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Can I love Allah through worldly means?
Thank you for your important question.
May Allah, Most High, reward you for your desire to increase in knowledge.
Balancing Between Loving Allah & Everything Besides Him
The journey of faith is to make everything we naturally love beloved for the sake of Allah, Most High.
Love is a human experience that is relative based on your natural disposition. The goal of the believer is to make everything he loves in accordance with what Allah, Most High loves. This is the highest degree of love.
Allah, Most High says in the Quran:
“Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ ‘If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” [Qur’an, 3:31]
In this verse, we see that Allah, Most High, promises his love for those who follow the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). Allah, Most High, does so because all the actions of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) are actions that are that beloved to Him.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“Love Allah, Most High for what He gifts you with of His Blessings. Love me for the sake of your love for Allah, and love the people of my house for the sake of your love for me.” [Tirmidhi, al-Sunan]
In the above Prophetic Tradition, we see that the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is advising us to love him for the sake of Allah, Most High.
Loving someone for the sake of Allah means that you interact with them in a manner that pleases Allah, Most High.
Hence, whenever we find ourselves having a love for anything of this world from people, work, entertainment, etc., it should be a love that is coupled with the intention to please Allah, Most High, through it.
“Indeed intention changes an ordinary action into an action that one is rewarded for.”
Anything permissible that is beloved to you is in reality an opportunity for you to increase in your love for Allah, Most High.
And Allah alone knows best,
[Ustadh] Omar Popal
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani