Peace be upon you, Dear Reader,
Thank you so much for this interesting question.
Let’s think about it together.
Imagine there are two mothers.
The First Mother: All “Love”, No Rules
The first mother loves her child and gives him no rules or instructions whatsoever.
She sees her child getting dirty, not taking care of his health, eating junk all the time and staying up late, and she gives him no instructions or rules.
She sees him hanging out with the wrong crowd that influence him badly, abuse harmful substances, bully others and fail his exams, and she still gives no instructions.
He becomes the worst version of himself, doesn’t reach his full potential, harms himself and others, and she gives no instructions… because she loves him!
So, the question here: is it really considered ‘love’ if a mother gives no instructions and lets her child harm himself and waste his precious life?
Just think about it: when you see your own child putting his head in the oven, or his finger in the electrical outlet, is your lack of instructions the ultimate manifestation of love, knowing how he/she might harm themselves?
Now, the second mother does things differently.
Second Mother: Showing Love Through Rules
She loves her child immensely, and her love is translated in her desire to help him be the best he can be, live the best life, and reach his full potential as a decent human being.
She puts rules and instructions in his life to help him eat healthy food, be clean, stay out of harm, and avoid bad company.
If and when he fails, she forgives him and helps him again and again and again and it doesn’t decrease her love for him.
Essentially, true love is about wanting to see your loved ones be the best they can be, especially if you know them very well and know their potential.
Allah Glorified and Exalted Loves Us
So, back to your question, a lack of rules and instructions doesn’t necessarily mean love; it could be the absolute opposite.
Likewise, the presence of instructions doesn’t mean a lack of love; it could be the most sincere and effective form of love.
Allah is the Most Knowing of us and of this life that He created for us.
In all unaltered Divine revelations and with every Messenger He sent, He has given us knowledge about Him and instructions to help us live a decent, pure life.
Ultimately, He is The Best One to show us how we can succeed in this life and the next for eternity.
People Need Guidance. Guidance Comes With Instructions
Now, think about it: why do millions of people follow famous life coaches and motivational speakers? Isn’t it to get guidance and instructions on how to live the best life and be successful?
Well, Allah The Most Knowing has already given us that:
O mankind, there has come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate. (Qur’an 10:57-58)
So, let’s look at what Islam instructs us to do very briefly.
Basics of Islamic Rules
It instructs us to connect with our Creator five times a day to speak to Him, confide to Him, receive His Mercy and Blessings, disconnect from the hustle and bustle of this world and connect with the Healer.
In this way, we thus remember our Source and Destination.
It instructs us to give charity regularly with a set percentage so we benefit those who need us and increase in humbleness and awareness of our responsibility towards others.
It instructs us to fast so we can increase in God-consciousness, discipline our physical being in order to empower the spiritual being that makes us dignified creatures.
It instructs us to go on pilgrimage to the same spot where we all dress the same and connect with fellow human beings from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
In this way, we are reminded that we are all equal before The One Creator of all mankind and that our colors and wealth don’t matter to Him.
What matters to Him is the sincerity of our hearts and our consciousness of Him in every aspect of our life.
It instructs us to stay away from the few things that are harmful (like alcohol) and directs us to enjoy the tens of other things that are pure and beneficial to our body and soul.
It instructs to prioritize Him, the Giver of Life, and be conscious of Him, ask Him, rely on Him and associate no one with Him because no one and nothing in this world that He created can measure up to Him.
Basically, it instructs us to translate belief into daily action, because that’s true love.
Now Let’s Talk About Love
What does love really mean?
Does love mean the refusal to accept any rules from your beloved?
Imagine if you love someone, but you refuse to commit to him/her, or call, or take care of them, or do what they love and avoid what they don’t love.
Is this a sincere relationship? It’s hardly even a relationship. Every relationship has some rules and instructions.
It is very easy to talk the talk, but it takes true, sincere love to walk the walk.
That’s why Allah says:
“Say, [O Muhammad],”If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 3: 31)
Anyone can claim to love God. Talk is easy and cheap, but what matters is who will follow Him and commit to Him and prioritize Him even over their own selves.
Islam is about sincere, not fake love. It is about actions and commitment, not void words.
In part 2 of this answer, we’ll further look into why there are instructions from the Creator and how His Love and Generosity are manifested to His slaves.
Read more here: