Ibaadah (Worship) And Levels Of Love
Al-‘Ibaadah (worship) which we are commanded to perform includes the meaning of humility and love, it contains intense humility before Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’alaa – Glory be to He, Allah, the Most High) together with the intense love for Him. The uppermost level of love is the adoration (Tatayum) and its lowermost level is the interest, because the heart is first interested in the beloved. After the interest comes the affection, then the love, and finally the adoration. In Arabic “Taym-u-Allaah” (the adorer of Allah) is used to mean “Abd-u-Allaah” (the worshiper of Allah) because the adorer is the one who yields completely to their lover.
One who submits to someone with hatred is not worshiping him. And one who loves someone without submitting to him is likewise not worshiping him; this is like a man who loves his son and friends. Therefore, neither love nor submission alone are sufficient in worshiping Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’alaa). Allah must be loved most by Al-‘Abd (the slave) and He (subhaanahu wa ta’alaa) must be the greatest of all in his sight. Nothing deserves complete love and submission except Allah . It is a futile love when anything has been loved for other than the sake of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’alaa). And whatever has been highly regarded without it being by the Command of Allah, its glorification is rejected.
The love for Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’alaa) and Ar-Rasool (the messenger Mohammed) [sallallaahu ‘alayhee wa sallam – may the peace & blessings of Allah be upon him], should override any other love.
Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’alaa) said:
“Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and Fighting in His Cause; then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the rebellious folk.” [At-Tawbah:24]
Thus, the essence of love should be due to Allah and His Messenger, so too with the obedience. For the obedience is due to Allah and His Messenger, and pleasing is due to Allah and His Messenger,
“But it is more fitting that they should please Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) if they are (true) believers.” [At-Tawbah:62]