Mohammadia Foundation https://www.mohammadiafoundationbd.com/2023/05/Love-of-Allah.html
THE PRINCIPLE OF LOVE & DESIRE: Love of Allah is the Basis of Tawhid in Terms of Actions
Love of Allah is the Basis of Tawhid
If the basis of practical iman is the love of Allah and His Messenger(ﷺ), and the love of Allah is the basis of practical tawhid and the basis of deification, which is to worship Allah alone with no partners, then worship is the most complete form of love and the most complete form of submission, and this is Islam.
Hadith about Love of Allah
The worst sin is to associate partners with Allah in worship. He, the Glorified, does not forgive shirk, but He forgives everything that is less than that for whomever He wills. Shirk can be either major or minor shirk, or hidden or clear shirk, as is reported in the hadith:
الشرك في هذه الأمة أخفى من دبيب النمل. فقال أبو بكر الصديق رضى الله عنه : يا رسول الله إذا كان أخفى من دبيب النمل فكيف نصنع به؟ فقال: ألا أعلمك كلمة إذا قلتها نجوت من قليله و كثيره؟ قل: اللهم إني أعوذ بك أن أشرك بك و أنا أعلم واستغفرك لما لاأعلم.
"Shirk in this ummah is more hidden than a crawling ant." So Abu Bakr said, "If it is more hidden than a crawling ant, then what should we do about it?" So he said, "Did I not teach you a phrase that if you say it, you will be saved from a little of it and a lot of it? Say: 'O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowingly committing shirk with You and I seek Your forgiveness for what I do unknow- ingly." (1)
Qquran verse on love of Allah
The basis of practical shirk is loving others as one would love Allah. Allah, the Most High, said:
وَ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ یَّتَّخِذُ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ اَنۡدَادًا یُّحِبُّوۡنَهُمۡ کَحُبِّ اللّٰهِ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ ؕوَ لَوۡ یَرَی الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اِذۡ یَرَوۡنَ الۡعَذَابَ ۙ اَنَّ الۡقُوَّۃَ لِلّٰهِ جَمِیۡعًا ۙ وَّ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعَذَابِ ﴿۱۶۵
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]
Allah informs us that there are those who perform shirk with Allah by taking for worship others besides Allah, and they love them the way they love Allah. He also informs us in this verse that the believers love Allah more than they love their false idols because they share their love between Allah and their idols, but the believers make their religion purely and sincerely for Allah, and the origin of religion is love for Allah. They do not love anyone or anything the way they love Allah and His Messenger(ﷺ).
*(1) This hadith is not known from Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, but a hadith with similar word- ing is reported in Imam Ahmad's Musnad on the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari.
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