A Special Love: When God is in the Heart of Your Relationship

I have heard about “love for the sake of Allah” for many years, but it was always a vague concept to me.

There are khutbahs and lectures that I have attended where the speaker mentioned love for the sake of Allah, but I did not understand the phrase.

I have also heard people say it to one another in religious and “practicing” circles. They say, “I love you/him/her for the sake of Allah.” But what exactly does that mean?

Let’s go back to the basics for a bit…

Every loving relationship has unspoken rules and expectations. There is a way that someone learns to love different people in their life, and how they expect to be loved back. A lot of these rules and expectations are set by our culture.

We are told how we should express love to our significant others. For example, through holidays and traditions like Valentine’s Day. For parents and children, the relationship rules are usually passed on from generation to generation. There are countless examples of how our expressions of love are influenced by our society and culture.

Keep God in the Heart of Your Love

I have seen so many relationships fall apart because of how the love is not expressed properly. Well-intentioned people enter a relationship and somewhere along the way, drift apart. They lose their friends, spouses, or even their siblings because love alone was simply not enough.

I have a theory. Although some relationships are just not meant to be due to bigger issues, I think a lot of these loving bonds can be protected. The problem is not just in how we show love to one another… It is that God is not a part of the relationship.

When we become someone’s spouse, parent, or friend, are we keeping in mind what Allah wants? Maybe it’s not all about how we think we should show our love to other people or even what they think they want from us. Maybe it’s also that we need to keep in mind how Allah wants us to be.

With time, I have come to understand that love for the sake of Allah is that type of love; the kind that is focused on God. Loving Him should ultimately be what guides us in our relationships.

It is when a parent is kind and gentle towards their child, like the Prophet (peace be upon him) was towards children. It is when one spouse helps the other get closer to God Almighty through small but consistent deeds. Or when two friends forgive one another after a misunderstanding or argument; that is more noble in the sight of Allah.

Love for the sake of Allah is when, even when the other person is not acting completely lovable, our love for Allah keeps us in check. For me, it helps to know that even if things are not totally fair all the time, Allah is watching. Allah is the one to reward us. He knows our intentions and He blesses our relationships.

Gain Blessings

Speaking of blessings, there is also one other aspect of love for the sake of Allah that is sometimes overlooked. This is that we should always behave in a way that is pleasing to Allah and allowed in Islam, if we want our relationships to be blessed.

For example, if a new Muslim couple is hoping that Allah will bless their future marriage, they should behave accordingly. If they are doing things that are not permissible in Islam, then they should not expect Allah’s blessings. In this situation, love for the sake of Allah would mean being patient until their union is religiously recognized.

If two friends are planning on doing business together and want Allah to bless their effort, they should keep their business plans halal. Even if it means their venture together will be limited in some ways, it is worth it if they have Allah’s blessings. Love for the sake of Allah would mean that the two friends advise each other to stay away from haram earnings.

Love for the sake of Allah is deep and can stand the test of time. It is rewarding in this life and the next. This is something we should all be striving to attain.

It’s never too late to purify our relationships.

Abu Hurairah reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Verily, Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: Where are those who love each other for the sake of My glory? Today, I will shelter them in my shade on a day when there is no shade but Mine. (Sahih Muslim)

Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

Allah Almighty said: Those who love each other for the sake of My glory will be upon pulpits of light and they will be admired by the prophets and the martyrs. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)