The Status of Two Who Love One Another for the Sake of Allah
Many hadith describe the status of two people who love one another for the sake of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala), and describe the high position in Paradise which He has promised them and the great honour which He will bestow upon them on the Day when mankind is resurrected to meet the Rabb of the Worlds:
Among them is the hadith which describes the seven whom Allah will shade on the Day when there is no shade but His: “…a just leader; a youth who grows up worshipping Allah; a man who is deeply attached to the masjid; two men who love one another for the sake of Allah, meeting for His sake and parting for His sake; a man who is called by a beautiful woman and says, I fear Allah’; a man who gives charity in secret such that his left hand does not know what his right hand is doing; and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes fill with tears.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The two who love one another for the sake of Allah are clearly shown to be among those whom Allah will shelter with His shade and upon whom He will shower His mercy and kindness. What a great honour! It is enough honour for those who love one another for the sake of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta`ala) that their Almighty Rabb will greet them on the Day of Resurrection and say to them: “Where are those who loved one another for My glory? Today I will shade them in My shade on the Day when there is no shade but Mine.” (Muslim)
Such is the magnificent honour and tremendous reward that will be bestowed upon those who truly loved one another for the sake of Allah, on that awesome Day.
Love for the sake of Allah is difficult
Love for the sake of Allah, and not for the sake of anything else in this life which is filled with greed, desires and interests, is very difficult, and none can attain it except the one who is pure of heart, for whom this world is as nothing compared to the pleasure of Allah. It is not surprising that Allah should give them a status and blessing which is commensurate with their position in this world, above whose concerns they have risen. We find proof of this in the hadith of Mu’adh who said that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah said: ‘Those who love one another for My glory, will have mimbars (pulpits) of light, and the Prophets and martyrs will wish that they had the same.” [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a hasan sahih hadith]
Allah gives to those who love one another for His sake a gift which is even greater than this status and blessing: that is His precious love which is very difficult to attain. This is proven by the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu `anhu) in which the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
“A man went to visit a brother of his in another village. Allah sent an angel to wait for him on the road. When the man came along, the angel asked him, ‘Where do you intend to go?’ He said, ‘I am going to visit a brother of mine who lives in this village.’ The angel asked, ‘Have you done him any favour (for which you are now seeking repayment)?’ He said, ‘No. I just love him for the sake of Allah.’ The angel told him, I am a messenger to you from Allah, sent to tell you that He loves you as you love your brother for His sake.”‘ (Muslim)
What a great love, that raises a man to a position where Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala) loves him and is pleased with him!
The impact of pure love on society
The teaching of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) states that the better of two brothers who love one another for the sake of Allah is the one who loves his brother more. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:
“No two men love one another, but the better of them is the one whose love for his brother is greater.” [Reported by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad]
Islam goes even further in spreading love in the rightly guided Muslim society by telling the Muslim that if he loves his brother, he should tell him. The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “If a man loves his brother, let him tell him that he loves him.” [Reported by Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a sahih hadith]
The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) understood the impact of this strong, pure love in building societies and nations, so he never let any occasion pass without advocating this love and commanding the Muslims to announce their love for one another, in order to open hearts and spread love and purity among the ranks of the Ummah.
Anas (radhiallahu `anhu) said that a man was with the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), when another man passed by. The first man said, “O Messenger of Allah, indeed I truly love this man.” The Prophet asked him, “Have you let him know that?” He said, “No.” The Prophet said, “Tell him.” He caught up with him and told him, “Truly I love you for the sake of Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala),” and the man said, “May Allah love you who loves me for His sake.” [Reported by Abu Dawud, with a sahih isnad]
The Sahabi Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radhiallahu `anhu) began to spread this pure love among the Muslims throughout the Muslim lands, telling them what he had heard from the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) about the great reward that Allah had prepared for those who loved one another for His sake, and about His great love for them.
In al-Muwatta’, Imam Malik (rahmatullahi alaiyh) gives a report with a sahih isnad from Abu Idris al-Khulani who said: “I entered the masjid of Damascus, where I saw a young man who had a bright smile, and I saw the people gathered around him. When they disagreed on some matter, they referred it to him, and accepted his opinion. I asked who he was, and they told me, ‘This is Mu’adh ibn Jabal (radhiallahu `anhu).” Early the next day, I went to the mosque but I found that he had arrived even earlier than I. He was praying, so I waited until he had finished, then I approached him from in front, greeted him and said, ‘By Allah, I love you.’ He said, ‘For the sake of Allah?’ I said, ‘For the sake of Allah’. He repeated his question, ‘For the sake of Allah?’ and I said, ‘For the sake of Allah.’ So he took hold of my collar and pulled me towards him and said, ‘I have good news for you. I heard the Prophet say: “Allah Almighty says: ‘My love is granted to those who love one another for My sake, who visit one another for My sake, and who spend on one another for My sake.'”‘