According to the Quran, the idol worshipers shall not be permitted to approach the Sacred Masjid in Mecca.
[9:28] O you who believe, the idol worshipers are polluted; they shall not be permitted to approach the Sacred Masjid after this year. If you fear loss of income, GOD will shower you with His provisions, in accordance with His will. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
We can derive the reason for the above restriction from the following verses:
[9:107] There are those who abuse the masjid by practicing idol worship, dividing the believers, and providing comfort to those who oppose GOD and His messenger. They solemnly swear: “Our intentions are honorable!” GOD bears witness that they are liars.
[9:108] You shall never pray in such a masjid. A masjid that is established on the basis of righteousness from the first day is more worthy of your praying therein. In it, there are people who love to be purified. GOD loves those who purify themselves.
[9:109] Is one who establishes his building on the basis of reverencing GOD and to gain His approval better or one who establishes his building on the brink of a crumbling cliff, that falls down with him into the fire of Hell? GOD does not guide transgressing people.
[9:110] Such a building that they have established remains a source of doubt in their hearts until their hearts are stilled. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
The Quran teaches us tolerance. It does not impose any other restriction on idol worshipers, for example, visiting Mecca, Medina, Arafat, or any other places.
[9:6] If one of the idol worshipers sought safe passage with you, you shall grant him safe passage, so that he can hear the word of GOD, then send him back to his place of security. That is because they are people who do not know.
[9:19] Have you considered the watering of the pilgrims and caring for the Sacred Masjid a substitute for believing in GOD and the Last Day, and striving in the cause of GOD? They are not equal in the sight of GOD. GOD does not guide the wicked people.
All Praises be to Allah
Putting light on a serious and weighty matter, which none attain but very few of the righteous slaves of Allah.
The love of Allah is “the status for which the righteous compete and strive… It is the nourishment of hearts and souls… the delight of the eyes… It is the life of which one who is denied it is dead… the light which the one who loses it is in deep darkness… the healing of which the one who is denied is sick… the joy which the one who is deprived of it lives in distress and pain…
It is the spirit of faith and good deeds… by means of which one may draw closer to Allah… which, when it is absent, one is like a body in which there is no soul.”
O Allah, make us among those whom You love.
The love of Allah has signs and causes which are like the key to the door. These causes include the following:
1 Following the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Allah says in His Holy Book (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:31]
2-5 Being humble towards the believers and stern towards the kaafirs, waging jihad for the sake of Allah, and not fearing anyone or anything but Him. Allah has mentioned these qualities in a single verse, in which He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Whoever from among you turns back from his religion (Islam), Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the way of Allah, and never fear of the blame of the blamers”
In this verse, Allah describes the attributes of those whom He loves, the first of which is: humility and not being arrogant towards the Muslims, and being stern towards the kaafirs, and not humbling or humiliating oneself before them. They (the ones whom Allah loves) strive for the sake of Allah, against the Shaytaan, the kuffaar, the hypocrites, and the evildoers, and they strive against their own selves (jihad al-nafs). They do not fear the blame of any blamer, because so long as they are following the commands of their religion, he will not care about anyone who mocks him or blames him.
6 Doing naafil (supererogatory) acts of worship. Allah says – according to a hadeeth Qudsi – “My slave keeps drawing near to me by means of supererogatory acts of worship until I love Him.” Supererogatory acts of worship include naafil prayers, charity, ‘Umrah, Hajj, and fasting.
8-12 Loving, visiting one another, helping one another (financially), and offering sincere advice to one another for the sake of Allah.
These attributes were mentioned in a single hadeeth in which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) narrated that his Lord said: “My love is guaranteed for two who love one another for My sake; My love is guaranteed for two who visit one another for My sake; My love is guaranteed for two who help one another (financially) for My sake; My love is guaranteed to two who uphold ties with one another for My sake.”
Narrated by Ahmad, 4/236 and 5/236; al-Tanaasuh by Ibn Hibbaan, 3/338; the two ahaadeeth were classed as Saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 3019, 3020, 3021.
What is meant by “two who visit one another for My sake” is that they only visit one another for the sake of Allah, seeking thereby His pleasure for their loving one another for His sake or cooperating in worshipping Him.
From al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwatta’, hadeeth 1779.
13 Being tested. Calamities and disasters are a test for a person, and this is a sign that Allah loves him because this is like a medicine: even though it is bitter, but still, you offer the medicine, despite its bitterness, to the one whom you love; and Allah’s is the highest description. According to a Saheeh hadeeth: “The greatest reward comes from the greatest trial. When Allah loves people, He tests them, and whoever accepts it gains the pleasure of Allah, and whoever complains earns His wrath.
