If love is the basis of every action, correct or false, and it is also the basis of all religious actions, and the basis of religious actions is the love of Allah and His Messenger, just as the basis of religious speech is belief in Allah and His Messenger, then affirmation of love is the basis of iman, which is speech and action, as we have clarified elsewhere.
It is known that the strength of love felt for the object of one's love differs greatly from person to person, and the love of one person towards something can also differ greatly, since at times the love may be strong and at times it may be weak for the same thing. In fact, even the strongest love can quickly change to the strongest feelings of hatred, and vice versa.
He, the Most High, said:
یٰۤاَیُّهَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡا عَدُوِّیۡ وَ عَدُوَّکُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ تُلۡقُوۡنَ اِلَیۡهِمۡ بِالۡمَوَدَّۃِ وَ قَدۡ کَفَرُوۡا بِمَا جَآءَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡحَقِّ ۚ یُخۡرِجُوۡنَ الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اِیَّاکُمۡ اَنۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ رَبِّکُمۡ ؕ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ خَرَجۡتُمۡ جِهَادًا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِیۡ وَ ابۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِیۡ ٭ۖ تُسِرُّوۡنَ اِلَیۡهِمۡ بِالۡمَوَدَّۃِ ٭ۖ وَ اَنَا اَعۡلَمُ بِمَاۤ اَخۡفَیۡتُمۡ وَ مَاۤ اَعۡلَنۡتُمۡ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّفۡعَلۡهُ مِنۡکُمۡ فَقَدۡ ضَلَّ سَوَآءَ السَّبِیۡلِ ﴿۱ اِنۡ یَّثۡقَفُوۡکُمۡ یَکُوۡنُوۡا لَکُمۡ اَعۡدَآءً وَّ یَبۡسُطُوۡۤا اِلَیۡکُمۡ اَیۡدِیَهُمۡ وَ اَلۡسِنَتَهُمۡ بِالسُّوۡٓءِ وَ وَدُّوۡا لَوۡ تَکۡفُرُوۡنَ ؕ﴿۲ لَنۡ تَنۡفَعَکُمۡ اَرۡحَامُکُمۡ وَ لَاۤ اَوۡلَادُکُمۡ ۚۛ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ۚۛ یَفۡصِلُ بَیۡنَکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۳ قَدۡ کَانَتۡ لَکُمۡ اُسۡوَۃٌ حَسَنَۃٌ فِیۡۤ اِبۡرٰهِیۡمَ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ مَعَهٗ ۚ اِذۡ قَالُوۡا لِقَوۡمِهِمۡ اِنَّا بُرَءٰٓؤُا مِنۡکُمۡ وَ مِمَّا تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ ۫ کَفَرۡنَا بِکُمۡ وَ بَدَا بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَکُمُ الۡعَدَاوَۃُ وَ الۡبَغۡضَآءُ اَبَدًا حَتّٰی تُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ وَحۡدَهٗۤ اِلَّا قَوۡلَ اِبۡرٰهِیۡمَ لِاَبِیۡهِ لَاَسۡتَغۡفِرَنَّ لَکَ وَ مَاۤ اَمۡلِکُ لَکَ مِنَ اللّٰهِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ رَبَّنَا عَلَیۡکَ تَوَکَّلۡنَا وَ اِلَیۡکَ اَنَبۡنَا وَ اِلَیۡکَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۴
O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e., disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth, and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allah, your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in My cause and to seek My good pleasure (then take not these disbelievers and polythe- ists, etc., as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims) does that, then indeed he has gone (far) astray, (away) from the Straight Path. Should they gain the upper hand over you, they would behave to you as enemies, and stretch forth their hands and their tongues against you with evil, and they desire that you should disbelieve. Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection. He will judge between you. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do. Indeed, there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah; we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you hostility and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah alone." [Surah al-Mumtahinah 60:1-4]
And He, the Most High, said [regarding Ibrahim]:
قَالَ اَفَرَءَیۡتُمۡ مَّا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡبُدُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۵ اَنۡتُمۡ وَ اٰبَآؤُکُمُ الۡاَقۡدَمُوۡنَ ﴿۫ۖ۷۶ فَاِنَّهُمۡ عَدُوٌّ لِّیۡۤ اِلَّا رَبَّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۷
He said, "Do you observe that which you have been worshiping, you and your ancient fathers? Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the creation." [Surah ash-Shu'ara' 26:75-77)
And He, the Most High, also said [regarding Ibrahim]:
فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَیۡهِ الَّیۡلُ رَاٰ کَوۡکَبًا ۚ قَالَ هٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَاۤ اُحِبُّ الۡاٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۷۶
When the night covered him over with darkness, he saw a star. He said, "This is my lord." But when it set, he said, "I like not those who set." [Surah al-An'am 6:76]
And then He said [that Ibrahim said]:
اِنِّیۡ وَجَّهۡتُ وَجۡهِیَ لِلَّذِیۡ فَطَرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ حَنِیۡفًا وَّ مَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۷۹
"Verily, I have turned my face towards He Who has created the heavens and the earth hanifan (worship- ing none but Allah alone) and I am not one of the mushrikan." [Surah al-An'am 6:29]
And indeed He, the Most High, said:
وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّتَّخِذُ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ اَنۡدَادًا یُّحِبُّوۡنَهُمۡ کَحُبِّ اللّٰهِ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ
And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah more (than anything else). [Surah al-Baqarah 2:165]
There can be no doubt that the love of the believers for their Lord is the greatest love, and likewise, Allah's love for them is also great, as it is reported in Sahih al-Bukhari from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said [that Allah said]:
مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقد آذنته بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أحَبَّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنت سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِسُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَلَئِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيدَنَّهُ.
Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My slave does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nawafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask (something) of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.1
1. Reported by al-Bukhari.
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