Loving for the sake of Allah brings the greatest rewards
What makes us love a person? Perhaps it’s their beauty or strength. Or maybe we love someone because they have an impressive lineage or influential ties in the community. How many people do we love simply because they strive for piety and faith in Islam?
Loving for the sake of Allah is a principle of conduct unique to the religion of Islam. You may not know someone personally, especially if you are only Internet buddies, but you should still love them because they are Muslims who strive to please and worship Allah in the proper manner.
But loving for the sake of Allah is not an easy thing to do given that there are so many obstacles within us to overcome. Some of the things that prevent us from loving someone exclusively for Allah’s sake include:
Have you ever seen a Muslim family out and about in the city? They are usually accompanied by at least one or more housemaids who are Muslim just like them. Yet if they are dining in a restaurant or even out on the grass picnic-style, the housemaid is shoved to the side to sit by herself. She is excluded and certainly not shown an ounce of compassion or love for Allah’s sake. Just because someone is poor or does not possess the refinery that we might have does not mean that we cannot love them. Only Allah knows who is more pious and loved in His sight.
Perhaps the maid is more pious than her employers yet she is not loved simply for Allah’s sake.
The racial divide
It’s unfortunate that race still divides us especially given all the accomplishments that humans have made over the centuries. We can put a man on the moon but we cannot overcome the colour of our skin.
However, even Muslims, who are supposed to be united in one Ummah choose to divide themselves up according to their race. There is no place that this is more evident than at the local Masjid. The Arabs will pray on their own side while the Asians will stay on their side. Even the Islamic greeting of peace, “Assalamu Alaikom”, is often reserved exclusively for members within a culture and not passed between them. Islam brought equality to mankind and all humans, whether male or female, are judged by only one thing and that is their piety.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in his farewell sermon
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”
All Muslims should embrace each other no matter how black or how white their skin is or where they were born.
Loving someone for Allah’s sake means you see past the exterior of a person and look into their souls, which is reflected outwards through their good deeds and worship of Allah.
Division between born-Muslims and converts
It’s very unfortunate but converts to Islam are not always welcomed to the deen with open arms. I recall that even when I newly converted to Islam I received an enormous amount of criticism from a handful of lifelong Muslims because I could not pray in Arabic. I struggled with the very basics of Islam because it was so new to me and those closest to me were too busy wagging their tongues to show me the right way. Al-Humdullilah I found strength in online Muslim friends who helped me perfect my Islam. Other converts are often not so lucky and many simply crack because they have no one to guide them or lend a helping hand. It is the duty of all Muslims to extend a hand to those who are new to Islam or who may be born-Muslims but have never practiced the deen. We should not judge others simply because of their lack of knowledge or even their completed level of education.
Even the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was an unlettered man who also learned Islam although he did have the best teacher in Allah Almighty!
None of us are perfect or have immaculate lives. We are humans and we all make mistakes and have our shortcomings. However, we should always strive to fill in the gaps between us to raise each other up and love for the sake of Allah.
Sumayyah Meehan is a Kuwait-based American writer who embraced Islam.