Why We Must Love Allah & His Messenger More Than Anything Else?
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on February 5, 1988)
Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Tawbah, (Verse 24), what can be translated as, "Say (O Muhammad): If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth you have gained, the commerce you fear a decline or the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah, or his Apostle, or the striving in his cause, then wait until Allah brings about his decision, and Allah does not guide the people who are Al-Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
It is mentioned in this ayah that it is always true that man’s heart clings to his own kith and kin, to his parents, children, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives or other relatives. His heart also clings to his wealth and prosperity, to his commerce or means of profit and gain, and to his noble buildings for dignity and comfort.
If these are preventing you in striving for Allah’s cause, we have to make a choice. We must decide which one we love most. Is the love of wealth, kith and kin greater than the love for Allah and striving in his cause? If so, we have a serious problem.
Our failure to respond to Allah’s cause will leave us in a state of spiritual poverty, deprived of grace and guidance, "for Allah guides not the rebellious."
This ayah may raise two questions:
- FIRST: Why this strong warning from Allah to those who love their earthly ties and comforts, profits and pleasures, more than they love Allah, his Apostle, and the striving in Allah’s cause?
- SECOND: What will happen if that serious mistake takes place and the warning of Allah is ignored and what will be the results upon the individual and upon the ummah as whole?
To answer the first question, love is a result and fruit from the aqeedah, belief and the faith of the people. Therefore, love reflects that aqeedah, belief in the individual’s behavior, and in the society in general. This is why the love shown by disbeliever’s is so clearly different from the love shown by believers.
To explain: The one who believes in Allah, His oneness, His power, and that He is the creator and master of the universe, should be built on that He is the only one worthy of total submission in all aspects of life. That person adheres to his rules and regulations, and follows his commands for good and for evil. His aqeedah, belief surrounds and controls a person’s love for Allah, and his love for the Messenger (SAW), and also a person’s love for striving in the cause of Allah.
On the other hand, the disbeliever does not believe in the existence of Allah and His ones. Furthermore he does not believe that Allah is the creator of this universe and for that reason he submits himself to other than Allah (S.W.T.). And the desbeliever’s love to other things around him is built on his false aqeedah, belief.
Allah (S.W.T.) explains to us the difference between two groups in surat Al’Baqarah, (Verse 165), what can be translate as, "And of mankind are some who take others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they should love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.
Now, to answer the second question, what will happen when a Muslim loves any of the mentioned categories in that Ayah of surat Al –Tawbah more than loving Allah, his apostle, and the striving in Allah’s cause?
If that happens, then there will be terrible consequences not only for the individual but also for the entire ummah as a whole. Here are some examples to explain that:
First: When one loves his fathers, his sons, his brothers, his mates, his kindred, or his relatives more than he loves Allah, his apostle, and the striving in Allah’s cause, he will not follow Allah’s commands and he will not avoid Allah’s prohibitions and also he will not strive for the cause of Allah. Either because he hates being away from the beloved ones or he fears death. So, the obedience of Allah will be broken and the Muslim ummah will be very weak with no one willing to protect Muslim’s rights and territories. Also the ties between the Muslims will be completely wrong, built on un-Islamic Ideologies such Tribalism and Nationalism, which will result in dispute and divisions among the Muslims because it is not on the basis of loving all Muslims as one brotherhood.
Second: When loving the wealth that one gains, the commerce in which one fears a decline becomes more than loving Allah, his apostle, and the striving in Allah’s cause, terrible things happen due to the greed which wealth generates and that leads to the prohibited things like dealing with riba, usury and interest, cheating, bribing, gambling etc. Also a person will not give the right of Allah in his wealth (zakat-UL-mal). It also make the people busy from remembrance of Allah which includes every act of service and goodness like prayer, fasting, hajj, etc. and every kind thought and kind deed, for this is the service and sacrifice which Allah requires from us. If we fail in this, the loss is our own; not anyone else’s for it stunts our own spiritual growth. Allah summarized all that in surat Al-Munafiqun, (Verse 9), what can be translated as, "O you who believe! Do not let your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Whosoever does that, then they are truly the losers."
Third: When a person loves his dwelling and his land where he was born and raised up more than he loves Allah, his apostle, and the striving in Allah’s cause, this is what will lead him to stick to it and make it like the main goal he lives and fights for. This is the situation of many Muslims today in their countries and lands and how their enemies reach their minds and thinking. We will see those Muslims fighting each other over a piece of land. For Example what happened between: Iran and Iraq. They are both Muslim countries who fought each other instead of fighting their real enemies. This may happen again in other times and places between the Muslims. The Muslims have been fooled by these artificial borders between them made by enemies who do not want the Muslims to unite together.
All of us remember much of the suffering and the sad events that have happened and still happen all over the Muslim nations because Muslims forget they are all one brotherhood and the Muslim ummah is only one nation from the far east to the far west as Allah says in surat Al-Anbiyaa, (Verse 92), what can be translated as, "verily, this is your ummah a one ummah and I am your Lord and submit totally to me."
Finally, these are some of the bad and fatal consequences which appear today in the individuals life and the Muslim ummah as a result of not putting the love of Allah, his apostle and the striving in Allah’s cause first.