Where is the Love? A Discussion with Sheikh Ayoub Rashid

On Saturday 13th of May the Glasgow Ahlulbayt Association held a a very interactive discussion on the Islamic perspective of love and its role in faith. The event was then followed by a buffet made by members of the GAA. The interactive discussion was based around a number of questions that were answered by the Sheikh.

What is the definition of love?

Love is difficult to define. It could be a strong inclination, desire or urge to do something. You love something because it deserves to be loved, or you love it and you can’t define why. Love can be of the superficial type, like for example man loves women and vice versa. However in Islam the Haqiqi (true) love is more than that. It is the love for Allah swt and a love that will stay with us forever.

Imam Hussein (AS) approaching his last moments said:

“Oh my lord I have left behind my family and all of creation because of my love for you. I have left my children as orphans for you”

Any love connected to anything other than Allah swt is another type of love and it can diminish. Imam Ali (AS) said:

“When you cherish someone you should cherish him moderately for he may be your enemy someday, and when you hate someone you should hate him moderately for he may be your friend someday.”

Where has Allah mentioned love?

Allah has mentioned love multiple times in the holy Quran.

In Surah Ali’ Imran:

“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.”

Surah Ar-Rum:

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”

Surah Ash-Shuraa:

“Such a blessing is the good news which Allah gives to His servants who believe and do good deeds. O Prophet, say to them: “I do not ask you any recompense except your love for being my close relatives.” He that does a good deed shall be repaid many times over. Surely Allah is oft-Forgiving, most Appreciative.”

There are different ways of saying love in the Quran, such as حُـب or مـودة. Rahma of Allah is love. So every time way say بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ we are testifying to the love of Allah!

Imam Sadiq (AS) says:

“Is religion anything but love?”

And if you love someone, you follow, and there needs to be haraka. If you love Allah swt, then love Ahlulbayt as our aqida, akhlaq, everything is from the ahlulbayt. Most of the sects claim to love ahlulbayt, so why is their fiqh not from Imam Jaffar Sadiq (AS)?

On the Eve of Ashura, Imam called upon his companions in Karbala to ask them to permit them to leave and take advantage of the darkness of the night. A companion replied in the perfect representation of love:

“By Allah, even if I come to know that I shall be killed and then burnt in fire and shall be brought to life again and eventually my ashes will be scattered in the air and I die and become alive in this way seventy times, even then I shall not leave you till I lay down my life for your sake.”

The Hob of Imam Hussein (AS) is with principle and It is to get you closer to Allah swt.

What is the connection between the heart and the mind?

Surah Al-ahzab aya 4:

“Allah has not made for a man two hearts in his interior.”

You cannot love and hate a person at the same time. Your heart is the sanctuary of Allah, do not bring someone in your heart so that you will hate Allah swt!

There is a saying that you should teach your children 3 types of love:

  1. Love of the prophet
  2. Love of the ahlulbayt
  3. Love of recitation of the Quran

Tawalla and Tabarra how can we apply this?

Tawalla is to befriend Allah, RasulaAllah, and ahlulbayt.

Tabarra is to hate those who hate Allah, Rasulullah, and Ahlulbayt.

If you want to be saved, be close to those who love Allah and those who don’t fight against Allah. Befriendpeaceful people and do not encourage those who are enemies.

the Holy Prophet (S) has said:

“The strongest support of faith is to love for Allah and to express hatred for the sake of Allah.”

To love for the sake of Allah and to hate for the sake of Allah. Many people will fight for the sake of their own interests! If your association with you colleagues or friends is making your Imaan weak then stay away from them.

What is the difference in other faiths? And why is it that other religions seemed to be perceived with more love than our religion?

Love is clearly there in the Qur’an, Allah loves those who repent, purify, do good, the pious, patient, trust in him, the just… So the issue is not that Islam doesn’t have love, it’s that Muslims don’t highlight it.

We make love conditional and expression of it in our communities is lacking which could be attributable with cultural issues.

The reason that the youth do not love Allah is because they don’t know him! The Youth need to know that religion needs to be easy and not difficult which is why the Prophet (SAWS) said:

“Do not force your own customs upon your children for they are in other times than yours.”

Final words…

Every human being has something they live for. However it is dangerous when the love of the world takes the place of Allah.

Prophet Isa (AS) said:

“The world is a bridge; cross this bridge but do not build upon it”

The world is the riding animal of the believer. But the idea is not about hating it, it’s about using it and honoring it. You pull the dunya with you but do not get pulled by it. A scholar known as Imam Ghazalli said “The ideal is not that your hand is empty, but rather that your heart be empty of what is in your hand”.