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“Submission is healing” (Part 4) Love is perfection, and perfection is for Allah only

Read Part 1, part 2, and part 3 here.

love of Allah

How many times have you imagined a world where love is eternal and unchanging, where hearts are forever intertwined in perfect harmony?

We all have a sort of encounter with love in our lives. Sometimes for things, and at other times, for people - all in all, we all have experienced love, and the pain of losing it.

Also, sooner or later, we all realize that the only true, real love is of Allahﷻ

. Some people naturally have it as they grow up because of their upbringing, environment, teaching, or personality. Some find this love through the realization of Hisﷻ favors, majesty, or glory - while many of us find this love through the loss of love.

But, eventually, we all (must)come to the realization, and actuality of the source of love, without which, no other love lasts - other than which everything else becomes false, it’s the source of all kinds of love, it is the creator of love, Allah - the only true permanent love.

The narrative of love you hear the most is a hoax. The people who tell you that love is not meant to be easy or that it’s just a feeling or that you don’t always get it, either haven’t experienced real love or ain’t ready to make an effort for it - there is no other way around it.

My heart knew that love was perfection. Love, it’s soft, and kind. It’s reciprocatory and giving. Love saves you, not ruin you. It flows like a river and rises like a sun. It smells like a rose and feels like warmth.

Love builds you, not break you.

- I only had to find it.

I had to see the false love, to embrace the perfect real love that I always dreamt of. The more this world showed me the opposite of it, the more it strengthened my belief in love and its perfection - because I have seen it, so I cannot accept that it does not exist - you are not capable of doing it is another thing, but do not tell me that it does not exist.

What is love?

The word love doesn’t do justice to what love actually is. This world uses the word love for solely its benefit - wherever people can fit it to get something out, they do - that is the worldly reality of it.

Mahaba[Love in Arabic]

The word for love in Arabic is MAHABA, which comes from the root words Ha-Ba-Ba, meaning seed, same for hubb.

Arabic language and its eloquence amaze me like nothing else. The beauty of it and how it carries the meaning in its entirety is beyond the words we can ever come up with, beyond the comprehension we can ever make,

Mahaba, meaning seed, love is like a seed, it’s small but holds a significant value. It symbolizes nourishment, growth, transformation, adaptation, time, patience, and effort.

Seeds are not just kept but planted and nourished to grow into something beneficial. It gives you fruit only when you take care of it. It gives you flowers when you let it take its time, and you do your part, loving.

That is love! When you nourish the seed, you do not fear it giving you fruit, shade, flowers, or not. You enjoy nurturing it, and you live, loving it. Why? Where does this sense of security and assurance come from that it’s going to give you fruit? It does not come from the seed’s capability, but it comes from your sense of putting in an effort. Your heart knows that with the right amount of effort and care you are putting into it, it is eventually going to give you fruit.


love of Allah

If you keep a seed closed, or if you plant it in the wrong environment, it will eventually die. It is only beneficial when it grows into the roots and produces flowers and fruits.

Love isn’t accomplished by just claiming it. Love isn’t just getting someone or something, but maintaining it. You know everyone can get a seed, but not everyone can grow it into a tree.

And sometimes, while putting in the right effort, and giving it its due time, love will fail you. It's like planting the seed in the wrong environment. No matter how good you take care of it, it will not grow - and is only going to hurt you. Sometimes, even with our intentions correct, and effort right, we do not get the outcome; love, respect, or reciprocation.

And that is why, to plant a seed, we must choose the right environment for it.

Who do you love is the most important question you should be asking yourself when it comes to love. It can make you or break you. Planting the right seed in the right environment decides the outcome of it.

Who do you choose to love?

Why do we always use the term “true” with love when we speak of the love of Allah? Because we have known and experienced love that is false. To see the true love, we go through the false love. It can be of the things, and people.

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنۡ يَّتَّخِذُ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ اَنۡدَادًا يُّحِبُّوۡنَهُمۡ كَحُبِّ اللّٰهِؕ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡٓا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ ؕ وَلَوۡ

“And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allāh as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allāh. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allāh.” [Surah baqarah:165]

The whole reality of love is perfectly encompassed in this ayah - how the love of Allah is, and how our love for this world should be.

Allah has described a believer’s love for Allah(Hubba Lillah), as Ashadu(intense).

What is intense love, we may wonder!

There is a quote by Allama Shibli Nomani about love that: this emotion called mahabba, erases everything from the heart of the lover apart from the beloved.

