All praise is due to Allah ﷻ, Lord of the worlds and May His peace and blessings be upon His final prophet and messenger, Muhammad ﷺ.
Sayyidina Anas (rd) narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ said, “He who loves my Sunnah truly loves me, and the one who loves me will be with me in paradise.” – Sirat, Vol 1, pg. 426
If today someone were to ask us if we love Rasulullah ﷺ, our spontaneous answer will be yes. However, have we once pondered over what truly loving Rasulullah ﷺ means? Is it simply reading about his life’s work? Or learning about his inner character and mannerism? Was every aspect of Rasulullah ﷺ’s life documented and made accessible to us through the ahaadeeth just so that we can skim through it as we do a magazine?
No! Through the companions, Allah ﷻ granted us with the ability to learn about Rasulullah ﷺ so that we may learn to develop that love and grow it. Adherence to the Sunnah is a symbol of true love for Rasulullah ﷺ. Those who claim to be lovers of Rasulullah ﷺ, but do not adhere to the Sunnah are untrue to their claim. A true lover is generally aware of the circumstances and conditions of his beloved and wishes to be like him.
Of course, this does not mean that in learning to follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ, we will become exactly like the companions (rd). There is much difference between the companions (rd) and us. The privilege they had was because they were able to do what we could not.
However, Rasulullah ﷺ’s way of life has been made accessible to us through many means so that we can cultivate the type of love that Abu Bakr (rd) had for Rasulullah ﷺ.
After the conquest of Makkah, Abu Bakr (rd) took his father Abu Quhafa (rd) to Rasulullah ﷺ to accept Islam. Abu Bakr (rd) told Rasulullah ﷺ upon entering the tent, “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ, this is my father, he has come to accept Islaam”. Rasulullah ﷺ replied, “Oh Abu Bakr! If you had informed us that it was your father, we would have come to you”. But Abu Bakr (rd) replied, “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ! It is not befitting that you come to any one let alone my father”.
Thereafter Abu Bakr (rd) placed his father’s hand into Rasulullah ﷺ’s hand to accept Islaam and began crying. Rasulullah ﷺ realised that Abu Bakr (rd) was crying out of sorrow. He asked, “Oh Abu Bakr! What makes you cry? You should be over joyed that your father is accepting Islaam!! Abu Bakr (rd) replied, “Oh Rasulullah ﷺ! Your uncle, Abu Talib, has come to my mind and I swear by Allah ﷻ, the only reason why I am crying is that I would rather have Abu Talib accepting Islam on your hands than my father because I know you will become happier by that. Allah ﷻ will give you a sense of contentment being happy because your uncle strived so much for you but was deprived of Imaan. If he had accepted Islaam, you would’ve been overjoyed by that and so I am crying that if only Allah ﷻ had in place of my father’s Imaan, your uncle would’ve accepted Islam in his place.”
That is the level of affection the companions (rd) had for Rasulullah ﷺ. So much love that they would rather someone closer to Rasulullah ﷺ accept Islaam than their own kin. They would rather their own kin enter the hell-fire in place. Subhanallah! It is so unimaginable that we cannot even put it into prospective.
Allah ﷻ mentions in Surah Ale Imran,
“Say, [O Muhammad], If you love Allah ﷻ, follow me; Allah ﷻ will love you and forgive for you your sins and Allah ﷻ is most forgiving, most merciful.” – 3.31
Hence, we learn from the verse that it is essential for a believer to love Rasulullah ﷺ because gaining the pleasure of Allah ﷻ and loving Rasulullah ﷺ are inseparable.
Then again in Surah Tawbah, Allah ﷻ says,
Say, [O Muhammad ﷺ], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased, are more beloved to you than Allah ﷻ and His Messenger ﷺ and striving in His cause, then wait until Allah ﷻ executes His command. And Allah ﷻ does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” -9.24
Looking at verse, we see that Allah ﷻ mentions every subject that a human heart develops love for and then Allah ﷻ says if these things become more beloved to the human heart then we should “wait until Allah ﷻ executes His command”. Many commentators of the Qur’aan say that this refers to Allah ﷻ’s punishment and this can come in many forms of which one is the loss of something we love.
There are certain things that we have natural love for, like our children and there are certain things that we develop love for, like our businesses. However, if the love of these things become greater than the love of Allah ﷻ, His messenger ﷺ and striving in His path, then we should wait for the punishment of Allah ﷻ.
The question arises, when should we wait for the punishment to come? In answer to this, we must first understand the levels of Imaan.
The first is the lesser degree of Imaan in which you have love for something which conflicts with the love of Allah ﷻ and His messenger ﷺ. However, the minute that this begins to effect the rights of Allah ﷻ and His messenger ﷺ, then the punishment of Allah ﷻ which He mentions in His Qur’aan should be expected.
The second degree is the higher level of Imaan in which you aspire to develop your love for Allah ﷻ and His messenger ﷺ to such an extent that it supersedes all the things that the human has no control over loving and it supersedes the thing that the human can grow love for in his heart as well.
The affections that are naturally embedded in the heart, are worked on so much that eventually the love of Allah ﷻ and His messenger ﷺ begin to succeed over everything else.
As mentioned by Rasulullah ﷺ in a hadeeth,
“None of you will have faith until he loves me more than his father, his children and all of mankind.” – Bukhari
This greater love for Allah ﷻ and His messenger ﷺ is not possible without studying the life of Rasulullah ﷺ. If we strive to learn about Rasulullah ﷺ, we will learn that Allah ﷻ moulded him in such perfection that we will fall in love with him and if a study of his ﷺ’s life does not change us, then we should bear in mind that the imperfection is on our part and not his ﷺ.
All praises are due to Allah ﷻ at the beginning and at the end.
May you be rewarded for visiting my page and May we all benefit. Ameen.
The Khulasa by Shaikh Muhammad Adb al-Hayy al-Kattani
The sublime conduct of Nabi ﷺ by Mufti Muhammad Irshad Ahmed Qasimi
The sealed Nectar by Saifur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri
Seeratul Mustafa ﷺ by Hadhrat Moulana Muhammad Idres Kaandhewi saahib