a person inculcates the habit of acting for the sake of another entity, they slowly begin to love that entity. It is for this reason that servants and workers love the kings, royals and rulers they serve, because they have inculcated the habit of working for their sake and serving them …
“In like manner, man should act in accordance with God’s pleasure. For example, a person should say, whilst giving alms, ‘I do not give these alms so that my standing in society increases, but rather because God has ordained that I give alms.’
“Thus, if man inculcates the habit of seeking God’s protection in every matter, there will arise a connection between himself and God Almighty. Allah the Almighty indicates towards this in this Quranic verse:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ
“Meaning, ‘Verily, Allah loves the God-fearing.’ (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.77)” (Ibid., pp. 195)
9. Become one with Allah and adopt His attributes
“God Almighty loves those who attempt to be like Him. Thus, you must strive to emulate the attributes of God which the Holy Quran describes.
“You cannot become حییّ (the Living), but you can emulate this attribute by healing and attending to the sick. You cannot be مُمِیْت (the One Who causes death), but you can certainly emulate this attribute to cut asunder and terminate evil. You cannot be خالق (the Creator), but you can certainly give birth to pure progeny …
“Thus, one who strives to inculcate within themselves the divine attributes will generate divine love in their heart according to the extent that they begin to resemble God Almighty.” (Ibid., pp. 196)
10. Study the nature of love
“One means to attain divine love is to study nature and to reflect upon ways of attaining love and then to act upon them. Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:
فِطۡرَتَ اللّٰہِ الَّتِیۡ فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَیۡہَا
“Meaning, ‘And follow the nature made by Allah – the nature in which He has created mankind’. (Surah al-Rum, Ch.30: V.31)
“Allah the Almighty has embedded within man certain emotions and passions which He Himself has implanted. Within these emotions exists a glimpse of the divine attributes. This means that Allah has embedded within man such substances that produce commonality and cohesion between God and man.” (Ibid., pp. 197)
(The Weekly Al Hakam, 11th September 2020)