Faith has principles and has sweetness, and both are different issues.
The difference between perceiving the facts of faith and testing its sweetness resembles the difference between saying one hundred billion dollars and owning this sum of money.
Hence, what attracts you to Islam is not the principles of faith, but its sweetness, and the minute you taste that sweetness you will willingly make conceivable sacrifice for the sake of keeping it.
Furthermore, you will become the happiest person in life regardless of your condition, era, country, hardship, prosperity, richness, poverty, strength, weakness, marital status, and health condition.
Tasting the sweetness of faith has an expensive price to pay, but its outcomes are amazing.
The price you should pay for it is being disciplined, being ready to sacrifice and being openhanded, and the results will be splendid.
Sweetness of Faith is Tasted and Can’t Be Seen
Tasting the sweetness of faith is something that touches the soul, and it can’t be seen with the eye.
Actually, the true believer’s heart is of full of security, optimism, trust in Allah and the feeling that Allah loves him, and they are enough for the population of an entire country.
The first fact about the sweetness of faith is that it is tasted not seen.
To make this fact clear, if you are hungry, and you are presented a very expensive delicious meal to eat, you will indescribably enjoy every bite of it, and the one who watches you will have no idea about the taste of that food no matter how much he is prudent or wise, will he?
Asking for more food means that you are enjoying it, but if you are satisfied with few bites from the plate you have, this means that the food is not that good and you will stop eating no matter how hard you are invited to do, for this food is not that delicious.
The believer is hard to be tempted because he has tasted the sweetness of faith
What strongly proves that you have tasted the sweetness of faith is that you ask for more (you want to keep tasting it).
Accordingly, you offer night prayers, you offer voluntary fasting and you donate money to serve people.
Hence, longing for more sweetness is a sign of tasting the sweetness of faith, whereas being satisfied with few deeds and the minimum amount of prayers indicates the weak effect of the sweetness of faith on you, and it means that you haven’t tasted it yet.
In this case you have understood the principles of faith and you abide by them, but you haven’t tasted the sweetness of faith yet.
When someone tastes the sweetness of faith, let him not allow anything to distract him or to prevent him from tasting it continuously.
There is a popular saying which goes as follows: “Don’t let the shining gold or the painful whips of the whipper distract you from your goal.”
The believer is not a commodity for sale, and I would like to say that whoever sells his beliefs, his principles or his values for any sum of money even if it is billions, he will lose his value in the Sight of Allah.
In fact the sum of money he takes is his price, even if it is not billions but less than that, and he is over (as a Muslim).
The following Hadith shows how the believer should react whenever he is tempted:
“O my uncle, by Allah, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left in return for my giving up this cause, I would not give it up until Allah makes Truth victorious, or I die in His service.” (Seerah)
Hence, the believer is not for sale, and he is not a subject of any bargain because he has tasted the sweetness of faith.
Nothing will distract whoever seeks faith and its sweetness
Sometimes a trivial reason might distract you from attending a religious session, but if you taste the sweetness of faith in that session as you understand your religion more, you will never let any guest prevent you from attending that session.
This is the very taste which makes you among those foremost (in Faith and in performing righteous deeds), and accordingly you will never allow anything to deflect you from your goal. Allah says to those who believe in Him:
On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Quran 2: 62)
However, those who have weak faith and who haven’t tasted that sweetness, will be preoccupied with any issue no matter how trivial it is, leaving the principles of faith and canceling any religious session.
The love for the Sake of Allah and associating partners with Allah in love.
Life matters usually distract us from the sweetness of faith.
Therefore, it is said, “There is love for the sake of Allah (which is Tawheed [Monotheism]) and there is associating partners (people or things) with Allah in love (which is Shirk [polytheism]).
When you love Allah, this love includes loving His Messenger (peace be upon him) loving the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Loving the pious followers of them, the followers of their followers, the devoted scholars, the exalted scholars, the Masajid, the Quran, offering good deeds and the people of faith even if they are poor instead of loving the rich haughty powerful people.
Hence, the sweetness of faith is based on loving for the Sake of Allah.
Believe it or not, loving your pious, chaste and religiously devoted wife is derived from loving Allah, but loving someone with Allah is Shirk itself.
Let me clarify this point to you, this kind of love is manifested in loving someone, who is very far from Allah, for your own interests and in order to gain benefits from him.
Such a person will drive you away from the Path of Allah, and you might forget to offer Salah while you are with him, and you might commit sins.
Thus, whoever you love and might deviate you away from Allah, loving him is considered love with Allah, which is Shirk.
On the other hand, loving for the Sake of Allah is Tawheed, and all sorts of love is derived from this love such as loving to offer good deeds, loving to sacrifice for Allah’s Cause, loving to give charity and loving your pious wife.
Excerpted from nabulsi.com.