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; Ibn Maajah, 4031; classed as Saheeh
For calamities to befall the believer is better than punishments being stored up for him in the Hereafter. How can it be otherwise when he is raised in status and his bad deeds are erased thereby? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wills good for His slave, He hastens his punishment in this world, and when He wills bad for His slave, He withholds his sins until he comes with them on the Day of Resurrection.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2396; classed as Saheeh
The scholars have explained that the one from whom calamities and trials are withheld is the hypocrite, for Allah withholds [his punishment] in this world, so as to bring him with all his sins on the Day of Resurrection.
O Allah, make us among those whom You love.
If Allah loves you, do not ask about the good that you will attain and the virtue that you will acquire… it is sufficient for you to know that you are beloved of Allah. The great fruits of the love of Allah for His slave are as follows:
1 People will love him and he will be accepted on earth, as it says in the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari (3209): “When Allah loves a slave, He says to Jibreel, ‘I love so-and-so, so love him,’ so Jibreel loves him and then calls out to the people of heaven, ‘Allah loves so-and-so, so love him,’ and the people of heaven love him, and then acceptance is placed in the Earth for him.”
2 What Allah has mentioned in the hadeeth Qudsi of the great virtues of those whom He loves. It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, 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 ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6502.
This hadeeth Qudsi includes a number of benefits of Allah’s love for His slave:
(i) “I am his hearing with which he hears” i.e., he does not listen to anything but that which Allah loves.
(ii) “his seeing with which he sees” i.e., he does not see anything but that which Allah loves.
(iii) “his hand with which he strikes” i.e., he does not do anything with his hand but that which Allah loves.
(iv) “and his foot with which he walks” i.e., he does not go towards anything but that which Allah loves.
(v) “Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him” i.e., his du’a’s are heard and his requests are granted.
(vi) “and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it” i.e., he is protected by Allah from all things…
We ask Allah to help us to please Him.
And Allah knows best.
The economic life of Islam is also based upon solid foundations and Divine instructions. Earning one’s living through decent labor is not only a duty but a great virtue as well. Dependence of any able person on somebody else for a livelihood is a religious sin, a social stigma, and disgraceful humiliation.
A Muslim is enjoined by Allah to be self-supporting and to stay away from being a liability to anybody. Islam respects all kinds of work for earning one’s livelihood so long as there is no indecency or wrong involved. With a clear conscience and due respect from society, the Muslim can roll up his sleeves and undertake any kind of work available to provide for himself and his dependants. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported as having said that it is far better for one even to take his rope, cut wood, pile it up, and sell it in order to eat and give charity than to beg others whether they give him or not. According to Islam, the status of honest working men cannot be lowered on account of the kind of work they are doing for a living. Yet the laborers have no limited scope for improving their lots and raising their standards as high as possible. They have equal opportunities at their disposal and enjoy the freedom of enterprise.
Whatever the individual makes or earns through lawful means is his private possession, which neither the State nor anybody else can justifiably claim. In return for this right of private possession, he has only to fulfill certain obligations to society and pay certain taxes to the State. When this is done, he has full rights to protection by the State, and his freedom of enterprise is secure and guaranteed. Under the Islamic system, the menace of greedy capitalism and destructive communism never arises.
The enterprising individual is responsible for the prosperity of the State, and the State in turn is responsible for the security of the individual. Class conflicts are replaced by cooperation and harmony; fear and suspicion are remedied by mutual security and confidence.
The economic system of Islam is not drawn in the light of arithmetical calculations and capacities of production alone. Rather, it is drawn and conceived in the light of a comprehensive system of morals and principles. The person who is working for another person or for a firm or an institution is ordained by Allah to do his work with efficiency and honesty.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that if any of you undertakes to do any work, Allah loves to see him do it well and with efficiency. Once the work is done, the worker is entitled to a fair wage for his services. Failure by the employer to pay the just wage, or attempts to cut it down and waver on it is a punishable act, according to the Law of God.
Business transactions enjoy a great deal of attention from Islam. Honest trade is permitted and blessed by God. This may be carried out through individuals, companies, agencies, and the like.
But all business deals should be concluded with frankness and honesty. Cheating, hiding defects of merchandise from the dealers, exploiting the needs of customers, monopoly of stocks to force one’s own prices are all sinful acts and punishable by Islamic Law. If one is to make a decent living, it has to be made through honest ways and hard endeavors. Otherwise, easy come, easy go, and it is not only that, but anybody that is bred with unlawful provisions will be, according to the Prophet, burning fuel to the Hell Fire on the Day of Judgment.
