Interfaith Love – Establishing and Sustaining
Love among people is the foundation of a successful community. It is the force that sustains relationships among brothers and sisters in faith, among family members, among relatives, and among friends. This love has a progressive impact on the community, but it also has its pathways and causes through which it is achieved and maintained.
The Exalted One states: “Those who have believed and done righteous deeds – the Most Merciful will make for them affection.” (Quran, Maryam, 96)
Faith and virtuous deeds provide the most direct route to love. Affection for Allah, the Prophet, and fellow believers is integral for experiencing the complete joy of faith, as emphasized in authentic Hadiths.
Love for believers is cultivated through both emotional sentiments and tangible actions. The emotional aspect of relating to believers is eloquently delineated by Tafsir expert Ibn Abbas. In “Mekarimul Ahlak,” Imam Tabarani, through his chain of narration, mentions:
The scholar of the community and Quranic interpreter, Abdullah Ibn Abbas, radiyallahu anhuma, said: “There are four to whom one cannot repay:
- The person who greets me first.
- The person who makes a place for me in a gathering.
- The person who exerts effort on the road to assist me.
- As for the fourth, I can never repay him, except that the Most High pays him from His treasures. When asked, ‘Who is this person?’ He replied: ‘The one whom affliction and distress befall, preventing him from sleeping the whole night, pondering who among the people could relieve him of this distress. Then, I come to his mind, and the next day he confides in me, seeking my assistance with Allah’s permission to alleviate his troubles.'”
Ibn Qayyim, commenting on Ibn Abbas’s words, said: “Helping someone in distress is a pleasure bestowed by the Most High only upon His chosen servants. Hurry towards doing good and never belittle any act of kindness, for you do not know what doors of paradise it may open!”
As for practical actions that strengthen love among believers, they are primarily linked to actions that proactively counteract envy and hatred unfortunately present in circles of believers.
Hatim al-Asamm, may Allah have mercy on him, stated: “Four things eliminate envy among brothers and friends:
- Physical assistance and support.
- Politeness in communication.
- Support with little or much wealth.
- Prayers in times of absence.”
All these four aspects are rooted in practices from the authentic Sunnah.
Strengthen your love for believers with positive thoughts and emotions, and demonstrate it practically through your actions. You will feel the beauty of the path of Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, peace be upon him.
People, believers are the most valuable resource of a community. On one occasion, Umar ibn al-Khattab, sat in a gathering and said: ‘Let each of you make a wish.’ Someone wished for a house full of gold, another for dirhams, and a third for diamonds to spend in the path of Allah. Umar then said: ‘I wish to have a house full of people like Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Muadh ibn Jabal, and Huzaifah, to appoint them as my deputies.'”
Umar truly understood and pointed out the real and true value, more precious and valuable than all worldly possessions!
Unite our hearts, O Lord, and shower us with Your love!