When we love something or someone, they become the center of our universe. Nothing besides that seems right, nothing other than that seems perfect. We go to any means for that thing. We let go of everything for that one thing or person. We color ourselves in their color to the point that our days start with them, and it ends with them. We leave our friends, and our interest in other things that we used to love loses with time. We become useless - do you think this is love?

Our claim of love starts becoming evident in our actions.

and eventually, that love leaves us, despite doing everything right that love leaves us.

To give you the fruit, the seed must have the right environment; a fertile soil that is capable of producing and nourishing. The right amount of water and sunlight, with sometimes pest control and nutrients.

And when you overlook all these things, the heartbreak is evident. That is when you see your hard work not paying off, and you fall.

Mahaba Haqeeqi - Love of Allah!

How about planting your seed of love somewhere, where it is appreciated, regarded, and rewarded? Don't we all want a love that is perfect forever?

Sitting at a coffee with friends, or lying alone in our beds, this question, many times pops into our heads, suddenly out of nowhere; what true love is? Does it even exist? Will I ever find it?

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, 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 ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.

It was related by al-Bukhari.

Love gives back, it makes you, it liberates you, it shows you the way, and it makes you feel special, taken care of, and protected!

Allah is the creator of everything that exists, including every emotion that we feel. The emotions are given to us to rationalize how the world works and find our way to our Lord.

Anything dependent on something is temporary, and not perfect. It needs its source to survive, thrive, and nourish. Allahﷻ is the creator of love, the master, and the fashioner of the hearts. A heart cannot find its peace or love when it's disconnected from its source.

Allah is the source of everything, the only independent being. He existed before the existence of everything, and He will exist when everything will cease to exist. He does not require anything to sustain Him, yet everything needs Allah to sustain.

Allah says;

“I only created jinn and mankind so that they might worship Me.” [51:56]

Worshipping Allah(‘ibadah) is closely tied to the idea of loving(mahabbah) Allah - and you only love someone you know. How do we know Allah?

Every human’s first love is Allah. Since the creation of our souls, even before we were given these bodies, Allah planted the seed of love in our hearts, by asking us a question; Am I not your Lord? We said, Yes, you are our Lord.

Then we were given bodies, and we were supposed to nurture that seed of love, fitrah(natural instinct of every human). That is why every human being, believing or non-believing, has this urge to find out about one true God. It’s that love that drives our attention towards knowing Allah.

And when we know Allah, we fall in love that does not have boundaries. We fall in love that is intense, that cannot be shaken, love that does not make us alien to the world, but teaches us to live, unlike the love of the world that ruins us.

Submission is an act of Love to Allah

How do we show our love to The Most Magnificence owner and creator? How can we ever show our imperfect love to the most perfect Lord?

We submit!

We submit to Allah in gratitude, patience, repentance, and reliance. Our love is shown by our obedience to our Lord. We do only what Heﷻ likes, we stop ourselves from the things Heﷻ does not like. We eat, sleep, walk, talk, work, live, do everything like the Beloved, Allahﷻ likes.

Allahﷻ love for Hisﷻ servants is not dependent on anything. Heﷻ loves whomever He wills, in whatever way Heﷻ will, and whenever Heﷻ wills. It's all a journey of our lives, trying to love Allahﷻ, and attain Hisﷻ love.

Mahaba Majazi - Unreal, Illusive Love.

Worldly love is dependent on things, and not the idea of love itself.

You love a dress because you want to look good at a gathering. He loves a girl because she is pretty and can cook. She loves a guy because he is handsome. You love your friends because they help you. You love your parents because they have given birth to you, and have raised you.

Human emotions are like waves that rise and fall, ever-changing and impermanent. We have all experienced the highs and lows of love, the ecstatic moments of bliss followed by the depths of heartbreak. These emotional roller coasters remind us that love, as we know it, is temporary. It is a passing phase in the grand scheme of life. We must come to terms with the fact that worldly love is limited and transient.

This Dunya is based on need, everyone has a need, and everyone wants it to be fulfilled. We, even ourselves, how many people we have left behind because they do not align with us anymore? How many dresses we have stopped wearing because we want something even better?

And then, even when people are getting everything, they start feeling like they are entitled to it, they deserve it. Rather than being grateful to Allah for blessing them with something good, they start thinking that they will find something better, or later. They start taking it for granted. They feel the other person is just stupid, use them. SubhanAllah.

