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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Four Kinds of Love





Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on
him) said regarding this matter:

      There are
four kinds of love, which we must differentiate between, and those who
go astray do so because they do not make this distinction. The first of
them is love of Allaah, but this alone is not sufficient to save a person
from the punishment of Allaah and to earn him His reward. The Mushrikeen,
worshippers of the cross, Jews and others all love Allaah. The second is
love of that which Allaah loves. This is what brings a person into Islam
and out of Kufr. The most beloved of people to Allaah is the one who is
most correct and most devoted in this kind of love. The third kind is love
for the sake of Allaah, which is one of the essentials of loving that which
Allaah loves. A person's love of that which Allaah loves cannot be complete
until he also loves for the sake of Allaah. The fourth is love for something
alongside Allaah, and this love has to do with shirk. Everyone who loves
things alongside Allaah but not for the sake of Allaah has taken that thing
as a rival to Allaah. This is the love of the Mushrikeen. There remains
a fifth kind of love which has nothing to do with our topic; this is the
natural love which is a person's inclination towards that which suits his
nature, such as the love of a thirsty person for water or of a hungry person
for food, or the love of sleep, or of one's wife and children. There is
nothing wrong with this unless it distracts a person from remembering Allaah
and keeps him from loving Him. Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

      "O you who
believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance
of Allaah" [al-Munaafiqoon 63:9]

      "Men whom
neither trade nor sale (business) diverts from the remembrance of Allaah"
[al-Noor 24:37]

al-Kaafi, 1/134)

      And he said
(may Allaah have mercy on him):

      The difference
between loving for the sake of Allaah and loving something alongside Allaah
is one of the most important distinctions. Everyone needs to make this
distinction and is indeed obliged to do so. Loving for the sake of Allaah
is a sign of the perfection of faith, but loving something alongside Allaah
is the essence of shirk. The difference between them is that a person's
love for the sake of Allaah is connected to his love of Allaah; if this
love becomes strong in his heart, this love dictates that he will love
that which Allaah loves. If he loves that which his Lord loves and he loves
those who are the friends of Allaah, this is love for the sake of Allaah.
So he loves His Messengers, Prophets, angels and close friends because
Allaah loves them, and he hates those who hate them because Allaah hates
those people. The sign of the love and hatred for the sake of Allaah is
that his hatred for the one whom Allaah hates will not turn into love merely
because that person treats him kindly, does him a service or meets some
need he has; and his love for those whom Allaah loves will not turn to
hatred simply because that person does something that upsets or hurts him,
whether it is done by mistake or deliberately, in obedience to Allaah or
because the person feels that he has a duty to do it for some reason, or
because the person is a wrongdoer who may yet give up his wrongdoing and
repent. The entire religion revolves around four principles: love and hatred,
and stemming from them, action and abstinence. The person whose love and
hatred, action and abstinence, are all for the sake of Allaah, has perfected
his faith so that when he loves, he loves for the sake of Allaah, when
he hates, he hates for the sake of Allaah, when he does something, he does
it for the sake of Allaah, and when he abstains from something, he abstains
for the sake of Allaah. To the extent that he is lacking in these four
categories, he is lacking in faith and commitment to religion. This is
in contrast to the love of things alongside Allaah, which is of two types.
One is diametrically opposed to the principle of Tawheed and is shirk;
the other is opposed to perfection of sincerity and love towards Allaah,
but does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam.

      The first
kind is like the love of the Mushrikeen for their idols and gods. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):

      "And of
mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allaah as rivals
(to Allaah). They love them as they love Allaah" [al-Baqarah


      These Mushrikeen
love their idols and gods alongside Allaah as they love Allaah. This love
and devotion is accompanied by fear, hope, worship and supplication. This
love is pure Shirk which Allaah does not forgive. Faith cannot be perfected
unless a person regards these idols as enemies and hates them intensely,
and hates the people who worship them, and regards them as enemies and
strives against them. This is the message with which Allaah sent all His
Messengers and revealed all His Books. He created Hell for the people of
shirk who love these rivals, and He created Paradise for those who strive
against them and take them as enemies for His sake and to earn His Pleasure.
Anybody who worships anything from the vicinity of the Throne to the lowest
depths of the earth and takes a god and a supporter besides Allaah and
associates another beings in worship with Him, will be disowned by the
object of his worship when he is most in need of it [i.e., on the Day of

      The second
kind is love for the things which Allaah has made attractive to people,
such as women, children, gold, silver, branded beautiful horses, cattle
and well-tilled land. People love them with a kind of desire, like the
love of the hungry person for food and the thirsty person for water. This
love is of three kinds. If a person loves them for the sake of Allaah and
as a means of obeying Allaah, he will be rewarded for that; it will be
counted as a part of love for the sake of Allaah and a means of reaching
Him, and he will still find enjoyment in them. This is how the best of
creation [i.e. the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him)] was, to whom women and perfume were made dear in this world, and
his love for them helped him to love Allaah more and to convey His Message
and fulfil His commands. If a person loves them because they suit his nature
and his own desires, but he does not give them preference over that which
Allaah loves and is pleased with, and he gets them because of his natural
inclination, then they come under the heading of things which are permissible,
and he will not be punished for that, but his love of Allaah and for the
sake of Allaah will be lacking somewhat. If his sole purpose in life is
to get these things, and he gives priority to that over that which Allaah
loves and is pleased with, then he is wronging himself and following his
own desires.

      The first
is the love of al-Saabiqoon (those who are foremost in Islam); the second
is the love of al-muqtasidoon (those who are average) and the third is
the love of al-zaalimoon (the wrongdoers).

by Ibn al-Qayyim, 1/254.

      May Allaah
bless our Prophet Muhammad.


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