Can a person do anything to gain Almighty God’s love?
As I read the booklet, 1000 Sunnah Per Day & Night, I think the answer Muslims would give is an emphatic “Yes.”
This booklet teaches that in Islam, a person can “gain the love of Allah” by following the Way (The Sunnah) of Muhammad in one’s daily life from morning to evening.
For my non-Muslim readers, the Sunnah are the actions and sayings of Muhammad. Various hadiths speak of Muhammad’s words and lifestyle in the areas below (I have not listed every detail for the sake of a little brevity. For example, I have not gone into citing the proper number of bowings/rakas during prayers, etc.):
sleeping – extinguish lights and close doors; mention Allah’s name for Shaytan (Satan) cannot open closed doors; dust off the bed three times; lie down to sleep on one’s right side; place the right hand under the right cheek.
waking up – bleach the face with one’s hands, say a short prayer, brush teeth.
going to the bathroom – enter with the left leg and exit with the right one; pray against jinn; pray for forgiveness.
wearing clothes – say “in the name of Allah,” when you put on or take off your clothes; pray for protection; Muhammad said, “If you wear clothes start with the right side.” When you take off clothes, start with the left side.
wearing shoes – Muhammad said: “If you want to wear your
shoes, start with the right foot and if you want to take it off, start with the left.”
eating & drinking – pray before eating; eat together vs. alone; do not eat reclining; use the right hand; pray after eating.
performing ablution/washings before prayer – mention the name of Allah; wash hands 3 times; rinse mouth and nose (with same handful of water; use tooth stick; run one’s wet finger through the beard; pass one’s wet hands over the head from front to back; run wet fingers between the fingers and toes; wash the right (limb) before the left – wash arms up to the elbows and feet up to the ankles; say the two testifications of faith after finishing ablution. It is narrated that Muhammad said, “If anyone amongst you performs the ablution perfectly and then says: I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger, the eight gates of Paradise would be opened for him and he may enter by whichever of them he wishes.” He is reported to have also said, “He who performed ablution perfectly, his sins would come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails.”
going to the mosque – go early; walk in quietly with solemnity; enter with the right leg; head for the front row as there is great bounty in that; exit with the left leg.
going out and coming back home – pray so one can be protected, secured, guarded and the devil will step away.
To specifically follow Muhammad’s practices in each of these areas (and many, many others) gains God’s love, according to the Qur’an:
“Say, (O Muhammad), ‘If you should love Allah, then follow me, (so) Allah will love you and forgive your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful'” (The Qur’an, Al-Imran: 31).
The text seems to say that if one follows Muhammad’s way of living, Muslims can find themselves “reaching to the rank of love by Allah” (to use the words of a Muslim commentator).
I want to respectfully – and I mean that word sincerely – ask my Muslim readers a few questions as I close this post:
1. Am I understanding your faith accurately in this area? Please tell me if I have mischaracterized or unfairly portrayed what Islam teaches regarding gaining the love of Allah (by leaving a reply below).
2. Do you personally feel loved by Allah?
3. Do you ever wonder if you have done enough to have gained His love?
4. Can believing that you have done enough to merit Allah’s love lead to pride?
5. Can believing that you have not done enough to merit Allah’s love lead to anxiety or fear or depression or even giving up trying?
I would greatly appreciate hearing from my Muslim readers – or anyone reading this post!
I believe that the love of God – and how one can know and experience it – is an incredibly important subject. It affects how we think, how we feel, and how we act. In short, it affects all of life.