To combat cheating and exploitation, Islam demands honesty in business, warns the cheaters, encourages decent work, and forbids usury or the taking of interest just in return for lending money to the needy.
This is to show man that he rightfully owns only what he works for, and that exploitation of other people’s pressing needs is irreligious, inhuman, and immoral. In the Qur’an, Allah says: “Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the Evil One by his touch has driven to madness. That is because they say: ‘Trade is like usury.’ But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury. “Those who eat Riba (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitan (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: ‘Trading is only like Riba (usury), ‘ whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba (usury). So whoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns [to Riba (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein. (Qur’an 2:275)
Although man is encouraged to work, is free to engage in an enterprise, is entitled to earn and possess, the fact that he is a mere trustee provides the necessary measure to ensure proper handling of his possessions, the wealth he holds in trust. He has the freedom to earn, invest and spend. Yet in so doing he is guided by high principles to save him from going astray. An example may be sufficient to illustrate the point.
Proprietors are not unreservedly free to spend their money or handle their properties the way they please.
There are certain rules of spending to be followed. In the words of the Qur’an, God enjoins upon the proprietor to fulfill his financial obligations towards his fellow men and to be moderate in his private spending. He is always reminded of the fact that God is the Real Provider and Actual Possessor.
Being ‘in love’ can be both a wonderful experience and a dangerous one. Love involves attachment. Attachment involves clinging to something created. Clinging to something created involves the reality of mortality. For indeed it is as Allah has said,
“Everyone shall taste death.” 3:185
The dangers of attachment are manyfold. However, one of the biggest dangers is that Love can overcome the heart. In doing so, the dedication of one’s life will be for the object of love, and not for the objective of Loving Allah.
Indeed, the one in love must ask their soul, “Is this love for the pleasure of Allah? Do I love this object so that I may come closer to my Lord? Will this love benefit my hereafter, or will it place it in ruin?
If the soul answers ‘no’, then one needs to step back and correct the intention. Not just the intention of yourself, but the intention of the one loved. We, as Muslims, must remember our goal. Our goal is not the pleasure of the creation unless it pleases Allah, rather our Goal is Allah. Our goal is to strengthen our love for Him through our love for others.
An example of strengthening our love for Allah through our love for others is the bond of marriage. If the wife or husband wakes one another up in the early morning for Fajr or Qiyaamul-Layl (night prayer), they have used this love to increase love for Allah.
If the wife encourages her husband to spend his wealth on the poor or encourages him to become involved in bettering this Ummah (nation), the result insha’Allah (by the will of Allah) result will be an increase in Love for Allah.
An increase in love for Allah can even be achieved by having marital relations that bring about children that will worship Allah alone.
We must understand the importance of reaching this noble objective of increasing our Love for Allah. We should make our Salah (prayers), give sadaqah (charity), make du’aa (supplications) in the late parts of the night, based upon love for Allah.
A brother once told me that he felt his Salah was worthless. So I advised him to start making his Salah, not JUST because it is fardh (obligatory), but because he wants to increase his closeness with Allah. I told him that he should build a relationship with his Master. Salah is not a one-sided ritual. Rather, it is two-sided. Allah is pleased by your submitting your soul to him. By gaining that pleasure and Love of Allah, you too, begin to increase in love for him by realizing his favors and blessings. If you increase your asking of Him in prostrations (sajdah), and you truly begin to rely upon Him within your life, your Love will increase for Him.
Indeed building this trust with Allah will only be of benefit in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah says,
And in Allah should the believers put their trust. (Aali Imran 3:122)
Placing one’s trust in someone other than Allah has no guarantees. Whereas placing your trust in Allah alone, always has the guarantee of being fruitful. ‘Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).’ (Aali Imran 3:159)
The point is that we should strive to love for Allah’s sake, even before loving for our own sake. By loving for Allah, we are living for Allah.
And indeed, Allah commanded,
Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (Al-An’am 6:162)
So ask your soul if your life and love are dedicated to Allah!
So if you love Allah, remember that you must love, obey and cling to the best of mankind’s way, Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa sallam – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Aali Imran 3:31)
Let us not be careless and forget our objectives. Let us not be careless and forget what our love really means.
Many a time, people complain that their du’as are not being answered. They do not realize that either the du’a is not being answered for their own benefit, because Allah knows better, or because they are committing sins that are preventing their du’a from being answered.
