Tuesday, 11 June 2013

10 Signs You Love Someone for the Sake of Allah

     We tend to speak so much of the bad folk. “People are selfish” .“People are arrogant”. “People are fake”. It has come to a point where in an attempt to address issues or counter this negativity, we caused even more negativity as a result. That person who complains about everything can cloud upon himself a gray fog of negative energy wherever he goes. Sometimes even in the best of our intentions we become engulfed in this cycle of complaint about all the wrong in the world we completely blind ourselves from all that is beautiful.

There are good people out there my friend.

"There are some people who enter your life like gems. These are the real diamonds. They have no ulterior motives, no inferiority complex, no superiority complex, no need to prove that they are better than you, or seek to have more than you. They don’t feel entitled and aren’t needy or dependent. They are not superficial or fake. They remind you of God and they understand you, when no other person does. They don’t wear a mask with you or pretend to be perfect. They are just real with you and honestly and sincerely only want good for you. You feel you can tell them anything without worrying that they will judge you or put you down for being imperfect. They know your flaws, but love you anyway. And they are loyal. You know they’ll be there for you. They'll always have your back. And best of all, time and distance doesn’t change this. If you’ve met even one person in your entire life like this, you’re blessed." -Yasmin Mogahed

    What does it mean to love someone for the sake of Allah? How do you know if you've met a person who has established this type of relationship with you and how do you know if you love them the same way too?

   For Allah’s sake basically means only for Him and not for the sake of anyone or anything else; meaning a friendship based on worship and devotion to Allah first and foremost. I don’t believe this would be a less committed form of traditional friendship but one that comes with more sacrifice and trust and holds up over time. It can be envisioned as a sentiment so strong that a Muslim will want to drag his beloved brother/sister with himself to heaven. It is a relationship that you take with you to the grave and beyond. One that you flaunt the day of judgement in front of the Almighty Allah subhanahu w ta’laa. It is important that our friendships never lose sight of this ultimate relationship with the Creator. Every effort to please this individual, to bring them closer to Allah or to ease their difficulty is considered charity for the sake of Allah. And let’s not forget, for your sake too. We’re all trying to save ourselves from hell fire aren't we?

    Mu`adh (bin Jabal) (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allah, the Exalted, has said: `For those who love one another for the sake of My Glory, there will be seats of light (on the Day of Resurrection), and they will be envied by the Prophets and martyrs" [At-Tirmidhi].

    Should it matter whether the person you have established this relationship with views you in the same way? I found from my personal experience that it helps. But I don’t think it is necessary. If we employed this way of thinking, then we would certainly become so encased within our own circles that there would be no room for compassion and empathy to others who may require the guidance the most. Ultimately, you should never think of it as aiding your brother/sister. Your actions are directed towards Allah subhanahu w ta’laa and in no expectations of return of the favor from the other.

    Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "There are three qualities whoever has them, will taste the sweetness of Iman: To love Allah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) more than anyone else; to love a slave (of Allah) only for (the sake of) Allah; and to abhor returning to infidelity after Allah has saved him from it as he would abhor to be thrown into the fire (of Hell)" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    So I complied a list of 10 signs to aid us into understanding what it means to love someone for the sake of Allah. It is based on my observations really. Nothing etched in stone. I’d love to hear your input.

Here are some signs that you love someone for Allah's sake:

1. You are not upset if there is a lack of commitment:

    Friendships based on love for Allah are nourished and grown by a divine source. When we see the connection between our brothers and sisters in Islam as one that is tied by our greater connection with Allah, we are not upset by anyone's shortcomings. If your friend cannot call you everyday to check up on you or does not return favors, your love in the sake of Allah should keep you grounded and satisfied. Since Allah brought this person to you, He can also take him away at any time. At the end of the day, you are looking to satisfy a higher being than your friend, so as long as you've paid your due for Allah's sake you shouldn't worry about lack of commitment. How do you know? Well, ask yourself how often you ask this person why they haven't called/texted/met you. If you do it often, perhaps you've clung onto the person rather than the relationship with Allah.

     2. You are a constant reminder of Allah to them and they are a constant reminder of Allah to you:

   In worship and speech, you both tend to remember Allah. This doesn't have to mean full on khatiras and khutbas when you see one another. It can be a simple reflection of recent events for example. Or a brief dua. You will also find yourself gently pushing this friend to do good for Allah. Pushing them to pray with you or advising them can build on your relationship together. It is important to give advice in a gentle manner; in private and in a non patronizing way.You never want to make it seem like you're bragging about your deen. No one likes that. In contrast, a friend who supports you even in times where you know you have wronged yourself in the face of your Lord is a friend that doesn't have your back anyway. At least not in the way that they should. These types of friendships seems to be so temporary for some reason. 
    Mu`adh (bin Jabal) (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) held my hand and said, "O Mu`adh, By Allah, I love you and advise you not to miss supplicating after every Salat (prayer) saying: `Allahumma a`inni `ala dhikrika wa shukrika, wa husni `ibadatika,' (O Allah, help me remember You, expressing gratitude to You and worship You in the best manner)".
[Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i].

