It is interesting that we mainly tend to venerate somebody only after that person has passed away. That is when the tears stream down, the words come out choked, and the hearts ache. Magnificent memorials are conducted, grand accolades are read, and heartfelt obituaries are written. Now, what if we were to express our gratitude and love to one before their death? Better yet, why not make the love for only the sake of Allah?
For example, let’s say you get married. If you love your wife only for her and for her beauty, then if she ever disappoints you, you are no longer infatuated. You are infuriated. However, if you love her for the sake of Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and she disappoints you, you still love her because you aren’t expecting anything back from her, but only from your Lord. Thus, if she actually does return the favor, then you will be more prone to be thankful for that because it was an added bonus.
If you’re not in the practice of telling your beloved ones that you love them, then get into that practice. If you’re not in the practice of responding to somebody’s statement of love, then get into that practice:
Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man was with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when another man passed by and the former said: “O Messenger of Allah! I love this man (for Allah’s sake)”. Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) asked, “Have you informed him?” He said, “No”. Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) then said, “Tell him (that you love him)“. So he went up to the man and said to him, “I love you for the sake of Allah;” and the other replied, “May Allah, for Whose sake you love me, love you.”[Abu Dawud].
One of the amazing notes about the Hadith is that it doesn’t only encourage one to declare his love for someone (provided it’s Halal lol), but also on the proper etiquette on how to respond. Now, what is one of the best ways to exactly ‘share the love’?
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! You will not enter Jannah until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. May I inform you of something, if you do, you love each other. Promote greeting amongst you (by saying Assalamu `Alaikum to one another)”. [Muslim]
Share the love. May Allah increase the love and brotherhood in the Ummah, make us among those that the Prophet said: “two men who love each other for Allaah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that” (Bukhari and Muslim), and reunite us with our beloved in Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen…
Note: the example given in the second paragraph was originally given by Imam Muhammad Faqih at a Halaqah in ICM.