The undeniable truth about humans is that they are ungrateful. Remember when Allah used to send Manosalwa(food) from the sky, and humans complained to Allah that we were tired of it? Yes, that is who humans are.

Be the love of Allah purpose of your life

All other types of love that we experience in this world are the branches of the love of Allah. The branches grow in proportion to the tree.

Allahﷻ does not refrain us from loving things and people in this world. Heﷻ has given us this world to enjoy Hisﷻ bounty, and Heﷻ has given us people to find comfort in. Though, after Allahﷻ.

And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allāh as equals [to Him].

When our love for worldly things exceeds its limits, it is mentioned as taking others as God. Anything or any person who diverts us from Allah and takes away our focus from the purpose of our creation comes in this category - then be it your sincere love for any human, just a thing that you like, or an emotion you cling onto for too long.

The moment we neglect the command of Allahﷻ, in any form or shape, we are denying the lordship of the Lord. We are saying, no, this desire of mine is above that.

Here is the dua of Prophet Dawud(as) that strikes a perfect balance between mahaba haqeeqi and mahaba majazi.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "One of Prophet Dawud's supplications was: 'O Allah! I ask You for Your Love, the love of those who love You, and deeds which will cause me to attain Your Love. O Allah! Make Your Love dearer to me than myself, my family and the cold water."'

SubhanAllah, this summarizes who we choose to love, in a perfect manner.

You have a choice in choosing your friends, the people whom you spend your time with, and share your emotions and ideas, and your life partner. It is counted as a good deed, choosing your company wisely, and being with people who love and fear Allah, who talk about Allah and remind you of Allah.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah's) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him."

Why are we not selfish in choosing our company? Why are we not selfish in loving? Why are we not selfish in finding the right thing for us? We should be.

Our priorities would be straight like, I am going to be indulged in or with anything or anyone, who benefits me. Because we do not owe anything to anyone, but Allah. We do not want to lose our eternal life for someone's good mood, or pleasure of 20 seconds. are we? No!

We should call our friends and company towards Allah, towards good - and if someone refuses, we are not bound to stay with them.

You know when the problem arises?

The problem arises when we think oh, it's not that big. Oh! it's just 10 minutes. Oh! it's just this one time. Oh! what will they think?

It’s scary and you don’t even realize a single, simple, smallest act of disobedience can take you far away from Allah. First, it is just a liking, then it becomes our want, then a strong desire, then love, and then it takes us to another dimension where we stop seeing the line - all that remains in our hearts is that one object of love, everything else becomes false.

They love them as they [should] love Allāh. [Surah baqarah:165]

This is how we should love Allah - where everything else must become false(temporary) for us.

Nothing in the world should come in our obedience to Allah if we say we love Himﷻ. We must love things that Allah loves, love people whom Allah loves, do things that Allah has made permissible, and leave everything that Allah has prohibited.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better for you.” Musnad Aḥmad 23074

Do not be afraid of losing. Do not be afraid of letting go. Do not be afraid of accepting that Yes, my Lord, I have sinned, but I have realized. I have transgressed, yet You have shown mercy to me.

Our love is Allah, our submission is to Allah - He is the only one who has been taking care of us, He is the one who is providing us, He is the one who gave us this life, and He is the one to whom we have to return to.

SubhanAllah, the false love that we encounter in this life, the heartbreaks, and the humiliation we get in return for our love for people are just a small part of the bigger plan that Allah has for you.

“They plan, and Allah plans. Surely, Allah is the Best of planners.” – [Quran, 8:30]

In those moments, it seems like our world is falling apart, but trust me no one dies for anyone, and no one is worth losing Allahﷻ.

There is a whole better and bigger world beyond our perfect forever!

Long time ago, cried over the love of a human to the point that I lost count of days and nights. And it was utter misery, and nothing else. You know you can love people in perfection and they still can reject you. SubhanAllah, it's peaceful when I say this - this is the reality of life, who are we kidding, right?

I would cry to Allah for endless nights - but there was something really special in those nights - one night, I found myself crying for Allah. When my conscious came to the words I was saying, it was ya Allah I want nothing, but You. Give me you Ya Allah. I am tired of the world, and I am tired of myself. I submit all my desires and I want what you have for me. I have desired and loved things, and they ruined me. I have sinned. I give myself to You, whatever You do, whatever You have for me that is my biggest and only love - SubhanAllah, that day I told myself that if Allah has been this kind to me despite all my sins, that my tongue asked the love of Allah, it will be a shame and a huge sin that this heart or this tongue would desire or ask anything else.