Moreover, we may not be adopting the proper etiquette of du’a. Apart from the external factors – such as being in a state of ablution, facing the Qiblah, praising Allah, and raising our hands – there are internal matters that are of prime importance. The state of the heart and what it contains: The hope in Allah’s infinite mercy, the level of closeness the heart feels to Him, and the absolute conviction with which we believe in Him.
The Qur’an narrates to us some incidents from the lives of prophets when they turned to Allah in sincere du’a. These incidents teach us how we must turn to Allah for all our needs and the proper way of calling on Allah.
Humility despite wealth, health, and power
Prophet Dawood (peace be upon him) sought Allah’s forgiveness when he was a powerful ruler and a judge among his people. His kingdom extended over a vast dominion.
“And Dawood gathered that We had tested him: he asked forgiveness of his Lord, fell down, bowing (in prostration), and turned (to Allah in repentance).” (Qur’an, 38:24)
Despite having the world at his feet, he fell humbly in prostration to seek forgiveness. Do we do the same when we are enjoying this world’s blessings?
What may not be possible
Prophet Zakariya (peace be upon him) beseeched Allah for offspring after reaching old age:
“And (remember) Zakariya, when he cried to his Lord: “O my Lord! Leave me not without offspring, though You are the best of inheritors.” (Qur’an, 21:89)
(This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya, when he called out his Lord (Allah) a call in secret, saying: “My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and grey hair has spread on my head. And I have never been unblest in my invocation to You, O my Lord! And Verily! I fear my relatives after me since my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir.” (Qur’an, 19:2-5)
Prophet Zakariya called to Allah, conversing with Him in secret counsel, pouring out his heart and his concerns about the future to Him. Knowing that his wife was barren did not stop him from asking His Lord for a heir.
This shows us that while asking Allah for something, we should not worry about the “how” of it, but rather, only the “what”. What is it that you want from Allah? Ask Him for it with sincerity, talking to Him in your prayers the way you confide your troubles to a close friend who is listening to you with exclusive attention. Unfortunately, some of us lose hope even before asking Allah. When faced with a calamity, people wonder, “Even if I ask Allah, how will He give it to me?”
In response to Prophet Zakariya’s earnest du’a, Allah blessed him with a son, Yahya, from his “infertile: wife!
When there is no hope
Prophet Ayub (peace be upon him) called to Allah when he lost his whole family and his body was mutilated by a debilitating disease. Yet, he did not lose hope in his Lord’s mercy. Instead of being impatient and wishing for death, which we often do when severely afflicted with calamity, he begged Allah for mercy:
“Remember Our Servant Ayub. Behold, he cried to his Lord, “Shaitan has afflicted me with distress and suffering!” (Qur’an, 38:41)
“And (remember) Ayub, when he cried to his Lord, “Truly distress has seized me, but You are the Most Merciful of those that are merciful.” (Qur’an, 21:83)
Allah answered his sincere plea and granted him a complete recovery. Not just that; Allah gave him a new family, which was double the size of the one he had lost:
“Then We heard his prayer and removed that adversity from which he suffered, and We gave him his household (that he had lost) and the like thereof along with them, a mercy from near Us, and a remembrance for the worshippers.” (Qur’an, 21:84)
Another example from the Qur’an, of a Prophet who did not lose hope in Allah’s mercy despite the passage of many years of grief, is Prophet Yaqub (peace be upon him), who wept himself blind after his son Yusuf disappeared at the threshold of youth:
He said: “It is only to Allah that I complain of my deep grief and my sorrow: for I know, from Allah, something that you do not know (that soon he would be united with Yusuf).” (Qur’an, 12:86)
Prophet Yaqub turned away from people and complained of his sorrow to Allah alone. He was eventually reunited with his long-lost son after so many years!
The Qur’an thus shows us, by narrating these incidents from the lives of the prophets of Allah, that we should have trust in Allah the way He deserves to be trusted. We should have hope in His mercy and help.
When we want a person’s attention, we call him and pester him until he gives us what we want.
But with Allah – who sees and hears everyone, who knows what we want and what we fear and what we hide in our hearts, who provides every living creature, and who is the Most Merciful One – we despair and lose hope too soon after a few half-hearted, distracted du’as!
It is extremely rare that a person’s sincere du’a goes unanswered. And those rare occasions are also for a reason. Either Allah delays it for the appropriate time, or He may not give it because it may not be good for us, but He may give us something better than that or reward us in the Hereafter. He is indeed All-Knowledgeable, All-Wise.