Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di

In part of his explanation of the famous Kitaab al-Tawheed of Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

أصل التوحيد وروحه: إخلاص المحبة لله وحده وهي أصل التأله والتعبد له، بل هي حقيقة العبادة، ولا يتم التوحيد حتى تكمل محبة العبد لربه، وتسبق محبته جميع المحاب وتغلبها، ويكون لها الحكم عليها بحيث تكون سائر محاب العبد تبعا لهذه المحبة التي بها سعادة العبد وفلاحه. ـ

The foundation of tawheed and its very essence is this: sincere love for Allah alone, and this is the foundation of deifying Him and worshiping Him; rather it is the reality of worship and tawheed is not completed until the slave’s love for his Lord is perfected and it supersedes and prevails over one’s love for all other beloved things, and that that love becomes the measuring scale over them to the extent that all of the slave’s other inclinations follow in accord with this love. It is through this that the slave attains ultimate joy and success.

ومن تفريعها وتكميلها الحب في الله، فيحب العبد ما يحبه الله من الأعمال والأشخاص، ويبغض ما يبغضه الله من الأشخاص والأعمال، ويوالي أولياءه ويعادي أعداءه، وبذلك يكمل إيمان العبد وتوحيده. ـ

And part of its branches and completeness is love for the sake of Allah. So the slave loves those actions and personalities which Allah loves, and he hates the persons and actions which Allah hates, and he aligns himself with Allah’s allies and shows enmity to Allah’s enemies. Through this is the slave’s eemaan and tawheed perfected.

أما اتخاذ أنداد من الخلق يحبهم كحب الله، ويقدم طاعتهم على طاعة الله، ويلهج بذكرهم ودعائهم فهذا هو الشرك الأكبر الذي لا يغفره الله، وصاحب هذا الشرك قد انقطع قلبه من ولاية العزيز الحميد، وتعلق بغيره ممن لا يملك له شيئا، وهذا السبب الواهي الذي تعلق به المشركون سينقطع يوم القيامة أحوج ما يكون العبد لعمله، وستنقلب هذه المودة والموالاة بغضا وعداوة. ـ

As for taking up partners from among the created beings to love them as one loves Allah and to prioritize obedience to them above obedience to Allah and to frequently make remembrance of them and supplication to them, then this is major shirk – that which Allah does not forgive – and the doer of this shirk has cut  his heart off from the alliance with al-‘Azeez al-Hameed [the Mighty, the Praiseworthy] and attached it to those other than Him who have no power over him in the least. This is a flimsy source [i.e. to rely upon] which the mushrikoon have attached themselves to, so they will be cut off on the Yawm al-Qiyaamah – when the slave will be in the most dire need of his deeds, and this love and alliance will be overturned by hared and enmity.

واعلم أن أنواع المحبة ثلاثة أقسام: الأول: محبة الله هي أصل الإيمان والتوحيد. ـ

And know that the types of love fall into three categories:

1) Love for Allah – this is the foundation of eemaan and tahweed.

الثاني: المحبة في الله وهي محبة أنبياء الله ورسله وأتباعهم، ومحبة ما يحبه الله من الأعمال والأزمنة والأمكنة وغيرهم، وهذه تابعة لمحبة الله ومكملة لها. ـ

2) Love for the sake of Allah, and this is love for Allah’s prophets and messengers and their followers, and loving those actions, times, places, etc. which Allah loves . And this follows from one’s love for Allah and is a perfection of it.

الثالث: محبة مع الله وهي محبة المشركين لآلهتهم وأندادهم من شجر وحجر وبشر وملك وغيرها وهي أصل الشرك وأساسه. ـ

3) Love alongside Allah, which is love that the mushrikoon have for their gods and partners – whether these be trees, rocks, human beings, angels or otherwise. This is the foundation of shirk and its very basis.

وهنا قسم رابع: وهو المحبة الطبيعية التي تتبع ما يلائم العبد ويوافقه من طعام وشراب ونكاح ولباس وعشرة وغيرها، وهذه إذا كانت مباحة، فإن أعانت على محبة الله وطاعته دخلت في باب العبادات، وإن صدت عن ذلك وتوسل بها إلى ما لا يحبه الله دخلت في المنهيات، وإلا بقيت من أقسام المباحات. والله أعلم. ـ

And here there is a fourth category, which is the natural loves which carries no blame for the slave and which he feels for food, drink, intercourse, clothing, companionship, etc. Furthermore, if these things are permissible, then if it aids him in the love for Allah and obedience to Him, then it enters into the category of acts of worship. But if it diverts him from that and draws him unto things which Allah does not love, then it enters into the realm of the prohibited things. Otherwise, it remains as one of the types of permissible value-neutral things – and Allah knows best.

[al-Qawl al-Sadeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed pg. 128 (ch. 31)]

See also: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 1: Love Towards Allah

See also: “Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other- except for the muttaqoon”

See also: Major Shirk and Minor Shirk: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: “Say, ‘If you love Allah, then follow me’”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Deen is Built on Two Foundations: Dhikr and Shukr – Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Allah legislated the religion for His remembrance: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: Birr and Ihsan towards Non-Muslims: Ibn al-Qayyim

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3 thoughts on “Three Categories of Love: Imam al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: The Qur’anic Ayaat on Love – Part 1: Love Towards Allah | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other- except for the muttaqoon” | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: Birr and Ihsan towards Non-Muslims: Ibn al-Qayyim | Tulayhah

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