It is said that one is to have only Allah love in the heart. No ghairullah (other than Allah) should be in one’s heart or thoughts. My question is, we as muslims are supposed to love our beloved Prophet Muhammed salallahu alayhi wasallam and his blessed family as well, and yet our heart should only be devoted to Allah, so what is the correct way to do this??
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
As Muslims we must definitely have love for Allah Ta’ala as our primary motive. Even our ibadah/worship of Allah is for the sole reason of pleasing Allah. A heart void of love for Allah will never be content with Islam and will wander to every direction his nafs shows him. Once this happens, then all materialistic gains start becoming beloved in one’s eyes. The relations one have will become so near and dear that the question of haqq and batil (truth and falsehood), question of right and wrong, moral and immoral will all become a tertiary concept. This is why the soul of Islam is in complete Wahdaniyah (monotheism) of Allah. Only after that, everything besides Allah becomes secondary.
The question of how does the love of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam , parents, teachers, siblings etc. play a role in all this. Understand, that the value and grandeur of Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam is from nothing but for the fact that he is a Prophet of Allah and a Mighty Messenger. Remove Allah from the equation, and the grandeur just fades away. It is thus only those who have loved Allah will find themselves loving Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam salallahu alayhi wassalam in his due right.
Love for parents and sibling is a tab’ee (natural) element, hence their love will be in one’s heart, but once a person realizes the real love and the real lover, i.e. Allah Ta’ala then one also realizes that the love for siblings and other creation can only survive infinity if it is made subservient to the eternal love. A sahabi may love Allah, but when he sees that his own parent is not subservient to Allah, he shuns his love due to relation aside in surrender to the love of the creator.
Having these different factors understood, now understand that there are relations which are haqq and halal. Allah has made them halal and a means of our contentment and satisfaction. They are halal because Allah has made them such. Parenthood, brotherhood etc. are such relations. We cherish them because Allah has kept the natural contentment of cherishing them. Otherwise there were many whose love of world overpowered these relations and ended up abusing, killing, deceiving, torturing, and rebuking their parents, brothers and sister. It is this divine guidance towards morality, which helps us take benefit of these relations. While we show our love to them, in reality the love for them becomes a reflection of our gratitude to the creator of that love.
A Muslim’s relation stays with Allah. And it is this link which is Qat’ ma siwa Allah. You are linked to Allah at all times. Once another intermediary enters between you and Allah, then there are three possibilities:
a. The intermediary will be a lawful one. e.g. Father, Mother, Teacher, Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam etc. In this case your love towards Allah will, for the time this intermediary is there, go through the intermediary. So in presence one’s relation with Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam where one is engrossed in reciting durood, thinking about him etc. One’s love will go towards Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam and then the link will join further from the intermediary to Allah. Understand that in such a case, the intermediary has to have a connection of love towards Allah too. Otherwise, although the connection will remain due to halal means, but the halawah (sweetness) and perception of Allah in such a person’s gathering will diminish. This is the reason, when we are in presence of ahl Allah, we remember Allah more. This is because their connection to Allah is much stronger, and it links back to us.
b. Compare this to another halal intermediary like a close friend. Although he may be halal relation, but if he is not pious and has ill habits, then his weak connection with Allah will display itself in having negative affect on your connection with Allah. This is the importance of keeping good company. Good company is that which reminds one of Allah. In such a case, where the intermediary is not a good link towards Allah, a pious loving heart will feel suffocated in such a company and will wish to abandon the company and look for either a direct link to Allah or through “a”. This is why one of the advices given when one finds himself in non-muttaqi situation is to recite durood or ayatul kursi etc. to spark the connection of love directly to Allah. Either this or one should abandon this company with might and seek ahl Allah.
c. The last possibility in getting an intermediary between oneself and Allah is the haram one. e.g girlfriend, non mahram etc. In such a case, the barakah and love and all types of connection with Allah gets severed. The person, having lost the real connection is left to wander on his own. The only hope here is either by some ahl Allah interfering and momentarily severing his tie with the haram connection so he can re-evaluate his link with Allah, or Allah in his infinite mercy Himself links to his heart so the person can realize his mistake. In this last case, we implore to the ‘aql (understanding) of such person to take action.. Strike the axe on one’s heart and make tawbah and try to link back to Allah.
In all cases however, there is a link. In case a, b the real love remains that of Allah, but it passes through an intermediary. In our practice, ‘arifeen explain, that one should always be connected to Allah, and if for temporary purpose one has to go through intermediary (e.g. someone’s father wishes to talk to him/her) then this intermediary should be approached only to affirm the true love towards Allah. Allah has commanded one to respect the father, so the father’s love becomes a liking of one’s beloved. Similarly, Allah wishes that we love Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam, so that too becomes fulfilling of the command towards Allah.
Finally, to your question; How do two loves remain in one heart. The answer is that they do not. Only Allah’s love remains. The love for all His creations become a temporary shadow in the heart. The reality remains Allah. One loves the mother because of one’s love and obedience to Allah. One loves Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam because of one love for Allah. And so forth.
May Allah give us the ability to instill the true love for Allah, Ameen
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi
This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada.