Hadith 38. Attaining Allah’s love COMPLETE


On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RadhiyAllahu ‘anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allah (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said,

“Verily Allah (Glorified may he be) has said: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’ ”

[Reported by Bukhari]

Brief Commentary

  • Scholars said this is the most noble hadith in describing the friends of Allah, so it is a mighty and important hadith
  • This hadith gives us the methodology of becoming from the friends of Allah and the consequences of being from the friends of Allah
  • Due to its importance, scholars authored books on it. Imam Al-Shawkani wrote a 500+ page book on this hadith
  • From Surah Yunus [10:62-64] we can see that to be a friend of Allah, you need to be a believer (excel in faith) and pious (excel in actions)
  • There three levels of the friends of Allah, taken from Surah Fatir [35:32]:
    • {Wronged themselves}: Generally good people, but sometimes miss obligations or fall into sins
    • {Stayed between right and wrong}: Fulfil obligations and don’t sin, but don’t go further than that. May carry out disliked actions
    • {Foremost in doing good deeds}: These are the elite of mankind. They fulfil the obligations and don’t sin, and they also strive and excel in doing recommended actions and avoid disliked actions
  • Due to these levels, Ibn Taymiyyah said you don’t need to be perfect to be from the friends of Allah
  • Because Iman and piety originate from the heart, it is difficult to declare someone a  friend of Allah. We say, “By the will of Allah they are righteous”
  • No one can reach a level which there is no more actions required from them, no matter how much of a lofty status they have with Allah
  • The Arabic word used to describe “shows enmity” is from فاعل which is to do something in unison, therefore the enmity is reciprocal. It is from the qualities of the pious to forgive others in worldly matters, so this must be talking about religious matters
  • It is a sign from the people of innovation to defend their innovation more than they defend the Sunnah
  • The enmity is reciprocal because we need to implement الولاء والبراء (allegiance and enmity for the sake of Allah, or love and hate for the sake of Allah)
  • The Arabic word used to describe, “I have declared war” also carries a reciprocal meaning so the war is declared by Allah and by the ones who show animosity to His friends. We may not think we are waging war against Allah, but we may be doing so with our actions
  • Allah mentions two levels of His friends in this hadith:
    • Those who draw closer to Him by fulfilling obligatory action (staying away from haram is implied here). These are the ones who {Stayed between right and wrong}
    • Those who draw closer to Him by also carrying out recommended action. These are the ones who are {Foremost in doing good deeds}
  • The obligatory actions are the most beloved actions to Allah, hence why He made them obligatory
  • By fulfilling the obligations you are establishing the roots (as in a tree)
  • A misconception is when someone’s Iman is weak, they do recommended actions and ignore the obligations, and this wrong
  • Another misconception is leaving out recommended actions until you fix up all of your obligatory actions, and this too is wrong
  • Ibn Rajab said, “Whomsoever Allah loves, will be given love for Allah, being obedient to Him, and busying himself in His remembrance and servitude, and this will draw him closer to Allah”
  • It is due to this love that people differ in the way they approach the  obligatory and recommended actions. The {Foremost in doing good deeds} don’t do them just to remove  the responsibility off their necks, but they surpass that and want to attain the love of Allah
  • Major benefits of doing the recommended actions:
    • It is a means of safeguarding the obligations, not just in salah, but everything else, e.g. fasting 6 days of Shawwal
    • Doing recommended actions before the obligatory ones help prepare ourselves for the obligatory actions
    • Doing recommended actions after the obligatory ones help in making up for the shortcomings in the obligatory actions
  • The end section of the hadith is the consequence of drawing closer with the obligations and recommended actions
  • Interpretations for “I become his hearing/sight/hand/foot”:
    • We give preference to what He loves and are influenced by His commandments
    • We become fully focused on Allah. Not just giving preference as above, but also busying ourselves with what He loves
    • Allah guides us so everything we do conforms to what He loves
    • Allah aids us when fighting our enemy (as hadith is talking about harming/showing enmity)
    • Allah will be the protector of our hearing, seeing, etc
    • Everything we hears/see, etc is connected to Allah, e.g. looking at the signs of Allah, only walking to places Allah loves
    • We reach state of Ihsan so we worship Allah in public and private as if we can see Him, and if not, then with the knowledge that He sees us
  • Scholars say this is the true essence of Tawheed (monotheism), to understand who Allah is and what He loves and this is something in the heart
  • In Surah Al-Jumu’ah [62:2], we can see that it is from the tasks of the prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to purify us before teaching us the Qur’an and Sunnah. No doubt we are purified through the Qur’an and the Sunnah but we need to be very pure before we can really understand and see ourselves acting upon them
  • Some people try to use this hadith to prove we are one body with Allah but in fact, this hadith can be used to refute them as Allah says “Were he to ask of me, I would surely give him”, and the one who asks is not the same as the one being asked
  • Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Whatever evidence people use to back up their false beliefs, that evidence can always be used to refute them at the same time”
  • Allah says that if we ask Him, He would give us. This is a manifestation of how much He loves us
  • We need to be very careful when looking for a response for a du’aa because what we asked for might have not been best for us, or Allah wants to save it for us in the hereafter or even wants us to be more insistent, so not seeing a response doesn’t mean it has gone unanswered
  • There is a completion to this hadith which is, “And I do not hesitate in anything like my hesitation in taking the life of my believing slave, he dislikes death, and I dislike hurting him”
  • Death is painful, but that is in fact a mercy for us as it is an expiation of our sins
  • We fear death because of the enormity of the trials at the time of death and our weak state
  • We also fear death because we will never know if it is the angel of punishment or of pleasure until death comes upon us, but once a believer dies and sees what Allah has prepared for him, then that fear goes
  • A friend of Allah fears death because he fears for his shortcomings as he didn’t worship Allah as He deserves
  • Allah’s hesitation is not like our hesitation which is built upon doubt of ability or benefit. Hesitation is to go back and forth, and in this context it is Allah making a decision between two different matters, something that He dislikes (hurting a believer) and something that is a must (death), and Allah’s decision was based on what is best and did not include any doubts on His behalf
  • Different opinions on this:
    • Allah spares him for a longer time
    • Allah takes the soul slowly and gradually (giving that back and forth is a form of hesitation) so it isn’t hesitation built upon doubt
    • Two conflicting matters: Allah wants to take his soul and also dislikes harming him as mentioned above

Benefits and Action points:

  • Increase in purifying your heart and carrying out many righteous actions so that you may be from the friends of Allah
  • Enmity can occur between us and the scholars and amongst ourselves so we should be aware of falling into either
  • Beware of waging war against Allah by harming His believing slaves
  • Know that the most beloved actions to Allah are the obligatory actions
  • Strive to attain the love of Allah by fulfilling the obligations and increasing in the recommended actions
  • Khabab ibn Al-Aratt said, “Know that you will not draw closer to Allah with anything more beloved to Him than his speech (i.e. Qur’an)”
  • Don’t leave out recommended actions just because you are not fulfilling the obligatory ones, rather do the recommended actions that you can for they may push you to then fulfil the obligations as you should
  • Understand that both recommended and obligatory actions are commandments from Allah, and both disliked and haram actions are prohibitions from Allah
  • Sins only come about when someone loves that which Allah hates so avoid loving anything that is haram or disliked
  • To attain this high level, we need to purify our heart from anything that challenges our love for Allah
  • Understand that acceptance of a du’aa doesn’t necessarily mean getting what you asked for

4 thoughts on “Hadith 38. Attaining Allah’s love COMPLETE

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