3. You have no expectations from them:

         When you love someone for His sake, you don't need them to return your favors or reciprocate. Your reward lies solely with Allah (subhanahu wa ta'laa) and you know this and don't expect anything from people in general. A friend who knows this about you will not thank you excessively and does not feel the need to return gifts or gestures. But sometimes it happens, especially if the other person also loves you the same way. There's no shame in accepting gifts.

         A’ishah said: “The Messenger of God (pbuh) would accept gifts, and reward generously on account of that.” (Bukhari #2445)

    Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "A man set out to visit a brother (in Faith) in another town and Allah sent an angel on his way. When the man met the angel, the latter asked him, "Where do you intend to go?'' He said, "I intend to visit my brother in this town". The angel said, "Have you done any favour to him?'' He said, "No, I have no desire except to visit him because I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious.'' Thereupon the angel said, "I am a messenger to you from Allah (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake)" [Muslim].

4. You are happy when you see them happy:
         Unfortunately, with growing individualism in our society  it has become quite rare for people to be truly happy for others without this happiness somehow linking back to themselves. Let's face it, often we cannot even maintain a conversation with someone and listen to them talk about their problems without talking about our lives and experiences. If you love someone for the sake of Allah, you are happy when you see them satisfied in the blessings of Allah. Even when these blessings have not been brought upon you. You continuously make dua for their sake in private. When you make a dua for your brother/sister in Islam, you get the reward for this dua and it also applies to yourself. We must be satisfied with Allah's wisdom in splitting his blessings. 

           The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said; “The supplication of a Muslim for his brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: `Ameen! May it be for you, too’.” [Muslim].

     5. You met for His sake and continue to reunite for His sake:

         The basis of your friendship has been set for His sake. You met on good intentions and continue to meet for a purpose greater than yourselves. Your reunion, even if it may be years from your original meeting, will be just as passionate as you remember. Because it is lit by the love of Allah suhanahu wa ta'laa.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah, the Exalted, will say: `Where are those who have mutual love for the sake of My Glory? Today I shall shelter them in My Shade when there will be no shade except Mine".

6. You hold no record book of reciprocation on them: 

        You find yourself forgetting quite easily the last time he/she initiated a connection. Because that doesn't really matter to you. You don't hold an account of who puts in more effort in the friendship. It makes forgiving quite easy as well because it involves forgiving for the sake of Allah and you really have nothing to lose because the basis of the friendship was not you or your friend. 

           The Prophet (saw) said: “Among Allah’s servants are people who are neither prophets nor martyrs, but whom the prophets and martyrs will deem fortunate because of their high status with Allah.” The companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Inform us of who they are.” The Prophet (saw) told them that “they are people who loved each other for Allah’s sake, even without being related to one another or being tied to one another by the exchange of wealth."

7. Your conflict comes with no drama: 

         Oftentimes, we may get caught up in friendships that we cannot maintain due to differences in values or perhaps they come with bad influence. Sometimes, we even get caught up in drama and decide to end things in a horrible way. These times of conflict can result in an end to the connection between you two, at least on a physical level.  Friends who love for the sake of Allah hold a divine connection which is not tainted by conflict. When it does happen however, they decide to end matters in a a respectable manner that pays due to your past and your connection with Allah and not your ego. 

     8. You don’t have to agree on everything:
        If the basis of your friendship is love for Allah, then it will be built on his word. Differences of opinion  especially with regards to religious matters, are seen in Islamic history and date all the way back to the Sahabas time. If your frienship is for His sake, then you will not need anyone's approval of your ideas since they lie between you and your Lord. Good friends will consult the Quran and Hadith when they disagree. And if even then they still do, that's okay.

    9. You give them your good word:
         Friends for the sake of Allah don't hold back on their love for one another. Because their ego doesn't mess around with the relationship. They praise each other when they commit good deeds and give their good word. You also shouldn't care about how your compliments for example are received. Cause they were never for anyone's sake but Allah's. Sometimes a good word can go a long way. We forget to praise great people and this can make them stray from the right path. Letting them know you appreciate them and what they do gives them motivation to continue doing great things for Allah's sake. You will share the reward that way.

     Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man was with the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) when another man passed by and the former said: "O Messenger of Allah! I love this man (for Allah's sake)". Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) asked, "Have you informed him?'' He said, "No". Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) 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].

10. You are willing to sacrifice for them for the sake of Allah: 

          What does it mean to sacrifice? It means to let go of what is precious to you. Time, energy, money and reputation for Allah's sake. You are willing to even give your friend up for Allah's sake too if that is what is best for him. Keep in mind, this sacrifice should NEVER be brought up as leverage or blackmail on your friend to prove your loyalty. It is sacrifice for Allah's sake and for you on the day of judgement that is done and then thrown in the sea, as the Arabs say.
           The Prophet (saw) went on to describe their great reward on the Day of Resurrection: “By Allah, their faces will be luminous and they will be upon light. They will feel no fear when the people will be feeling fear, and they will feel no grief when the people will be grieving.” Then he (saw) read the verse: ”Behold! Verily on the friends of Allah there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Yunus:10:62]. (Abu Dawud)

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