Allah loves for family members to love each other. But if our love for our families causes us or them to neglect our relationship with Allah, or leads us or our families into sin, this type of love is forbidden.
The devil's in the details
Love and hatred are powerful emotions within the human being that must be actively monitored in order to prevent their misplacement. When you hate someone, you love destruction for your companion. This means that the variation in degrees of love should be based on their variation in closeness to Allah. People, places, and things in this world that bring you closer to Allah or enable you to better connect with Allah should be more beloved to you than things that are neutral. People, places, and things that hinder our relationship with Allah, or have negative influences upon us, should be avoided and actively removed from our lives.
If we are not aware of our priorities in regards to love, Satan can easily send this fundamental human force in the wrong direction. Ibn al-Qayyim writes:. And there is no path to this end except by the knowledge inherited from His slave, messenger, and beloved. The one who was sent with it, calling toward it, establishing it, and guiding toward it. He is also the embodiment of everything Allah loves in a human. As Allah said:. Allah will love you and forgive your sins, for Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. This means that friends and family are loved for their own sake, regardless of the consequences.
Anything that keeps the friends or family happy and together is the most important to them, even if it involves committing sins. The way one thinks about their spouse or children evokes stronger emotions than if they think about Allah and His Messenger, and they may even be willing to displease Allah in order to please their friends and family.
So what are we to do with our strong love for our family and friends?
Devil in the details
Is it a sin? As described, this love can fall into one of three categories: good, permissible, or bad. If we do not prefer those we love to our relationship with Allah, then we have not sinned, but we have also not reached our full potential. It is also important to understand that transforming love for others into love for Allah is not only the perfection of loving Allah, but is likewise the perfection of loving His creation. Modern psychology recognizes the problems of maladaptive attachments to people or things.
This includes over-attaching to the point that it hurts the relationship, as a person becomes anxious-ambivalent. If, instead of treating people as a means for our happiness, we treat them as a means to get closer to Allah, this sometimes might involve doing good to them even when they wrong us. Moreover, it is not fair to any individual that you turn them into an intrinsic goal in your life. This responsibility and pressure is not meant to be put on worldly relationships.
the devil is in the detail (phrase) American English definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary
For instance, if a person acts out in any way during the relationship, it can be devastating to both parties. Feeling as if you are the world to another person is a pressure and stress that is unfair to that individual. Even if these strong feelings are mutual, it will be painful for both individuals when the inevitable separation occurs. This life is temporary and everything will fade. Separation may occur due to death but also could be due to a fight or breakup. The pain and anguish that will result may become unbearable and may lead to long-term physical or psychological damage. This is why Ibn al-Qayyim comments:.
Human beings were created for a higher purpose than to love each other in this manner.
Rather, we were created to love Allah and to fulfill that love as a blessing and mercy to His creatures. By fulfilling our purpose, we benefit others around us even more than if we lived only for our family or loved ones. If one finds themselves loving other than Allah, then one should first reflect on whether their love is sinful or neutral.
If it cannot be harmonized with the love of Allah in any way, it should be abandoned. If it is a natural love that is compatible with the love of Allah, they should gradually make the attachment psychologically and spiritually healthier by bringing it in line with their relationship with Allah.
In this way, the natural love of family and other things can be transformed into worship if our priorities are in order. This can be done by reflecting on your relationship to your loved ones and determining that: 1 Your love is consistent with the Divine qualities and teachings; and 2 Your love is bringing you closer to Allah through gratitude for your loved ones. In other words, your love is guided by Islam and your loved ones are considered gifts from Allah to enrich your spirit.
Let these conditions come the forefront of your mind and help you evaluate your love. Allow yourself to attach these conditions to the people and things you love. Whoever rejects false idols and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
go site Indeed, anything we maladaptively attach ourselves to can become like idols. This verse speaks to the process of detachment and the subsequent reattachment to Allah. He is Living and never dies. He hears and answers all of your prayers. In the end, He will never let you down :. And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [Allah] with His praise. Such a state is characterized by veneration, glorification, and awe of the Divine.
The heart shatters in front of Allah as it is simultaneously filled with hope, humility, and fear; it bears witness to the blessings of Allah while at the same time admitting to its sins against Him. As the heart enters into this state, the body follows along in movement and recitation; therefore, an observer can see the reverence of the heart reflected on the physical limbs. When a person is humble before Allah, the flames of lowly passion inside their chest are extinguished by the cooling waters that enter through reverence.
He even likened it to a lesser form of idolatry. This internal enemy is a much greater threat to our spiritual life than anything outside of us.
A person in a dangerous state of hypocrisy expends active effort to achieve an appearance of submission to Allah, rather than allowing it to occur naturally from authentic worship. He writes:. Thus, the reverent heart will inevitably be followed by reverence on the limbs in prayer and recitation. Ibn al-Qayyim continues:. As for the reverence of hypocrisy, it is that one shows his limbs in feigning and pretense, while the heart is not reverent… It is a state of being in which is feigned tranquility of the limbs by pretense and ostentation, while his self within is immersed and saturated with lusts and desires.
He is reverent outwardly while the serpent of the valley and the lion of the forest are stalking between his two sides, waiting for their prey. Satan and his devils are like serpents and lions, lying in ambush for this very moment to attack their victims. This dynamic is at play not only in prayer, but in any kind of public good works that should be done for the sake of Allah alone.
Satan attempts to whisper to his victims that their insincere outward show is either rationally justified or simply not a big deal. However, we have already seen that it is indeed a spiritual calamity that the companions feared more than anything else in this world, a major sin on the cusp of becoming a full-blown act of idolatry. Whoever is not grateful for small things will not be grateful for large things. Whoever is not thankful to people is not thankful to Allah.
Discussing the blessings of Allah is gratitude and ignoring them is ingratitude. Hence, we should not hide the blessings that Allah has given to us, but we should also present them to others with grace, humility, and gratitude. The purpose is not to build ourselves up by putting others down.
Boasting involves promoting oneself by mentioning successes, accolades, and accomplishments, so as to earn the praise and respect of others or to humiliate them. The best of my nation are those with the best character. They truly believe it was from the Mercy of Allah alone, not something they deserved due to their own merit. It is quite possible that a person thanks Allah and mentions His favors outwardly, but does so in a way that still implicitly praises themselves or humiliates others.
Satan aims for us to mention blessings for the wrong reason. The question we should ask ourselves, then, is why are we mentioning these blessings in the first place? Are we praising Allah or praising ourselves?