SubhanAllah, you know, Allah is the most high. Do you know what realization came to me that day?

When I looked at my heart, I realized that He lives in the hearts that are pure, that are not mixed with so many desires - and my heart had many desires, that do not suit the magnificence of my Lord. Because a heart that is filled with the love of worldly things and people is a lower place for the magnificence of Allah.

It wasn’t the pain or the hurt that broke that last piece of my heart, it was tiredness. It was the tiredness of chasing. It was the tiredness of being broken again and again. SubhanAllah there is nothing sweeter than that tiredness. I remember telling Allahﷻ that Ya Allahﷻ, here, you see, this is my heart, please look, I put it in front of you, it is done, and it is tired - it has seen the world, and it has seen Your mercy. It’s You, it always has been you - and it will always be you - I give myself to you. This is the moment and the day, this sinning servant of yours, this, the most imperfect servant of yours, give herself to You - there now is nothing in the world that can ever be in this heart other than Youﷻ.

The love of Allah is like a mystery, yet clear as the sky. Our minds cannot comprehend it, and our hearts live on it. We all know that Allahﷻ tests His servants whom Heﷻ loves. Heﷻ somehow shows them the reality of the people to save them. Heﷻ wants to call them to Himselfﷻ - and when we fail to do so, Heﷻ vividly makes us go through it perfectly in its entirety.

You plan, and Allah plans. SubhanAllah

It’s like the sweetness of Allah’s love. Once you experience the comfort and reciprocity of love that Allah has for His servants, unlike ungrateful humans, your heart doesn’t like anything. SubhanAllah.

SubhanAllah, It was the plan of Allah. He wanted me to know Him, love Him, and worship only Him - me, the most ignorant and the most sinning servant - He brought me in front of Himﷻ. SubhanAllah. I haven’t done anything in life to deserve that - but it’s just the mercy of Allah.

You know, even if we have the right sincere feelings for someone, it does not make it right - anything that you put above Allah is not right. We don’t see it like that actually. You know, the moment we direct our love towards a person or a thing in a way we should not, we sin, and then what feelings we have for them does not make it right.

You will hear many people, and even yourself saying that Allah has put love of that person in my heart, it cannot be wrong. I want to laugh out loud, and it also brings me shame. But no, Allah has put Hisﷻ love in our hearts before we were even born, what about that? Before the love of some person, He has given us clear guidelines, through the Quran, Hadith, and Sunnah to live each and every moment of our lives for the sake of Allah. It is not Allah who has to understand our situation, but we, who have to align our lives with Allah'sﷻ command. It’s us who choose to follow our desires to the point that we pick and choose the right and wrong for us. SubhanAllah. We cannot use Allah to justify our point - we have to submit to Him.

Even if something is not making sense to you - submit to Allah - know that no one can give you anything better than the one who created you, nourished you, and sustains you.

Love of Allah is the primary love, the source, and the foundation of every type of love. If you do not have a foundation, you cannot build anything on it. We are born with a foundation. Sadly, we do not build on top of that foundation, but make our own, and that is when it falls, we fall with it.

When we have the love of Allah, our foundation is strong, only then we can take the burden. Or when our temporary worlds fall, we have a foundation to stand on, and to hold onto - that keeps us grounded.

When you only have to love and please one Lord, Allah, you cannot imagine how easy your life becomes. You attract the right people, Allah gives you peace of heart, you no longer feel the need to beg for love, and you feel secure, comforted, and taken care of - as anyone would want to feel in love - because, love, my love, is perfection, and it is only with Allah.

Love people for the love of Allah, for the sake of Allah. When the source of love between two people, or towards something is Allah, only then it lasts. Because you do not follow your desires then, but you follow and nurture your love how Allah wants.

If you are someone like me, who loves fiercely, please direct it in the right way. Plant your seed in an environment that is worthy of it. Connect it to the source to channel your love in a way that is beneficial for you in the hereafter.


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submission is healing - spiritual journey - spiritual healing - islamic spirituality

Sanniya Arif

A cozy corner, warm lights, clouds, pen, a journal, Quran, and coffee is what I am made of.
By profession, I am copywriter, editor, and designer - By soul, I want to be a rain drop, or a leaf that falls on the cold, wet ground.
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