The Quran details seven qualities that Almighty Allah loves and seven qualities that Almighty Allah does not love. Then, we -Muslims- have a way to explore the steps to gaining His Love.
Human beings by nature, love rewards when they exert themselves. And when they are devoted to a cause, coupled with anticipating the rewards, they tend to strive more and bear the discomfort that comes with the struggle.
This is similar to our relationship with Allah. Almighty Allah loves it when we exert ourselves for His sake and He describes the payoffs when He loves His servant.
As Abu Huraira narrates in a hadith:
“Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah said, ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (Refuge), I will protect him; (i.e. give him My Refuge) and I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of the believer, for he hates death, and I hate to disappoint him.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #76, Hadith #509)
This is indeed an aspiration worth pursuing, a dream worth fulfilling and a love worth nurturing.
Therefore, to complete one’s faith and gain this love, we should seek only Allah alone in love, hate, giving and withholding and Allah alone must be our Lord and the only One whom we worship.
Let me break it down – It is total submission and the essence of submission is to love what the Beloved loves and to abstain from what He does not love.
This was how our pious predecessors achieved the criteria of true worshippers and reached the highest level in their efforts. Allah loves His servant to beautify his tongue through speaking the truth, his heart through sincerity, piety, repentance, trust and patience, his body through obeying and purifying it from all dirt.
Seven Qualities that Allah Loves
1. Tawbah (Repentance)
“…For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly (in repentance)…” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:222)
Repentance is a form of detoxification – Sincere repentance cleanses and beautifies the Iman (faith).
We all commit sins but Allah loves those who after committing sins, seek forgiveness with deep sorrow and regret.
This is the only way by which the past can be set right. Allah has a concern for those He loves, therefore each time we slip and relapse into the abyss of desires and sincerely repent, He (exalted be Him) leads us out of it to the summit of forgiveness and further relieves us of hardship and provides for us.
2. Taharah (Purification)
“…Allah loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:222)
This is the external purification. The secret to this is performing the acts with the intention of following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
The removal of filth from the body by performing wudhu (ablution) and ghusl (ritual bath) and removal of filth from the garment, body and place of prayer. They are acts that purify the body and radiate the Iman. It is a means by which Almighty Allah will wipe out our sins and raise our ranks.
3. Taqwa (Piety)
“…for Allah loveth the righteous (the pious).” (Surah Al Tawbah 9:4)
The fear of Allah is the source of a pure soul – it is borne out of love and obedience. Thus, a pious person is constantly driven to do good only.
He/She is humble and does not flaunt piety in front of others. The fear of Allah beautifies the Iman and is the origin of all good as one continues to strive to do only what pleases Allah and stay away from the things that would displease him.
Piety is an internal quality as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice.” (Sahih Muslim, Book #032, Hadith #6219) and it is a quality that puts us above others in the sight of Allah.
4. Ihsan (Goodness & Perfection)
“…for Allah loves those who do good;-” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:134)
Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) says,
“Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #2, Hadith #47)
Ihsan goes beyond a noble trait; it is an integral part of Islam. It is the secret to an attentive heart – knowing that Allah is watching everything. This fills the heart with respect and veneration and one becomes too embarrassed to go against Allah’s commands. It promotes performance of good deeds for the sake of Allah and not for show-off or to gain praise or fame.
5. Tawakkul (Trust in Allah)
“…For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:159)
The secret and reality of trust in Allah is the reliance of the heart on Allah alone. Therefore trusting in Allah by word of mouth is different from trusting in Him by the heart.
Reliance is doing and hoping; doing everything necessary within one’s capability to achieve one’s aim and hoping with tranquility of heart and soul and putting one’s trust in Allah with firm belief that whatever the outcome might be, it is as a result of the Will of Allah and His Decree.
One should never feel that too much time has passed by without supplications being answered; rather we should always place our hope on the One who is able to do all things. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him ) says, “If you all depend on Allah, with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives to birds who go forth hungry in the morning and return with full bellies at dusk” (At-Tirmidhi)
6. Qist (Justice)
“…for Allah loveth those who judge in equity.” (Surah Al Ma’idah 5:42)
“…for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).” (Surah Al Hujurat 49:9)
Justice is a prerequisite to peace which is missing in our contemporary society. It involves giving other people the right we give ourselves, treating people the way we would like to be treated.
Justice sounds like a word meant for the leaders alone but rather it affects us all.
– To be equitable in speech and in actions.
– With no degree of discrimination or false testimony.
– It involves being fair with regards to one’s family and those who are in our custody; justice between children by not giving one preference over the other.
– By not committing wrong against oneself such as engaging in sinful practices and immoral acts.
– Justice with Allah in not associating any being with Him in worship and obedience.
7. Sabr (Patience)
“…And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast (As-Sabirin (the patient)).” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:146)
Patience is one of the most noble of virtues and traits. It is to endure what one dislikes with a sense of acceptance and submission and anticipating Allah’s reward.
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “patience to Iman is like the head to a body: if the head is cut off, the body perishes as well.” (Gems and jewels – wise sayings, interesting events & moral lessons from the Islamic history, compiled by Abdul-Malik Mujahid (Darussalam))
Muslims should adhere to patience when afflicted with calamity and should not yield either to desperation nor despondence because if we are patient, everything that was destined and preordained for us will occur and we will be rewarded. If we complain and are hopeless, then all that was destined for us will still occur, but we will be blamed for our impatience at Allah’s Will.
Seven Qualities that Allah does not Love
1. Israaf (extravagance)
“…But waste not by excess: for Allah loveth not the wasters (Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance)).” (Surah Al An’am 6:141)
Excessive spending and lavishness in everything is the core of evil and leads to greater evil. It makes one forget the hereafter and preparing for it. Such acts would be a cause of humiliation and disgrace on the Day of Judgment.
That is why Almighty Allah has prescribed zakah (obligatory alms) and sadaqah (voluntary charity) in order to bless the wealth and to curb extravagance in eating, drinking, clothing and in everything we do.
2. Istikbaar (Pride)
“…verily He loveth not the arrogant (proud).” (Surah Al Nahl 16:23)
And the Prophet says,
“Pride is to completely disregard the truth and scorn (looking down upon) the people” (Muslim)
Sometimes a person might be deceived by his/ her knowledge, wealth and property, lineage and ancestry, or worship and be arrogant and boastful.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri advised that: “Do not become proud merely because you worship often, for consider what happened to Iblis after he spent a great deal of time worshipping” (Gems and jewels – wise sayings, interesting events & moral lessons from the Islamic history, compiled by Abdul-Malik Mujahid (Darussalam))
Pride is among the greatest means of damage to a person’s wealth and circumstances. It distances one away from Allah’s love and “He who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter paradise.” (Sahih Muslim, Book #001, Hadith #0166)
3. Mukhtal fakhoor (Arrogant boaster)
“…for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster.” (Surah Luqman 31:18)
Being arrogant and boastful are a deadly combination – beauty, knowledge, wealth and noble lineage should be taken as gifts from Almighty Allah and one should be humble and grateful for them rather than make them a means of pride and oppression.
Servants of Allah cannot be true to themselves as long as they are flattering themselves, walking in an arrogant manner and looking down on people who are inferior to them and not mix with them. The one who is arrogant in this world will be disgraced on the Day of Judgment.
Prophet Muhammad says, “The arrogant will be gathered on the Day of Judgment in the form of small ants. Humiliation will surround them from everywhere.” (At-Tirmidhi)
4. Udwaan (Transgression)
“…for Allah loveth not those given to excess (Transgression).” (Surah Al Ma’idah 5:87)
Human characteristics have limitations, which if surpassed would be transgression and if one falls short of it, it would be a defect – for example, generosity has a limitation, when surpassed, it becomes extravagance, when courage is surpassed, it becomes rashness; when ibadah (worship) is surpassed, one falls into the risk of adopting bid’ah – some of the Companions almost fell into this trap.
Narrated by Anas bin Malik: “A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet asking how the Prophet worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever.” Allah’s Apostle came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).”” (Sahih Bukhari, Book #62, Hadith #1)
Therefore, moderation is the best way to deal with all matters – it is not to exaggerate and make it hard for ourselves by prohibiting the permissible things. And not to transgress the limits by excessively indulging in the permissible matters but rather we should only use what satisfies our need and not fall into extravagance.
5. Zulm (Evil, wrongdoing)
“…but God loveth not those who do wrong (Zalimun (oppressors, polytheists and wrong doers)).” (Surah Ali ‘Imran 3:57)
This is a reprehensible trait whose existence spoils the Iman and darkens the heart. The wrongdoers are those who have chosen the tempting transient life instead of the hereafter. All acts of wrongdoing such as stealing, breach of trust, embezzlement, usurping the rights of others, and bribery, have serious consequences in the hereafter.
In a Hadith, Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: “My servants, I have made oppression unlawful for Me and unlawful for you, so do not commit oppression against one another.” (Sahih Muslim, Book #032, Hadith #6246)
6. Khiyaanah (Treachery)
“…for Allah loveth not the treacherous.” (Surah Al Anfal 8:58)
The treacherous one is two-faced and inconsistent in words and deeds. Acts of treachery lead to betrayal, disloyalty, perfidy, deception and hypocrisy which in turn soil the Iman.
7. Ifsaad (Mischief-making)
“…And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.” (Surah Al Ma’idah 5:64)
This is a comprehensive term which includes great crimes, sins, oppression, carrying false tales, hypocrisy, tyranny and all kinds of mischief. All these acts are despicable and stain the Iman.
Hasten today to adopt the qualities that Almighty Allah loves and don’t rest until they become second nature to you; hasten today to abandon all the qualities Allah does not love and don’t relent until you hate them with all your heart. The Prophet said: “Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” (Al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak and Al-Haythami in Majma Az-Zawaa’id)
Therefore the key is supplication, resorting to Allah and sincere desire to please Him followed by action, so we say,
“O Allah make Iman beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts.”
Sources: Excerpt from Sisters magazine courtesy of sisters-magazine.com