The love of God refers to Muslims’ deep affection and devotion towards God in Islam. It is a central tenet of the religion and is expressed through acts of worship, charity, and obedience to God’s commands.
وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ ٱللَّهِ ۖ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ
And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allāh as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allāh. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allāh.
(Surah Al-Baqara, 2:165)
Love of God in the Light of the Quran
In Islam, the first expectation from believers/Muslims is that love of God should have the first place in their hearts, in the sense that no other love may dominate one’s love for God; God should be the highest and principal object of love.
The Noble Qur’an says:
قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَٰنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَٰجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَٰلٌ ٱقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَٰرَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَٰكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَجِهَادٍ فِى سَبِيلِهِۦ فَتَرَبَّصُوا۟ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِىَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِۦ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلْفَٰسِقِينَ
“Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allāh and His Messenger and jihād [i.e., striving] in His cause, then wait until Allāh executes His command. And Allāh does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.”
(Surah Al-Tawba, 9:24)
This verse indicates that one’s love for God has to be superior to any other love. For the love of God, a believer should be able to sacrifice their priorities for the sake of God. For example, suppose God asks you to give your life to protect innocent lives, our territorial integrity, or the like. In that case, we should not let our love for this world or any other distraction, i.e., family, wealth, power, etc., prevent us from striving in His way. And nothing should come into conflict with our love for God.
The Noble Qur’an says Love of God:
مَّا جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِّن قَلْبَيْنِ فِى جَوْفِهِ
“Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body.”
(Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:4)
How can two loves be in one heart of a true believer?
Imam Ali (RA) would always spend time with his children. Once Imam Ali was sitting with his young children. Sayyida Zainab asked, “Dear father, do you love me?” Hazrat Ali (RA) said, “Yes, of course, you are like a part of my heart.” After hearing this, she said, “You also love Allah (SWT). How can two loves be in one heart of a true believer, the love of Allah (SWT) and that of children?”
Imam Ali (as) smiled and answered,
“Love Allah (SWT), and for the sake of His love, you love His creatures, children, and fellow beings. I love you for the sake of Allah (SWT).”
Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) said once,
“The heart is the sanctuary of God; therefore, do not settle therein anything but God.”
Hadith Qudsi says,
“Neither [the vastness of] My earth, nor [that of] My heaven can contain Me. Indeed it is the heart of the man of faith which can contain Me.”
Imam Hussayn ibn Ali said:
“Oh God, I have left the world in Your love. I am ready to make my children orphans in Your love. My heart could not divert towards anybody but You. Even if You cut my body into pieces in Your love.”
How to increase the love of God in our lives?
Here are a few ways to increase the love of God in one’s life:
- Regularly reading and reflecting on the Quran.
- Performing daily prayers and other acts of worship.
- Engaging in acts of charity and helping those in need.
- Seeking knowledge about Islam and striving to live by its teachings.
- Making a conscious effort to avoid sinful behavior and cultivate good deeds.
- Spending time in remembrance of Allah through practices such as dhikr (repeating the name of Allah).
- Building a personal relationship with Allah through prayer and communication.