The Heart of a believer
The question to be answered here is that how should one abide by God’s message and travel on the path that leads to paradise and avoid the path leading to hell fire?
The first thing is to understand the concept of Divine love in Islam. Love is a trait of God himself. Our love for God is true if it leads to forming tolerance, self-control and love for every creation, except the oppressors. Islam asks the humanity to come closer to each other by focusing on common things between all of us. And answer any differences with respect and logic instead of emotions. God has created us all and he bounds us through love. Even if two people are born with same mother they will remain isolated from each other in their hearts if they don’t have love for each other. Being physically close to one another doesn’t mean any closeness. Two persons with love for one another in their hearts are much closer to each other despite of long physical distance. In the same manner if we have love for the one God in our heart, then we can feel Him and experience divine presence in our lives through quick answers to our prayers by God. According to a description of Hadith (saying) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) God loves his servant among mankind much more than a mother loves her child (Shaih Bukhari, 73:28). We should love God because He loves us and He has given us this life as an opportunity to create our destiny in paradise forever. He gave us eyes and then made beautiful stars, moon, sun, oceans, mountains and rivers for us to see and seek benefit from many of these things in our worldly life. He kept various elements, gases and liquids inside earth and gave us brain to use these for our benefits by creating energy and many other things. He made illness but also created raw material for medicines on earth to make medicines that cure illnesses. He gave us taste buds and then created all sorts of fruits and meats for us to taste and eat . We not only take nutritional benefits from God’s created animals for us but we also use their skins for clothing, leather interiors of our cars and many other purposes. All these things and many more show God’s extreme love for us. The response of God’s love from mankind should be nothing but love. But how do we best express our love for God in order to enhance our relationship with Him and feel God’s presence closer to us?
The first thing is to love God and frequently thank him from our heart for all His blessings on us mentioned above. Second thing to understand is that God doesn’t need anything from us rather He has kept himself busy in providing all these blessings to living beings. A true lover transforms himself by adopting the divine attribute of taking care of all living beings. Prophet Muhammad said that “all creations (i.e. living beings) are family of God and best among you is the one who take cares of God's family”. Adopting this divine trait a true lover of God firstly starts loving God by recognising his blessings and then he/she loves all those who are loved by God. First among those are all prophets of God and the shortest way to become God’s beloved is to respect and love His all messengers as they are the one who brought us this philosophy of life (The Perishable & Imperishable Worlds). The next step is to widen your love by developing true and sincere love in your heart for all people of God on this planet . And finally developing love for all animals on this planet to such an extent that we try our best that we don’t even crush a small harmless ant willingly. Except those animals which are harmful or appear harmful such as a mosquito may spread a disease, a snake may bite and kill us etc, in such case it is allowed to kill that animal. Apart from that love for animals can be expressed by feeding birds, cats, dogs and even treating them or providing them access to treatment when we find a sick animal. Because God gave us humans the most advanced form of brains and intelligence and therefore it is our duty to play a leading role and take care of other species on our planet. God’s messenger Muhammad (PBUH) said that “there is a reward for serving any living thing.” (Bukhari 8:38). As for human love we always help our friends in difficult times, we always speak those words which create good feelings in the hearts of other people and avoid disrespecting others. We should never oppress our subordinates and we must ensure them their rights. If we want God to tolerate our mistakes on the day of judgement we should tolerate the mistakes of his people unless someone is an oppressor. Oppressor is the one who takes something away from someone which legally doesn’t belongs to him, another type of oppression is causing someone physical harm which must also be avoided. So we express our divine love by serving the creations of God which is a practice frequently done by God himself. This is the life lived by all messengers of God they loved all creations in the love of God and they served God’s creation following the actions of God and they faught against oppressors to defeat oppression. Therefore if someone says that he believes in God and loves God but through his actions he hates and causes harm to the creation (humans and animals) of God then surely he/she is lying and such claim of God’s love is false. God is known by his supreme love and so are his believers. Hatred and a fighting stance are allowed only against oppression of any form, for example, unjust killing and looting. It is because if good people don’t put up an opposition against oppressors it will allow free prevalence of oppression and injustice on the earth. Based on this principle, love should be expressed for every person regardless of his religious, ethnic or social class belonging and oppressors should be opposed everywhere regardless of their religious, ethnic or social class belongings. As a Muslim I can present the true message of God but I am not allowed to compel someone accept God’s message. God himself orders us in the Quran by saying;
“There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error” (2:256).
This clearly indicates the will of God for his people, that is, He has distinguished the truth from false and left the freedom of choice to accept it or reject it on every individual. Therefore no one should compel or impose any belief system on others; however he/she should spread the truly preserved message of God in the form of Quran to others and let people make their own decision thereafter.
In conclusion after believing in one God we adopt his attribute of love for everyone except oppressors. Therefore by directly expressing our love to God's creation in the form of tolerating, caring, respecting and supporting actions we are indirectly expressing our love to God. A person with such an inner personality trait becomes God’s beloved and God becomes his beloved. The response from God for such actions comes through quick answers to those prayers which are good for us. Whereas in answer to those demands made to God which may be harmful to us and we are unaware of it, God provides something better than what we asked for and mostly in near future. This is the form of love filled inside a Muslim's heart and all his actions are a manisfestation of this divine love.
Writer: Saad Ahmed Kayani
All articles over this website are taken from first two chapters of the upcoming book 'Noor-ay- Marfat' (light through God's recognition) written by Saad Ahmed. Therefore it is illegal to republish or sell these articles by any means under international copy rights protection law.