The Prophet Muhammad

Love of the Prophet: What that should Mean

“Love of the Messenger of Allah:

What that should Mean…”


  • Muslims love The Messenger of Allah (saw). There is no doubt about this. But often, we fail to realise whether our love of the Messenger of Allah lives up to the standards of love put down by Allah and His Messenger. It is certainly not permitted to define and qualify our love for the Prophet by our own standards or our own rationalisations. This lack of realisation may be either due to:

1] not knowing the actual standards of loving the Prophet;

2] or not reflecting on or scrutinising one’s actions to see if they conform to the requirements of the Shariah;

3] not testing this claim of love;

4] not understanding the reality of loving the Prophet and its entailment…as well as other reasons.

            Imam al-Qurtubi (d. 671/1272) writes in his gigantic tafsir (‘commentary’) al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur’an on surat Al `Imran verse 31: {say: if you truly love Allah, then follow me…}.1

قال ٱبن عرفة: المحبّة عند العرب إرادةُ الشيء على قصد له. وقال الأزهري: محبة العبد لله ورسوله طاعته لهما وٱتباعه أمرهما؛ قال الله تعالى: { قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِي }. ومحبة الله للعباد إنعامه عليهم بالغفران؛ قال الله تعالى فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ ٱلْكَافِرِينَ  آل عمران: 32 أي لا يغفر لهم. وقال سهل بن عبد الله: علامة حُبِّ الله حب القرآن، وعلامة حب القرآن حب النبيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، وعلامة حب النبيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حب السنة، وعلامة حب الله وحب القرآن وحب النبيّ وحب السنة حب الآخرة، وعلامة حب الآخرة أن يحب نفسه، وعلامة حب نفسِه أن يبغض الدنيا، وعلامة بغض الدنيا ألا يأخذ منها إلا الزّاد والبُلْغَة

“[…] Ibn `Arafa said: ‘love’ (mahabba)2 according to the Arabs means desiring something to be as it was intended’ al-Azhari said: ‘A servant’s love for Allah and His Messenger means obeying them both and following all their commands. Allah Most High says: {say: if you truly love Allah, then follow me…}. And Allah’s love for His servant is His beneficence over them as well as His forgiveness. And Allah also says: {And Allah certainly does not love the disbelievers}, i.e. He does not forgive them. Sahl Ibn `Abd Allah [al-Tustari] said: ‘the sign of loving Allah is to love the Qur’an; the sign of loving the Qur’an is to love the Prophet (saw); the sign of loving the Prophet is to love his Sunnah; the sign of loving Allah, the Qur’an, the Prophet (saw) and his sunnah is to love the hereafter and a sign of loving the hereafter is to love one’s self and a sign of loving one’s self is to despise the world and the sign of despising the world is to take only your necessary provisions’ […]”

Some points:

  1. Loving Allah is mandatory – it is not optional but it must be built in knowledge, connection and deep conviction.
  2. Loving Allah means to love the Qur’an and everything that it contains. It is the guidance from Allah to all of humankind. Whatever is contained in it of laws, codes, rules, morals, instruction, teachings and lessons are taken without selection. Part of it cannot be taken and others discarded – especially if it appears to conflict with prevailing values based on secular liberalism. This would be a betrayal of one’s love for Allah.
  3. Loving Allah means to love the Messenger of Allah. Therefore loving the Messenger of Allah is obligatory.
  4. Loving the Messenger of Allah means: 1) to obey (ta`atuhu) him and 2) to follow of all his commandments (ittiba`u amrihi) without exception whether that is in the personal sphere or the social, political, economic or judicial sphere.
  5. Loving the Messenger must manifest in loving his sunnah: this love of the sunnah must be without exception. Every aspect of the sunnah must be beloved, dear and close to every believer because it from Allah the Perfect and from His Prophet the most perfect creation and is thus sacred. Therefore, if the Sunnah has brought the removal of any barriers in the exportation of Islam to the rest of the world then it must not be denied based on the grounds of this being labelled as ‘violent’; if the sunnah has brought the hudud punishments it must not be disregarded as ‘barbaric’ and ‘medieval’; if the sunnah has brought the permissibility of men marrying a maximum of four women then it must not be denied on the grounds of gender inequality; if the sunnah has brought a defined ruling system in the form of the Khilafah then it must not be rejected on the basis that it is ‘undemocratic’ and the catalogue of lists go on.
  6. The sign of loving Allah, the Qur’an, The Prophet and his sunnah is to care little for the world and its delights. It is to prefer the Hereafter over the world. This attitude is important for the struggle and sacrifice necessary for the cause of working for the return of Islam politically in life.

Peace and blessings be upon our beloved,

The Messenger of Allah,

Upon his companions, his family and all who follow him.




[1] See al-Qurtubi, al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur’an, 4:57-58.

[2] See the root [hubb] || h / b / b : al-Razi, Mukhtar al-Sihah, p.51; Ibn al-Faris, Maqayis al-Lugha, p.248 and Ibn al-Qayyim, Madarij al-Salikin, 2:227:

ولا ريب أن هذه الخمسة من لوازم المحبة؛ فإنها صفاء المودة وهَيَجان إرادات القلب للمحبوب، وعلوها وظهورها منه لتعلقها بالمحبوب المراد وثبوت إرادة القلب للمحبوب ولزومه لزوماً لا تفارقه، ولإعطاء المحب محبوبه لُـبَّه وأشرف ما عنده، وهو قلبه ولاجتماع عزماته وإرادته وهمومه على محبوبه فاجتمعت فيها المعاني الخمسة

“And no doubt that these five things are necessary aspects of love which consists of [1] purity of the love and the heart’s agitated and burning desire for the beloved; [2] its elevation and manifestation because it is connected to the beloved; [3] firmly grounding and establishing the heart’s desire for the beloved that necessitates no separation; [4] the lover giving his beloved his very essence and being as well as the most precious things he has which is his heart and [5] because he puts all his resolve, will and aspirations in his beloved…”


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