Knowing and loving Allah

Question: How should we love Allahu ta’âlâ?

The love of Allah is of two kinds:

1. The love which is fard (obligatory),

2. The love which is not fard.

The love which is fard is to observe His commandments, to avoid His prohibitions, and to be content with His decree. To commit what is prohibited (harâm) and not to perform what is commanded (fard) betoken laxity in this kind of love.

The love which is not fard is to observe acts of worship which arenâfila (acts of worship that are supererogatory, optional, and non-compulsory in contrast to fards and wâjibs) as well, which will result in avoiding what is dubious. Allahu ta’âlâ declares in a hadîth-i qudsî:

(Among the things [deeds] which get My born servant closer to Me, I like the fards best. By making acts of worship which arenâfila, My born servant comes closer to Me so much so that I like him very much. I will be the ears which hear, the eyes which see, the hands which hold things, and the feet which walk, of My born servant whom I like very much. I will give him whatever he wants. When he asks help from Me, I help him.) [Bukhârî]

Then the act of worship which Allahu ta’âlâ likes most is to perform fards. The nâfila acts of worship stated in the above-mentioned hadîth-i qudsî are the ones performed together with the fards.

Hadrat ‘Umar bin ‘Ali Fâkihânî declares:

This hadîth-i qudsî indicates that a person who does the supererogatory acts of worship together with the fard ones will earn Allahu ta’âlâ’s love.

Hadrat Abû Sulaiman Hattâbî declares:

This hadîth-i qudsî shows that just as the prayers of such people are accepted, so when such people pray for others, people for whom they pray get what they wish. (Mawâhib)

What does ma’rifatullah mean?

Ma’rifatullah means knowing Allahu ta’âlâ’s Dhât (Person, Essence) and Attributes. Knowing His Dhât means realizing the fact that He is incomprehensible. Knowing His Attributes means realizing the fact that His Attributes are unlike the attributes of creatures. The purport of a verse is as follows:

(There is nothing like Him. He does not resemble anything.)[Sûrat-ush-Shûrâ, 11]