Allah Ta’ala says:
“He (Allah Ta’ala) loves them and they love Him.”
“Those who have Imaan are strongest in love for Allah.”
Rasulullah (saws) said:
“He who loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. And, he who detests the meeting with Allah, Allah detests meeting him.”
THE NATURE OF MUHABBAT
The inclining of the heart towards something which gives it pleasure is called muhabbat (love).
Muhabbat consists of two kinds: Muhabbat Tab’i (physical love) and Muhabbat Aqli (intellectual love). Muhabbat Tab’i is not a voluntary or volitional condition. Its occurrence and endurance are non-volitional. Sometimes non-volitional acts are not lasting and are merely transitory. It is for this reason that Muhabbat Tab’i is not commanded. On the contrary, the origination and endurance of Muhabbat Aqli are volitional. It is, therefore a state which can endure. Muhabbat Aqli is thus commanded. It is this kind of Love which is superior and preferable. Since the source of physical love is emotion, it is a passing state.
THE CAUSES OF MUHABBAT
There are three factors giving rise to muhabbat;
1. IHSAAN (Kindness and favour). Ihsaan shown gives rise to muhabbat .
2. JAMAAL (Beauty). Beauty brings about attraction which gives rise to muhabbat.
3. KAMAAL (Perfection). Perfection in a thing also induces muhabbat .
These three attributes par excellence exist in only Allah Ta’ala. The muhabbat endures as long as these attributes endure. In so far as the Object of True Love (Allah Ta’ala) is concerned, these attributes are eternal. They will endure forever, hence love for Him is perpetual. Since, the existence of attributes in the state of perfection is not found independently (Biz-zaat) in any being other than Allah Ta’ala, the kamileen (the Saints who have attained spiritual perfection) cannot have Muhabbat Aqli (Intellectual Love) for anyone besides Allah Ta’ala. Muhabbat–Tab’i (physical love) is possible with others, but the love which has been commanded for Allah Ta’ala is Muhabbat Aqli. The terminology of the Qur’aan and Hadith describes: this form of love as Hubb.
This should not be understood to mean that the kamileen are devoid of Muhabbat Tab’i. However, in them (the kamileen), Muhabbat Aqli is dominant. At times Muhabbat Tab’i in the kamileen exceeds the love in those in whom Muhabbat Tab’i is dominant, but Muhabbat Aqli remains dominant inspite of this comparative higher degree of Muhabbat Tab’i. At times, Muhabbat Tab’i becomes dominant in even the kamileen, but this is not frequent.
In short, the kamileen are perfect in both Muhabbat Aqli and Muhabbat Tab’i, the former being dominant while in others, Muhabbat Tab’i (physical love) is dominant. Although this attribute of excellence (in the kamileen) is not a goal in itself, it nevertheless is praiseworthy. Those devoid of both these aspects of love are in danger. Muhabbat is thus essential. Obedience without muhabbat is not sufficient since there is no resolution and firmness in such acts of obedience devoid of love.
ACQUIRING THE MUHABBAT OF ALLAH
Constant remembrance and contemplation of the Attributes and Bounties of Allah Ta’ala will induce the desired Muhabbat for Him. Compliance with the Laws of the Shariat and much Thikr of Allah expel the love of others from the heart, making way for the exclusive Love of Allah Ta’ala.